Finding the Purpose of Anger

It’s a new day friends and if you’re like me you have an emotional hangover from what some call a presidential debate. I personally like to call it the ‘old white man say/yell things show’™ and you are welcome to use that if you’d like. I had so many emotions just from that hour and a half that I could probably write several blog posts on this viewing alone, but I’ll try to make it brief.

The biggest emotion I felt last night was anger. Anger, for those who have not been following this blog for a long time, is one of the most difficult emotions for me to process, accept, and display. I avoid it all costs and it typically results in me crying (which I did last night) and wanting to run away, trying to do whatever I can to make it stop. So, as someone who is constantly trying to improve and be better, I made it a point to stay; stay in my anger and feel the ways in which this anger is helping me. I was angry for a lot of reasons, and I am not going to sit here and try to explain why it hurts to hear people debate human lives or attack someone who overcame a drug addiction. What I will discuss is how such anger is helping me grow.

Last nights anger was felt in the pit of my stomach. My therapist has taught me to visualize where I feel my emotions so that I can really sit with it and work through it. It been a real game changer with the emotions I find more difficult. In my stomach there was a burning sensation and when I closed my eyes I could see yellows, reds, and oranges- there was a fire burning. My first instinct was to put the fire out, which I attempted to do with ice cream (Ben and Jerry’s half baked, obviously). That sort of worked as a short term solution, but as soon as I stopped the fire grew again. I thought to myself ‘how do I make I stop’ and then I realized I was asking the wrong question. I didn’t need it to stop I needed to listen to it and that is what I did.

I sat in my room after getting ready for bed and reflected for a minute on the heat. I unpacked some of the emotional abuse that occurred on the stage as it brought up memories of my own experiences. I validated the feelings of anger as right and fair, instead of a burden that needed to go away. I put my hand on my stomach and thought about the anger others must be feeling in this moment and what pain people who were literal topics of debate might be feeling. I thought about the kids that were and/or are bullied and how it would feel to watch that debate with the harsh words used. I thought of all of these people as my clients that have and will sit with. Then, with each thought and validation the anger dwindled, not to be mistaken with the anger going away.

Feelings don’t disappear until the job they were created to do is done. There is a good reason for that- we need them to create change. For example, if I got sad and never dealt with the sadness and pretended not be sad, that doesn’t mean that sadness is gone, it just means it’s hanging out somewhere else. Typically, this is a place where we tried to lock it up in, but instead it comes out in anxiety, alcohol use, cutting, unexplained anger, etc.. However, if we keep it where it’s supposed to be and we work with it and do what needs to be done, we get a healthy goodbye. Like when I was really depressed and went to therapy and started medication and sat with my sadness for a long time, not letting it go until I was ready. I want a healthy goodbye like that with this anger, so I am keeping the embers burning to help me remember why it is I do what I do.

What I do as a social worker, involves advocating for people and I care about people a lot. I’m a cancer moon, ya know? Advocacy work is political in nature and this fire is a direct result of who and what I care about. These embers will burn until I see people are given justice, fairness, kindness, and the right to live regardless of health, the color of their skin, their differing abilities, their gender, their sexual orientation, and the list could go on. I’m not sure the embers will ever truly go away, but I am going to keep them with me as a reminder that there is work to do, nitty gritty hard work.

I am currently in a space to do the hard work. I have gone to therapy and processed a lot of my own trauma’s and experiences. I feel safe to do this work right now and that could change. If you are not in that place, please know it is okay to lock those feelings up if that is what feels best for you right now. I am not here to tell you how to process your own reactions/feelings. Do whatever you need to do to make yourself feel safe. Perhaps it’s holding space for it and perhaps it’s watching 6 hours of Real Housewives of New York. I’ve been both people (sometimes in the same day) and that’s okay.

If you’re reading this and angered (or any other emotions) by any of the words I have said here, perhaps reflect on where in your body you’re feeling it and why these emotions are coming up for you. And please, please, please use the contact link to chat with me further about this or any other post.

I love you all, including my anger.


flames dance

across the lining of my stomach

and i pray for rain

that only comes when

the embers are ready for it

-finding the purpose of anger

A Butterfly Spirit

Hi, friends. A lot has happened in the last two weeks, but I don’t want to talk about most of them. Most of them are minuscule and irrelevant at this point in time. This is not to diminish my experiences, but rather to express the fact that I’ve experienced a great loss this week. A loss changes your world, alters your perception, and minimizes all else around you. This past week my supervisor, my work advocate, my friend passed away- Vilma.

