When you wake up angry.

I find it odd when I wake up with an established mood. Shouldn’t I wake up neutral? Some people wake up moody because they’ve been disturbed by their dreams; they’re sad or upset or angry based on the real but not real nocturnal adventures they’ve been through.

I don’t remember my dreams so I expect morning equanimity. A mood that’s neither up nor down, just a holding pattern leftover from the day before, waiting for the day’s input to carry on.  

Mostly, that’s what happens. Sometimes, however, I wake up angry.

I’m angry before my feet touch the floor. I am a burning fuse, a simmering volcano, hot and waiting for any excuse to explode. This morning, the coffee scoop was not where it was supposed to be.

That’s all it takes when I wake up lit. The scoop’s absence from its established resting spot made me see red. All I wanted to do was slam doors until everyone woke up and the problem caused by other people’s inability to conform to my obsessive requirements was addressed. How dare they sleep while I was struggling with so serious an issue?

I took a deep breath through gritted teeth before fishing around in the cupboard. I found the erstwhile scoop, made the coffee, and reset my mood to DEFCON three.

There’s a possibility it wasn’t really about the scoop.

I woke up mad but I’m the one who let things progress and expand. My choice. I’m trying to learn to focus on the things that are in my control but doing that comprehensively is difficult. It doesn’t work at all if part of me still expects other people to conform to my needs. And, part of me does.

Part of me expects the world, or at least my little portion of it, to cater to my anxieties and live by my rules. Do things the way I want, do things the way I do. Then, nothing is discordant, nothing is agitating, and nothing is out of place, setting me off.

It’s a nice fantasy but it can never be anything else. The world is not going to act the way I want it to and there’s absolutely nothing I can do about that.

The people I live with are not carbon copies of me for all that I raised them. They don’t think as I do. They aren’t compulsive in the same ways. They don’t worship at the altar of organization.

This then is a “me” thing.

I say that to myself as I follow around behind them, repeatedly putting the house back to the rights I require. Other people are not in my control. I say it but deep down inside, part of me still expects them to adapt to me and my needs.

In my secret heart, I’m still hoping for wide-scale accommodation.

That’s not a thing that’s going to happen, however.

I don’t have the ability to make other people think or do anything. Not even something small like a coffee scoop. I have (some) control over my own thoughts and actions and that’s it.

Unfortunately, that puts the “what to do” when I wake up in a mood – and I’m still not entirely sure how that happens – squarely back in my camp.

Time to dredge up an old behaviour I abandoned from when my kids were young. If we were having a difficult morning, if breakfast wasn’t going well, if it was arguing and sulks and general discontent, I’d suggest a do-over. Everyone back to bed, take five minutes and start the day again.

And while I’m there, perhaps I’ll think more about letting go of the things that are not in your control. It doesn’t mean have secret expectations. It doesn’t mean trying to fix the world so it suits you and being at ease is easy. It means letting go of the illusion that anything outside of your own thoughts and actions is up to you.

Do you expect people to change for you?

10 thoughts on “When you wake up angry.

  1. No, absolutely not. People don’t change for anyone and rarely change for themselves. It’s like we are hard wired to be who we are. However, there’s still that annoying tiny part of me that wishes that maybe they’ll understand, maybe they’ll care enough to come by or text or anything, maybe they’ll want to stop by, on and on and on. It’s so frustrating knowing the truth but still being hampered with irrational feelings, grrrr.

    As far as waking up angry. Omg, doesn’t that suck?? These days I wake up feeling all kinds of wrong because of fibromyalgia. And yet, there’s enough of a memory to know it wasn’t always that way. Fortunately it’s been so long that I don’t remember waking up feeling good.
    I used to never remember my dreams. When I woke up angry I always assumed I had a trauma dream or something. Now that I remember my dreams I don’t do that anymore. I never realized till I read your post though so thanks! I think that remembering allows me to laugh at it. But when you don’t remember them, ugh.
    I hope it didn’t last too long. 🙁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The older I get, the more I believe in a certain amount of hardwiring. It’d be nice if all our wiring was sympatico, wouldn’t it?

      I got over the mood. Luckily everyone stayed asleep for an hour more. I calm faster if I can just be 😃

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t remember my dreams, either. It’s so bad, that I don’t think I dream much at all.
    What impacts my mood in the morning is:
    -)how I left things the night before when I fell asleep (anything unresolved),
    -)what my plan for the day is (if it’s something annoying, I’m already annoyed)
    -)the weather (yes, if it’s cloudy and shitty outside, I am more agitated).
    Yes, I expect others to change. I think I got it from when I was a child. When I was a child, I was expected to conform to everything my parents requested because it was under their roof or bought with their money. I hated it with a passion, but I think I inherited that trait quite a bit. Yes, things do need to be where they should. I don’t have the time to look all over the place for one thing.
    The realistic me knows that I cannot control others fully. And a part of me accepts it. But like you said, if I’m already primed for rage, it does not take much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the weather definitely has an impact. I live in what we like to call the “wet coast”. Southern BC and it’s mostly grey and miserable from November to February. I love my SAD light.

      I’m glad someone else doesn’t remember dreams. I always feel out of the loop when people talk about this one or that.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Perfect. Goes back to that thing that I so struggle with – you can only control yourself. That irritates me at times; the world would do so much better if everyone would just do as I said 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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