“But You are Still Angry”

posted in: Stage 2, Stage 2: Step 3

The DOC project is not a formula. You are not going to read my book and experience healing. My book is a framework that will organize your thinking. You can then systematically address all the variables that are affecting your pain. Unless you are actively learning and using the tools relevant to your situation, you have wasted your time picking up this book.

Anger changes your body chemistry

Anger is the “Continental Divide” of chronic pain. Anger pathways are tightly connected to pain pathways and as long as the anger switch is on the pain switches will also be on. That does not even take into account the fact that your body chemistry is out of balance when you are agitated. Levels of cortisol and adrenaline are elevated that has a direct effect on every organ system in your body. That is one reason that there over 30 physical symptoms of the Neurophysiologic Disorder (NPD). It is similar to driving your car down the freeway in third gear or trying to sprint a marathon. It is not sustainable without physical consequences. Until you can truly let go of your legitimate anger you cannot heal. I have yet to see that happen. Conversely, it is predictable that you will heal if you do move on. However the following are examples of how anger also blocks rational thinking and engagement. Anger is part of the disease process that also blocks effective treatment.




“I have already tried all of these things”

A common defense I hear is,I have already tried everything you are recommending and I am no better.” I explain to them that there are three parts to the process:

  • You must learn everything you can about chronic pain
  • Every variable that pertains to your situation must be addressed – simultaneously.
  • You have to take charge of your own care and situation – this is a catch-22 in that to take on that responsibility, you have to let go of your anger, which is also the solution.

“But you’re still angry”

This point has been illustrated to me a couple of times in the recent past. I was talking to a successful businesswoman who had been experiencing severe neck and low back pain for over five years. She really had tried everything and kept interrupting me. She was essentially reminding me that I had nothing to offer her.  Finally I stopped and looked at her and said, “But you are still angry, aren’t you.” It was more than obvious and she replied, “Yes”. There was nowhere else to go with the visit and she left angry.

“I don’t know why I am here”

About 18 months ago I was caring for a woman who initially seemed to be quite engaged in the DOC project and I thought she might do well. I lost track of her and she recently returned.  “I have read your book and the nine others you have recommended.” She was spitting the words at me while rolling her eyes at her friend. “I don’t know why I am here. My pain doctor made me come.” Her whole body was shaking. There was nothing I could say, as I had become another medical provider she could blame for not solving her problem.

The book is not the problem

It does not matter how you can find forgiveness and peace. My book is just one possibility. I am grateful that my story has been helpful to so many people in pain. It may not be the book you connect to but don’t blame the book. There is an answer out there for everyone and you do have a choice. The question is, “How serious are you about searching it out?”

Neuroscientists have a saying, “Neurons that fire together wire together.” As long as you remain angry you will be in pain.