Waking Up Angry

Mary Welch Official
5 min readMar 5, 2024
The following is a transcript of my podcast: Love Notes From a Soul Coach. You can listen and learn more at: marywelch.com or wherever you tune into you your favorite shows!

I wake up angry.

It’s a phantom feeling, detached from any specific narrative or event. Maybe I was rage dreaming. I used to do that a lot in the early days of the divorce.

The dogs crowd around the baby gate in the hall, in the pre-dawn light, which is navy blue and water like. We’re not legally awake yet. We bang into each other, like mosh-pit punks.

“Hey,” I snap, in a crisp, sharp tone I know very well. My father’s tone. The one we tiptoed around carefully as kids. The one I swore I’d never use with my own.

Anger, heat, agitation, disconnection.

I feel these strands gathering in me, tying into something bigger and more substantial. An arrow looking for a target. These are difficult feelings. Easier, for me, than sadness. But still, difficult.

Here’s what I’ve noticed: when we try to disown our anger it gets angrier. Anger wants our attention, not our abandonment.

We get caught in the trap of not wanting to make something painful or negative bigger by focusing on it. But there is an ultra delicate difference between shining our attention on something, for the sake of understanding and acknowledging it, vs focusing on it and unintentionally reinforcing it.

It’s our intention that makes the difference.

Whatever we avoid in our emotional lives just retreats and comes back harder. Stronger. More relentlessly.

So I pause.

On the front lawn, tangled in dog leashes, in my long down coat and my slippers, I pause.

I breathe in the chilly air. Feel the hard ground under my feet. Listen to the first birds, the squeaky brakes of a school bus making the rounds at the bottom of our street.

I pause and acknowledge the anger. The physical tightness it’s manifested in my neck and shoulders. I acknowledge the part of me that resists acknowledging it. And the part of me rejoicing. Because this is the outcome of the work. The conscious realization of a feeling — even when it’s a painful feeling. This is radically different than being lost in it. Dragged like a dolphin in a net for days or months. Pathologizing it. Reinforcing it into an identity. This is me. I’m just an angry person. No. I’m just a person…

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Mary Welch Official

Check out my book: Love Notes From a Soul Coach + learn more abt my work: marywelch.com