Is Anger Making Us Sick?

It’s surprising to me that since I’ve crawled out of the deep hole I was in for a couple of months how just plain normal I feel. Or maybe the word is typical now. Two things have changed for me.

Fiona says don’t be an ass.

One is that I’m not subliminally worrying about getting COVID every time I leave the house. People who don’t care about making others sick are way less likely to make me as sick as some people very close to me have been. Whew.

Plus, it’s spring. That’s cheerful.

The other thing is more subtle, and I didn’t realize it until yesterday. For some reason I am a member of a couple of Facebook groups filled with people who live in the alternative America. I visit to learn about how they are perceiving things. Yesterday, one guy posted something about how bad it is to get vaccinated, because who can trust a vaccine that you need to get again in a year?

I tried an experiment. I replied that many vaccines are this way, such as the annual flu shot, which changes to go for the currently prevalent influenza virus. And you need boosters for things like tetanus. I said it just like this.

Harvey has trouble with his temper, too.

I wanted to see if I’d get a response saying why that’s a problem, or some kind of evidence to counter what I said. But no, the reply was, “Keep drinking the Kool-Aid, sheeple.” Sigh. Nothing but silly name calling. As you may guess, that didn’t change my mind.

Oh, rural name caller, go smell a bluebonnet.

I didn’t get upset at all. I just sighed and went on with my day. Later that day, I read an article posted by one of my former coworkers who also lives in the alternative America, but is quite intelligent in so many ways. The article is on Medium, so if you have a subscription, go read this (I can’t paste the link):

I read it. Made sense. Your Addiction to Outrage is Ruining Your Life.
Now I’ve got an ulcer!

The point was that people have been so angry at the other side for so long that it is likely to cause permanent damage. Just think about the ulcers, high blood pressure, heart problems, and mental health issues all this anger and derision could have already led to!

Letting go of the hostility seems to have taken hold in more and more of us. Commenters on my former coworker’s post warmed my heart. People said they were just tired of picking on each other. I think maybe we’re remembering when we were friends with different opinions, not mortal enemies.

Let’s bee happy. Wait, that’s a hoverfly!

Sure, it’s not everyone who’s coming to their senses and remembering we’re a larger community. The people on those Facebook groups are still angry and causing damage from their hatred (but I do notice it’s the same couple of people repeatedly poking and prodding with divisive content). I truly hope this extended period of animosity hasn’t made people sick or unable to cope with reality. But at least some of us are coming out of it.

That feels good and is the other reason I’m feeling less stress and more hope. Am I just imagining this?

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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