Overcoming My Anger

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Zoom back about four years to fourth grade: I was sitting in the office crying, waiting for my parents. I had gone insane. Again. I didn't even remember what happened. I never did. All I knew was I completely flipped out, like I had several times that year. This led other kids to think I was insane. I always sensed everyone was slightly afraid of me, and I hated it. I wanted to control my anger, but I just couldn't. Calming strategies never helped. Neither did taking a break nor countless hours with therapists and such. It seemed impossible, like I would always be like this. I had almost accepted this as fact and was completely closed to any help. I sometimes came close to going insane on people who tried to help. I wanted to give up on myself.

But I am not one to give up, and that is largely because of this. I found activities that helped me be my best self, and they quickly became hobbies. My fourth grade teacher found running helped me be my best self, and now I have run several races. I also discovered I felt calm after reading. I now have three bookshelves in my room, and even those aren't enough. Then I realized puzzles and brainteasers calmed me down. Along with my books, I now have a stack of puzzles and mazes, and there's always a puzzle cube next to my bed.

These hobbies helped more than any calming strategies anyone came up with. Gradually, outbursts became less and less common. I began to feel better than I ever had. It felt great to get rid of my reputation for being insane. I had way more friends than before, because people weren't afraid of me, and I generally felt much happier and more at peace with myself. Although outbursts still occasionally happened, I usually was able to stop them before they started.

And here I am now. My anger issues are now in the past, and I think most people have almost forgotten I used to have behavioral issues in the first place. When I look back on when I was younger, and think about the times I had huge reactions, I want to go back in time and tell myself it's going to be okay. Because it really is.

With a Perspective, I'm Zander Ashworth.


Zander Ashworth is completing eighth grade at Kent Middle School in Kentfield.