Addiction and Cerebral Palsy: The Rage Day

If I was going to point out one day in which my life changed forever, it would be this day. But, I can’t give you the exact day or date. I can tell you it was in the middle of May in the year 2020. We were getting a new washing machine delivered to the townhome. Right in the middle of the pandemic, when fear was in a heightened state. Strangers were going to come into the home for the delivery. I have thought over the morning a million times, trying to understand what went wrong. The only thing I could come up with was a variety of factors contributed to the incident. However, none of them are an excuse for what happened. As time has passed since that sun shining spring morning, the details have blurred a little. My roommate was in the house at the time they arrived. I went down the stairs to open the garage of the townhome. There seemed to be immediate judgment in the air. I felt looked down upon and looked through, trying to communicate the structure of the home. The lower level only housed the garage and they would want to move their truck back up on the street. Giving them the better place for moving in the appliance. He barged passed me, wanting to take a look for himself. Signally that he couldn’t fully understand my speech pattern. I began losing control.  

The next thing I knew, the delivery team was inside the home. Moving passed me and up the stairs from the garage level. Seeing the layout of the house, with the front door on the middle level. They could conceptualize the reason for bringing the washing machine in from the street level, above. With my temper reaching the point of boiling over. My roommate came down to the main level. He was wondering about all the commotion happening in the house. I guess things might not have been sounding so positive. As the delivery team went back downstairs to move their truck up to the street level. My anger was turning into rage and started to direct itself at my roommate. He sat at the table in the nook area without much reaction. Listening to me scream about how I had just been mistreated by the delivery guys. About how they shouldn’t be allowed inside the house to bring in the appliance. I was livid, but he didn’t give into my angry yelling. Something we could all learn from and the very action we are taught to take in the situation. Though it was the most positive step taken in the moment, I was going deeper into a rage episode. I yelled that he could handle the asshole delivery people. They would respect him more, because he was not handicapped. I stormed down the stairs and drove my car out of the garage. Placing myself behind the wheel was a mistake. 

The drive appeared to start off calmly, though anger was fuming from my body. I pulled out of the garage and up the hill. Exiting the complex of townhomes without uncontrollably accelerating or reeving the engine. I was heading to my mom’s home in hopes of finding relief to my emotions inside. It wasn’t the first time, experiencing this much upset in my body. There had been a history of raging anger that went back years. But, I had been working with a psychologist, and showing improvement. The drive over to my mom’s home, where I had grown from elementary age, was about fifteen minutes. The first couple minutes taking me through the town of Duvall. Then, two-lane country road, until making the right turn into my childhood neighborhood. There isn’t a lawful place to pass anywhere along the way to my mom’s home. Which, didn’t carry any weight with me, while engulfed inside my episode of rage. I thought by getting out of the situation and on a drive, my anger might subside. I believed going to a place of comfort, the rage would somehow ease. But, as I drove along the two-lane road lined with trees on either side, the plan wasn’t working. The emotions of pain and self-pity were taking the strongest of holds. Leading me to a place of hardly caring about my life itself. So, angry, I wanted someone else to feel scared for their life, too. There is a bend in the road about halfway between the two homes. The bend opens into a short stretch of straight road, climbing the slightest of hills. I was behind one car and could see another just cresting the hill, heading down on the opposite side. My anger and shame were at one of the all-time high points. I hit the gas pedal, hard. 

The engine reeved and I shot out into the opposite lane. Passing the car in front of me that was moving to slow. I was playing chicken with the oncoming pickup, as my X5 sharply increased in speed. Anger, resentment, shame, and thoughts of self-harm taking over my body. Not only was I placing my life in danger. I was placing the lives of others in danger as well. I sped toward the pick-up, gripping the wheel with both hands. Strangling it with the fiery I felt for myself. My speed increased and the pickup didn’t show any sign of giving ground. I got passed the car, now to might right, and swerved sharply back into my lane. The pickup veered outside the white line to his right. As we passed, his window was down, yelling at me, and giving me the finger. Who could blame him. I sped closer to my childhood home without feeling remorse. Around the next corner I dialed my mom, still without the ability to process reality. The conversation didn’t last long. Ending abruptly, me screaming names, a mother should never have to hear. Slamming my hand down on a button in the center consul, hanging up on my mom. That was the last thing I remember from the following couple hours. My car made it safely along the next couple miles of road and into the driveway of my childhood home. While, safely there, the rage began to subside into a safer headspace. The next sequence of events in my memory had me back at the townhome in Duvall. This time, engaged in the conversation that would change my life forever. 

After years of struggle, my mind was ready to listen. The message coming from my roommate was simple and complex. The things happening to me, the anger and rage, they weren’t my fault. That wasn’t to say that the actions weren’t my responsibility, because they were. The important aspect was, these actions weren’t who I was as a person. They were not things I would be choosing to do as a person. My mind was going to a place in which my emotional control was becoming lost. Something was happening in my life, causing me to slowly become more angry and frustrated. Leading to the moments of rage that often placed my life in danger. On that day, it had placed innocent lives in danger. Whatever was going on inside, leading to these raging episodes of destruction, wasn’t my fault. The comment he made, kept playing over and over in my mind. In those moments, during that conversation, something released inside of my body. God was in that room, I was in that room, and my roommate was saving my life. When the conversation had ended. I had a pretty good idea of where my journey needed to begin. My habit had been to indulge myself in sexual fantasy and self-gratification behavior each night. I felt like if that could be reduced, maybe I could truly begin a path toward recovery. The plan went into action immediately. When I began sleeping with my bedroom door open, instead of shut. 

The first streak of limiting my nights of self-gratification went nine days. Then, I went on another streak of nine days. The days of holding back from the negative habit, were letting me know change was achievable. I found a picture from a time of happiness and used it as wallpaper on my phone. Reminding me that finding happiness could be accomplished with effort. My life was slowly turning a significant corner. However, I couldn’t totally remove pornography from my life, at that moment. However, I promised myself I would take a step in the direction of eradicating it. From that day, I would only view the pornography available to watch on YouTube. It would hopefully pull me away from the more intensive sites. Both of the promises to myself worked, from that day forward. The following year was void of the outright Rage I had experienced throughout my life. The negative habit of self-gratifying on a nightly basis was gone. As I began tracking the habit by using a calendar. Helping me focus on the frequency and to think about the causes, if an uptick occurred. The plan of limiting myself to YouTube also worked. It too, brought down the frequency of viewing things contributing to turmoil in my life. The Rage day was one of the worst in my life. Happening somewhere in the middle of May, 2020. But, I’m thankful the day took place. Without it and the life changing conversation that followed my episode. I would not be on the healing journey I walk today. 

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