She was the light during one of the darkest times in my working life. I would work with her often and sit in her office. She had the worlds softest giggle that made things just seem like they would be okay. Vilma was an employee for 31 years, so her knowledge of the job was invaluable. I would often sit with her as she described what the role was like ‘back in the day’ and all the major changes along the way. During this time of uncertainty she would always say “Sarah, I’ve seen some really hard times here before. We’ll get through this.” She shared stories of her youth, how she would always leave her hair long and natural like I do and would only wear skirts and dresses, unlike I do.

We would often sit laughing at the fact that she had an iPhone 6 that refused to hold a charge. She would say to me “Sarah, come look at this. It’s at 15% and I haven’t used it all day!” I would ask her why she didn’t just get a new phone all the time and she always said, “eh, it still works though. Why would I get a new one?” And we would both giggle. She told me she loved her phone before this one and would still have it to this day if it didn’t shatter in her hands. We laughed at how the pieces of her old phone just broke. She thought it was a defect in the way it came apart. She made it clear to me thought that she didn’t need anything fancy, she just needed things to work. I admired this about her.

She also had a love for sweets. On my lunch break she would often give me her Starbucks gift card to pick her up a Frappuccino to help her get through the day. The last few times I worked with her I also would grab us both lunch to ease her need to walk far. Through this I learned that she loved Italian subs, with extra mayo, and Cole slaw on the side. She would also always want me to grab her a shake, but last minute would say- no I don’t need that, maybe next time. I wish I got her the milkshakes anyway. She would make hot cocoa in the break room, even on hot days when she needed a “quick fix”. Her face would light up when our coworkers would bring in donuts or bake sweet treats. I loved to see her smile.

She talked to me a lot about her family. It was clear she loved her family more than anything in the world. I got to hear stories of her father who worked in fancy hotels, and the stories he would tell her and the way he watched the landscape of New York City change over time. She spoke of her parents unending energy, even as they aged. She told me how much she hopes to have that much energy when she gets older. I wish I was right when I said “I bet you will, it runs in your family.” She should’ve have gotten that chance.

Her room was a spectacle and every patient that entered would say “I love all your decorations.” I wish I could’ve taken credit, but I’d always respond with “unfortunately, it’s not my room, but it’s my favorite room to work in.” Vilma was a big fan of tchotchke’s many of which she had collected over the years of working. I could spend hours sitting in her office discovering things I had no idea were there before. My favorite was a sign that read ‘kindness is always free” something Vilma always lived by. It sat across from where our patients sat, so I always wondered if it also served as a reminder for those sitting in that chair. Not that they would need it- Vilma was so kind it just radiated and permeated those around her.

Over the last few days I went from sadness that took over my entire body, to anger, to complete numbness. I knew writing this post would help me break out of feeling numb and enter a stage of feeling complete luck for having known such a beautiful person (while also feeling continued sadness). Writing and talking about my memories just reminds me that she was right when she said “I’ve seen some really hard times before. We’ll get through this.” The thought of getting through this without her is hard to imagine, but I know I can. She has given me strength over these last few months and will continue to be a guiding light for me. She may be gone, but her warmth, kindness, and maternal energy will always be with me.

I hope wherever you are, Vilma, there are endless shakes and sweets. I love you.


your voice,

a memory.

ingrained forever-




-a butterfly spirit

Breaking the Cycle

Writing right now is hard for me. I’ve put it off for so long because I don’t know where to start. I have gotten multiple requests from people for a new blog post. When I hear these requests, a little voice in my head screams “I CAN’T DO IT, OKAY?” This voice sounds off about 50 times a day. Gotta, go brush my teeth: “I CAN’T DO IT, OKAY?” These dishes are really piling up: “I CAN’T DO IT, OKAY?” I’m sure you get the point and the point is that life is hard sometimes.

And you know what? We all go through hard times. Humans, animals, aliens, plants, the atmosphere… We all struggle and we all continue to go about as best we can. I find that quite beautiful. So, today I woke up and I thought about how today was the day that I get back to it. That I take my struggle and I put it out there for the world to connect with and that maybe, just maybe, we can recognize that we’re all in this together. *Cue High School Musical cast*

So, I guess I’ll start from where I last left off, with my anger. My anger was a refreshing journey for me. An emotion that I bottle up so often, was finally sent pouring out of me and for that I am grateful. My anger, since my last post, officially morphed into depression. I traded Megadeth for Adele.  (Yes, I had to google angry band names). Good, faithful depression. Now, that, as you all know, is my comfort zone. The ebb and flow of “I’m not good enough. I deserve this. I will never find love…” I welcomed it with open arms. I hugged the negative thoughts of myself like long lost friends and told them to never leave.

