I was angry when people who had never lived with severe pain 24X7 that never left your side, told me to 'find something to be positive' about. That said while they crammed food into their mouths in front of me that I could no longer eat. I swear I reached a point with my IC that I was allergic to my own skin, sweat and tears! The smell of cigarette smoke alone would cause bladder pain-yes, this made me angry too! And the word angry could never completely define the dark whirling passionate infuriating feelings I had that I could no longer be intimate with someone who I loved more than life itself.
I feel that by further repressing our angry emotions that might have been in place prior to getting IC, that if we are told or believe that we must put on a happy face no matter what, that we are doing a great disservice to ourselves and to our bodies. I am not saying to live in anger 24X7 but I am saying to acknowledge that anger is a normal and healthy part of the process and emotions that accompany a life-altering change such as one day waking up with a debilitating illness. I am a huge proponent of finding the means of allowing the anger out. Some suggestions might include: journaling, driving to a remote location and screaming out what you are angry about (I am not joking, this has helped me before), find a licensed counselor, pastor or psychologist to work with and acknowledge all feelings you deal with while having IC, including anger. Letting people know simply "I am not in a 'happy' phase right now. I cannot repress my feelings so if that bothers you please come back in (and then give them a time frame to return).'
The idea of being honest with yourself and others about experiencing an intense emotion such as anger is not going to be easy for yourself or for people around you initially. But I have a feeling that eventually you will appreciate each emotion instead of pushing them down and forcing yourself to pretend to be in a constant state of happiness. Oh and one more thing: I would highly suggest reading at least the first couple of chapters of Barbara Ehrenreich's book "Brightsided" as I had a lot of 'ah ha' moments about how society has taught us that one is 'supposed' to act while they have either a terminal or chronic pain disease.
(P.S. Today I am quite happy as the lilacs are blooming outside and I'm writing this blog post with a spring breeze running through the office and my shoes are off. I am a little upset that I am all out of black tea, though. Upset, but not angry.)