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  • "I am a happy person."
    I sway back and forth drunkenly as I repeat this mantra under my breath. My throat still aches from screaming. Tears of rage and frustration fill my eyes. My knuckles are bloody and my hands won't stop shaking.
    "I am a happy person, I am a happy person, I am a happy person..."

    It was a bad night. I truly lost my temper for the first time in months. Most of my friends would tell you that I'm a happy, carefree person; even my closest friends have only seen me get legitimately angry a handful of times. The problem is that when I do really get angry, I lose control.

    It started out just like any other night of drinking in residence. I was completely hammered and having a great time when my friend Erika came up to me and asked me to help with her roommate "Footloose," who had gotten too drunk and was falling everywhere. I agreed and despite my own drunken stumbling, I eventually helped Erika carry the small blonde girl back to her bedroom. Once she was safely in bed, I decided Erika and her roommates could take over and turned to the door to continue my night. Suddenly some guy I didn't recognize barged into the room belligerently screaming and pushed past me to get to the bed (I later found out he was one of Footloose's good friends, an RA from another floor, and had come to check on her after hearing she was in trouble). Me being the only other guy in the room, he started accusing me of trying to drug and rape her. I told him I was friends with her roommates, just trying to help and was about to leave. Erika and her two other roommates were trying to keep his attention on helping Footloose. He continued to curse me out before finally yelling "then get the fuck out!" and threatening to have me kicked out of residence.

    That was when I snapped. I've always had a problem with authority, and there was no way in hell this drunk idiot was going to intimidate me with empty threats. So I started yelling back. I mean really yelling. I don't even know why I was so angry, I've brushed off much more offensive comments plenty of times in the past. Before I knew it, my friends had to get between us and started trying to push me out towards the door. When I saw the scared looks on their faces, I knew I was out of control.

    I stormed outside into the hallway, still fuming. Erika chased after me to try to make sure I didn't do anything stupid. I went straight for the stairs, wanting to get away from that floor completely. The stairwell was empty and echoed like crazy when I slammed open the door. Erika was right behind me, now desperately trying to calm me down. But I couldn't hold it any more. I was about to explode. I ran up a flight of stairs and punched the wall in frustration. A tremendous BOOM resonated through the stairwell as my fist broke through the drywall. Then another. And another. I started blindly punching and kicking the wall in with all my might.

    The next memory I have of the night is sitting on my friend's bed, still drunk and furious, trying to calm myself down by repeating, "I am a happy person."

    Erika told me the next morning that being in that stairwell with me was one of the scariest experiences of her life. She didn't blame me for it and I apologized immediately but I was still disgusted with myself. I hated that I still let my anger affect me so much. I hated that I ended up hurting the people who cared about me.

    I later went to check out the damage I had caused to the wall, and took this picture to remind me why I should never let my anger take over. After all, "I am a happy person."
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