Of course, I didn’t mean this, I just feel safe in an abusive relationship with myself because that is what I know. I went to school for social work and I know the cycle of abuse like the back of my hand, but this was the first time I applied it to myself. I was playing out my own cycle of abuse. 1. Tensions build: Getting out of bed is hard. I am scared. I don’t recognize myself.  2. Incident: I start to criticize myself. Everything I have done lead me to this mistake. How can I be so stupid? I am not good enough. I deserve this. I will never find love. 3: Reconciliation: I write a blog post about how I have been mean and how I have to forgive myself. I say I am sorry for the way I have treated myself. I vow to be better. 4: Calm: The “honeymoon” phase. I am a body-positive queen, who loves who she is. Look out world. *Repeats cycle, over and over and over again*

So, this time I had to do something different. This time I wasn’t going to just let me get away with a promise of a new me, so I can end up in the same position I have found myself in. I started therapy. Like really started therapy. Like no holds barred, let everything out therapy. I tried therapy in the past, but most often I lied out of my teeth. Why did I lie? Because the truth was scary. The first time I went to therapy was because of a boy that took advantage of me. I couldn’t say that though, that was scary. So I said I was sad and of course it didn’t work and I moved on, back through my own cycle. Another time I went to therapy I said that I was binge eating.. which I was, but I didn’t say why. I didn’t say eating was the only time I felt like being alive. Instead I said I just eat too much and I would like not to. Another time I went to therapy, I was like yeah, I’m sad and stuff and I drink too much, but I am in college and this is normal, right? All of these times I went for a total of 3 sessions. 3 sessions until I hit my honeymoon phase and made everyone believe I was good.

This is not how I am doing it this time. This time I’ve already noticed a difference in the way I interact with my therapist. Actually, since I live in a small island in Alaska I am essentially doing Skype therapy. I video conference with her once per week and I am happy to report that I LOVE IT. I get to have therapy from the comfort of my own couch, with my coffee in my hand and a screen between us, which feels way less invasive. I am honestly surprised at how comfortable it feels to do therapy this way. I have already opened up so much, like truthfully opened up, and I’ve noticed immediate changes in my mood. It feels really powerful to tell the truth… the whole truth and nothing but the truth, A[wo]men.

That’s how I am going to break the cycle. That’s how people across the world are breaking the cycle. They are standing up and saying “me too.” Because we are all just humans, trying to find a semblance of peace, and we can’t do that without recognizing our likeness. This is not to say that our differences aren’t powerful, because they are, but it is more to say that together, hand in hand, our fight becomes much easier.

I would like to end this post with honoring of our veterans, who fought side by side. It is their bravery and ability to fight together that shows us we don’t win a war alone; we win a war by standing together.

P.S. the other difference is that I have Ariana Grande’s “Thank u, next” on repeat, which is basically like free therapy post break-up. “I’m so f****in’ grateful for my ex.”

To all the things I’ve loathed before

This post has been hard for me to talk myself into writing. I know I’ve written about my depression before, but I’m currently dabbling in depression mixed with heart break. It is quite the cocktail for loneliness and overeating. I don’t want to get into the messy details of said heart break. My brain has gone over it enough for the rest of us.

I digress.

My rose colored glasses are currently smeared with crimson red, as if I am the next PETA victim. Anger is an emotion that I will openly admit I don’t feel comfortable with. In fact, I joined an anger management group in middle school because I was so worried about my inability to express my anger. Perhaps, this is the reason I give 2nd, 3rd, 5th, chances to those that may not  deserve it; I cry when someone yells at me; my heart races when I even think I have upset someone in any way. It’s funny because as I write this, I think of all my posts I have about how we, as a society, need to sit in our feelings. Yet, when I would say feelings I meant sadness. Sadness I feel comfortable with. Sadness is a close friend of mine.

I have not shown the same appreciation for anger. Anger, a natural emotion, has somehow become my enemy. The Nicholas Cage of emotions if you will. I need to learn how to sit with my anger and then I might be able to move on from it. Even if we don’t think we are expressing our feelings, they come out in other ways.

My anger tends to come out, inwards: “You deserve this. You did something wrong. Look at all the mistakes you have made. You are gross and you don’t treat your body well. No wonder nobody likes you. Your skin is disgusting. You shouldn’t even bother getting up today.”

This list could go on and on and on. This horrible, horrible list. “Would you say these things to your friends?” No, I reply. “Why do you feel okay saying them to yourself?” Because I can. I can be so angry at myself and beat myself up and at the end of the day the only person I hurt is me. I don’t hurt anyone else which feels that safest to me.

It isn’t though. It isn’t safe to have these thoughts. These thoughts are harmful to us as a society. Anger is okay; anger displaced is dangerous. I need to find a way to take my anger out, without harm to others or myself. I know what these things are, but then depression comes swooping in making it hard to move.

