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What does it feel like to be enraged?

I’m certain we’ve all felt it from time to time, but it’s so hard to explain and nearly impossible to write about without resorting to cliche’.  Earlier today I got a little annoyed at various things.  This grew to stressed and downright cranky due to some really annoying traffic.  So, since I was already there and hadn’t really been there for a while I decided to push myself into a good solid rage.  Sure, probably not the most healthy idea, but hey, it seemed like a good idea at the time.  So here’s what it felt like:

The first thing I really noticed was my breathing quickening.

Then my hands started to shake, my limbs vibrating with increased speed as my anger rose.

I started out the exercise with random mental scenarios to get me angry, but I noticed almost immediately that the more angry I got the more difficult it was to choose what I thought about.  My mind just started willing heading down any path that would increase the anger.

I don’t know what it’s like for others, but for me I’ve never lost the ability for rational thought, even when I’m screaming mad.  I get increasingly angry and my brain runs through all sorts of scenarios to keep me that way or even get me more mad, but I’m still capable of things like driving, writing, and even (Yes, I tried), advanced mathematics.

When my rage was hitting it’s peak I did notice a distinct tunnel vision effect.  I don’t know if I’d lost peripheral vision exactly, but I certainly wasn’t paying any attention to it.  I could feel my  heart beating in my chest.  The muscles in my arms and legs were tense, not clenched like a fist, but more coiled.  Ready for action.  I could remember every insult pointed my way for the last several years and I found myself almost praying for one of the people who deal the insults to show up, just so I could give vent to my rage.

Afterward, it took me an hour or more to calm down.  Meditation is my friend.

All in all, a good experience.  I think it will help me include more realism in my writing.