Wednesday, February 24, 2010

DD#37: Venting

Oh my! Once again, I've let a day pass without blogging! What's up with that? How can I become so distracted that I simply forget something that's important to me? Well, OK, yesterday I was distracted by my anger.

When I'm angry I need to vent - to feel that I can say whatever awful thought I have and remove it from my brain so I can deal with it. It's very important to me - having a witness helps me make it real and sets it free from being trapped in my head where it constantly circles around and around and eats away at my peace of mind. It most certainly destabilizes my balance, and I feel pulled toward old acting out behaviors. I think and act in extremes when I'm angry - I become superlative -  no moderation in sight - "always" and "never" are the operative words in my vocabulary. I often say that I feel like I want to hit someone then take a nap, because it also exhausts me.

Now, while I've never hit anyone, I have fine tuned the creative art of venting. It's usually as simple as calling a friend and asking her for 5 minutes to hear my tirade - free of judgment - to just agree with me even if she doesn't. When I stop to take a breath, steam vented, anger subdued, I can see the humor in what made me angry and laugh about my perspective. It has produced a kind of catharsis that is concrete. My venting has given me insight and I can now address whatever it was that I felt angry about and my need to feel angry about it.

Co-operative venting is particularly satisfying. When I call a friend to vent who says she also needs to vent, we become partners in recovery. We can see each other's silliness and laugh. The real value of venting is not in the harsh words I need to convey loudly in colorful language - the benefit of venting is the laughter. As I hear myself I begin laughing and it is healing. We can laugh at ourselves and at each other. What a gift. Anger to laughter in 5 minutes. Why haven't they written volumes on this? (Maybe they have and I just haven't looked for them?) In life (my ongoing learning) I am presented with the gift of hearing and seeing myself - and oh, what a vision that is when I'm banging on my high chair tray because, once again, I didn't get my way...

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