This blog post by Elan Morgan is a powerful piece of narrative writing. It is a raw and honest account that derives emotions right from the heart.
Elan begins, as the title suggests, discussing the topic of anger. Anger, that she was taught from her early teen years, no one wanted to see or hear. Anger is an ugly emotion and such an emotion, that young woman especially should not display. Elan writes that anger evokes fear in others and it has negative associations. She questions why this is the case.
We all feel anger, it’s only natural. We are allowed to be angry.
Elan describes an occurrence where her anger began to manifest and how it lead to another being uncomfortable with her. It was New Year’s Day 2017 and a friend of hers died that morning of cancer. Elan admits she had lost contact with the friend, and that this is a sensitive topic for her given her own cancer experience. This news brought up a complex range of emotions, one of which was anger. Elan used Twitter as an emotional outlet to unleash her rage as she grieved the loss of her friend.
“I’m angry that my old friend died this morning, many old friends are honouring her at a pub today, and my sobriety means I can’t be there” – Twitter Post, 1st Jan 2017
After her 15-thread outburst Elan then tells how a Twitter follower which, for the purpose of the story, she names ‘Schartzmugel’ is uncomfortable with her anger. Elan admits she wasn’t surprised at ‘Schartzmugels’ backlash. People often don’t know how to react amongst anger. Elan’s anger was not directed at anybody and she wasn’t trying to stir up political debate to gain reaction. Though just from her expressing her emotions at this grieving time seems to cause another to be so uncomfortable. Elan gives three lessons in dealing with others’ and your anger.
- “It is very bad manners to say “I am sorry for your loss… but”
- Meaning never start off with sympathy then condemn someone grieving using anger. It is the second stage of the grieving process after all.
- “Anger is not an un-nuanced emotion that makes the world worse.”
- Meaning that anger should not be feared or always associated with violence, it is a vital emotion that we need to accept in society.
- “Anger and love often move hand in hand”
- Meaning that anger is the offspring of love, we tend to show anger when someone we love hurts us.
Elan’s final part of her narrative is the most important I found. She talks about using her anger as an instrument. An instrument that makes others uncomfortable as it demands change. She says to not be afraid of your emotions and use your anger as a constructive tool.
“People will tell you to shut up when you give voice to your anger, because it makes them pay attention, and that attention means you have power.”
As I absorbed the words Elan was writing, I applauded her honesty. The message she wanted to share was a message takes a dig at society. Society which has a prejudice against anger. Why are we taught that anger is evil? Why are women who show anger considered a bitch?
Elan is unafraid to speak her truth, she warns burying your anger is detrimental for your physical and mental well-being.After experiencing cancer, depression and alcoholism Elan found freedom in anger. Anger that gave her the power to be herself and is unapologetic in doing so.
While reflecting on Elan’s words, I find solace in her story. Anger is an uncomfortable emotion it stirs up an anxiety within in us and can motivate us to action. When we get angry it means it’s important to us. It means we want circumstances to change. The marriage equality debate in Australia at present being a great example. The anger from the LGBT community gives them a power that the government has had to respond to.
Use your anger as an instrument and don’t be afraid of others. As part of Elan’s concluding words.
“We have work to do and the fire to tend it. We have voices to sharpen and energy to spend. Our voices do not have to be pretty or appealing for others’ comfort when the job requires a different kind of tool. We’re goddamned fireworks.”