While I was speaking to a new friend who recently suffered a spinal cord injury, I could hear so much anger in her voice. She was devastated, and rightfully so. She was heartbroken, and just simply broken in general. Her body felt so foreign and she had even planned out her suicide, although thankfully, she decided against it.
She had been wronged by the medical community who had performed a surgery against her will, leaving her paralyzed in the process.
While I was listening to her I wanted so badly to talk her down, calm her anger and show her my bright cheery point of view. However my intuition told me to just remain quiet and let her get it all out. In that moment she just needed someone to listen. As she went on, my heart went out to her and I wished I could hug her through the phone, just hold her as she cried.
Her anger was very different than how I handle things, and to be honest, it made me feel a little uncomfortable. She told of her plans for filing lawsuits, and not only going after those who had wronged her, but also becoming a voice for future patients in her same circumstance.
It was then I realized what a gift her anger was. There was no way my chipper, happy sunshine could get the attention of those she was after. No, this requires guts, ferocity and angst. Her anger was both her weapon and her defense. It was the lightning bolt needed to get shit done. This was no place for me to talk her down, this was a time for her to be reminded what a huge gift she has, and how necessary it is for her to not lose it, but learn how to use it!