Friday, 16 November 2018

Weekly Discussion Summary ~ Anger 3

Anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.*
In our weekly discussion, we talked about anger.
We tend to think of anger as a wild, dangerous emotion. A feeling to avoid. An emotion to suppress. But, Naz asked us to think about whether we could use our anger to build our resilience, to help ourselves and each other?
Our discussion, included women with primary or secondary breast cancer.
We are angry at the loss of control that cancer brings
Angry that it is unfair and we say 'why me?'
Angry that we witness so many dying
Angry so many are facing a poor prognosis
Angry there is so much inequality 
This may be me, it may be you
Angry at our helplessness
Angry at our powerlessness
We may be angry that we got cancer when we're healthy and fit
We may be angry when we are diagnosed just as life is going well
Or before we've had the chance to do what we'd planned
Or because it robbed us of the chance to have children
Or because we won’t see our children of our grandchildren grow up
Or because life doesn't let us off from other problems even though we have cancer
We may be angry that we are changed by cancer
Angry that we have lost our potential
Who we used to be has gone 
Angry when we fail to do everything we found easy before
Angry we are so tired
Our cancer makes us vulnerable 
Our vulnerability makes us fearful
And sometimes this means we fear any strong emotion
We are overwhelmed by the strength of our emotion
And so we hide it away, deny it, or kick it into touch.
If we let anger in
It might leave us wretched and wrung out and hopeless
And we are too afraid to let that happen
So we don't let ourselves be angry
We may be angry when people tell us that those of us who didn't have chemo are lucky
We may be angry because we look ok but feel so awful
Angry when people assume we are cured
Angry when people tell us that if we have to get cancer, 
Then breast cancer is the best one to get!
We may be angry at the state of the world
Angry about injustice
Angry about politics
Angry about balloons that harm innocent wildlife
Angry about big things, small things, everything, just so angry
Some of us experience a delayed reaction, feeling anger months or years afterwards.
Maybe we displace the emotion - we get angry with our mother-in-law or colleagues
A few of us prefer the cloak of acceptance 
Letting go of emotions that waste our energy
Whatever our position, we work towards resilience, healing 
And finding peace, not waging war with our bodies and minds
Cancer is not a battle
That we fight with our anger
We cannot change what has happened to us
We can channel our anger towards helping others
And towards helping ourselves
Anger can help us reach our goals
Anger can help us fight injustice 
Anger can help us to a achieve change
Anger can empower us
We can use it to build constructively
To drive us forward
To destroy what's not good for us
We can use it to cease tolerating people who treat us badly
Situations that don't serve us
Anger can make us productive
Anger can motivate us 
To take control of what we can influence and change
Anger, channelled well, can help us move forward
Anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.
*Maya Angelou
If you are a woman living in the UK with a breast cancer diagnosis and you would like to join our private group please contact us via

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