What I really need is to get back into running. It was the one space I could feel the anger drip away. Not just the anger, the sadness too. I felt safe when I was running. I also need to get back into writing, starting with this post. Blogging is the place where I feel like I can sit with my emotions and not run from them, but face them. I can look my anger in the eye and tell it to give me a hug because that is exactly what it needs. I need to type it again: Anger is okay.

So, to honor my anger, I would like to write a letter based off the latest trending teen rom-com, coming-of-age movie: To all the boys I’ve loved before (but with a twist).

To all the things I’ve loathed before:

I need to express how absolutely pissed off I am. I am pissed off to the point of wanting to throw glass plates at brick walls. The red that I am seeing is allowed. I don’t want to see rose color all the time [unless it is rosé, okurr]. I also don’t want to see red all the time. So, let me just get these specifics off my chest:


one-two punch.






front kick.


Okay, that last one wasn’t actually something I am feeling, but Samuel L. Jackson’s anger is equivalent to mine, so I felt it necessary to include for reference.

As I wrote each one of those, I yelled them (hence the caps lock). And I could go on, but honestly the release I feel right now is good. The red is starting to fade and my head is starting to clear. This too shall pass.

I don’t forgive everything just yet, but I am starting to feel that I can and that is all I can ask.

With rage and peace,

Sarah Lorraine

P.S. I know the things that I have loathed, will likely not see this letter, but I don’t need my anger to be received by anyone or anything to let it go. This is what I am learning.





Discovering My Anger

Happy zombie Jesus day, if you celebrate! Oh, and happy April Fools Day, if you’re a monster and also celebrate that. I can guarantee you there will be no April Fools surprise from me. My blog is centered around honesty, so that would be mean to lie to y’all. Also, I can honestly say I hate having a joke played on me and ya know do unto others yada yada yada.

Speaking of honesty, I have to let you all know… I am not feeling it today. For some reason I am feeling angry. I went whale watching yesterday and it was so magical, but when I got home I just felt mad. I can’t place it. I don’t know why I feel mad. I saw whales for crying out loud. The sun is out today. I have a full french press of coffee. I inhaled the six Reese’s eggs my mom sent me for Easter. I have gotten plenty of sleep and water and  exercise and episodes of Friends. I just don’t know what it could be.

Some people when they are angry, they find it the easiest time to write. I, however, am not some people. I don’t do anger well and frankly, I don’t do it often. Actually, in middle school I joined an anger management group because I felt like I didn’t get angry enough. I was worried there was something wrong with me. I felt sad, like all the time, but never angry. When I feel that other people are getting angry, I usually start to feel ill. My body physically rejects anger.

That’s why when I feel angry I don’t know what to do with it. The only thing that typically helps my anger is a run and I did that yesterday and I still felt like punching my pillow. I know that all emotions are necessary. I know that this anger is coming from some place. I know all of this and yet, I still try to hide from it. It’s like a never ending game of hide and seek. Eventually, it finds me and I run away again. See the strange part is that I embrace all other emotions. Me and sadness are BFF’s. A good cry is one of my favorite past times. Joy is excellent, obvi. I can’t wait to have laugh lines. Fear is one of my main motivators. What else would be pushing me to live all over the country. And disgust is just like part of who I am. “Oh my god, ew”. Ya know? But anger is so foreign to me.

Most days, I enjoy that. There is enough anger from everyone around me. All I have to do is go to my twitter feed to get my daily dose of hatred and I can usually call it a day. Not today though. It’s hanging around forcing me to look at it. I guess this post is the long winded way of me saying that today I am angry and instead of running from it, I am trying to embrace it. I am writing about it and talking about and trying to figure it out. Just how do I plan to do that, you ask. Excellent question. Well, step 1. is done. Write this post. This post, has taken a lot of energy, so I will probably need a reboot after this. Step 2. will include making a list of all the things that make me particularly angry. Step 3. Going through my conversations from the previous week and see if those triggered any of the things from my list. Step 4. Accept the fact that I feel angry by creating an angry playlist on iTunes and, of course, blaring said playlist. Step 5. Don’t let your anger keep you from enjoying the day by inviting friends over for dinner. Step 6. If you wake up angry, give that energy a big hug and appreciate the fact that you get to experience all these different emotions. Finally, if it comes to it I have created an additional step 7. for the most dire of cases. Throw darts at a picture of Nicholas Cage.

I hope you all have a glorious day and if you find yourself feeling angry feel free to adopt my list of steps for working through anger.

**These steps in no way guarantee the desired results. If anger lasts more than 7 days, please consult your physician. Side effects include: Hand cramping, sore throat, and self-discovery**