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My job, an unrelenting struggle for perfection, frustrating family relationships, and countless other things lead me to a therapist a few years ago. It took a long time for me to come around to seeing a therapist (that’s what my friends are for, right?) but I can’t imagine where I’d be now without her. She’s fabulous and if she weren’t my therapist I’d totally want to be friends with her.

My dear friend K has long seen a therapist who she calls Niles. I love that: 1. Because I love David Hyde Pierce and 2. K is incredibly witty and I don’t know anyone else who would call his/her therapist Niles. So for the purposes of this blog my therapist needs an alias. But I won’t steal Niles (even though I want to). Instead I’ll go with Jane. Why? Because Jane Lynch was a hilarious psychiatrist on Two and a Half Men.

Jane Lynch

Jane Lynch the psychiatrist. Picture her when I talk about Jane, my therapist.

Anyhow… Jane and I have been discussing mad. Such a basic emotion, right? Well no. Not for me. I don’t do mad. I suck at mad. But I’m awesome at sad. I feel sad a lot and I understand it. I’ll go so far as to say that I’m an excellent crier.

But mad feels wrong to me. So instead of feeling mad I turn the feelings inward and get sad. But today was different. I walked to my car feeling sad and annoyed. And then I stopped myself and thought “Am I really sad? Am I really annoyed? — Hell no. I’m mad.” And when I got to Jane’s office and told her about this, she told me to name five things I was mad about. And I did! It was hard to do, but I did it. I succeeded at mad! Sort of. Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t sound mad. And I cried. But still – yay me!

This can only be described as a breakthrough. I’m going to work on accepting mad as a valid emotion. Mad can be good. Mad can be productive. Mad can kick sad’s ass.



About Roya

I live in Pittsburgh and work in non-profit marketing. I moved here in 2001 for graduate school at Carnegie Mellon University. I had no idea that I'd end up making this most-livable city my home for more than a decade. I love to travel. It's without a doubt my favorite thing to do. I want to see the world. I went through a phase in college where I wanted to be a documentary photographer but it was so unrealistic and impractical that I stuck with my teaching degree. (SIDE NOTE: I'm not a teacher. Go figure.) I'd love to say that I'm not materialistic but I like pretty things. And I like spending money on said pretty things. Retail therapy followed by buyer's remorse and returns is a constant cycle in my life. I'm okay with that. I'm very fortunate to have a wonderful family. They are loud, ridiculous and the kindest people you'll ever know. My friends are my family by choice and without them, I honestly don't know where I'd be.

11 responses »

  1. Woo hoo! Go get mad, girl!

    Mad over drinks soon?

  2. Yes! I thinking drinks will help tons with my progress. 🙂

  3. So proud of you! I have suffered on & off from depression and have been told that depression is anger turned inward. Better to be mad than depressed! Everyone gets mad… even Jesus with the people selling in the back of church! : )

  4. And, this is exactly where you and I are so much alike. I’m really great at crying!! I’m happy, I cry! I’m sad, I cry! I’m angry, I cry! I’m sick, I cry! I forgot to do laundry for two weeks and have no clean underwear and have to go buy new ones, I cry! My therapist (nickname still be to determined) is working with me on this. I still need to post a blog post (so much for the 2 posts a week) about him handing me the book “Breaking the Chain of Low Self Esteem.” That’s my project. Hurrah for you on conquering the mad!! You inspire me to really focus on breaking those damn chains of low self-esteem!

  5. As someone who does mad quite well, if I do say so myself, I welcome you to mad-dom. But it does make me sad that so many of my fabulous friends have low self-esteem. Seriously, would I really be friends with you if you weren’t worthy?

    • Very true. You should be my mad role model.

      • Totally.
        Being new to this mad thing, you may not be familiar with all the wonderful flavors of mad. For instance:
        gotta bang sh*t around and make lots of noise (I guess this could be classified as stomping mad),
        the special mad engendered by customer “service” – you know, when you spend at least 10 minutes navigating a menu that doesn’t offer the service you need, finally get a human being who has absolutely no interest in or ability to help you, get put on hold only to have your call “accidentally” drop so then you have to call back and start the entire process over – need a name for this kind of mad,
        & the grand-daddy of mad, roaring.

        Roaring mad is when you basically throw a tantrum but don’t really hear a word you say and only realize you’re being unreasonable when you begin to take in the looks on the faces of those around you. It’s wonderfully empowering while it lasts, but then you probably will have to go back and apologize once you calm down. Or not.

  6. Pingback: Good Enough « blissfully imperfect

  7. I would like to practice being mad too. I propose we meet every Monday morning at work and break something! Or maybe that is just acting out…we will have to break something that belongs to someone we are mad at…don’t tell Jane about this plan…lol

  8. Pingback: Sail Away, Sail Away, Sail Away | blissfully imperfect

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