Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 16th 2014 Contents B4
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, April 16, 2014
I think I ve mastered the "vent"
without being a complainer, but
that came with years of practice.
I m able, also, to exhale without
the debilitating anger of my ear-
Yet, I still have aggravations in
my immediate environment which
arouse the volume of both my
voice and emotion, to treat,
unhealthily---with some situations.
But angry tirades are not the rec-
ommended type of venting.
Fact is "People have an innate
desire to talk and be heard...And
we ve become very skilled at vent-
ing... The (unhealthy) venting does
not change the situation that made
us angry, it won t prevent the sit-
uation from happening again in
the future, it raises our blood pres-
sure, and it brings negativity to
our environment. The rush of
venting and ranting can feel intox-
icating, when it fact it s usually
When I vented last week, my
intention was to show how seem-
ingly minor things are amplified
when one is in a depressive state.
I really wanted to share my
humanness with readers, knowing
each of us experience some meas-
ure of frustration and could there-
fore empathise. I was vexed with
frustration and not vex as in
seething with anger and so deemed
my venting healthy.
Not only did I feel better after,
but the universe responded to my
outpourings and in quick time I
got the yard cut, the anthurium
house covered, and a better atti-
tude towards the garage sale---it
would happen whenever I ve com-
pleted sorting the 50-something
boxes/suitcases of books, clothing,
and Lord knows what else since
I ve not seen them for over four
My first nervous breakdown had
to do in part, with stuffing my
deepest feelings on matters that
were weighty for a teenager. Since
the 1980s, I ve been actively
involved in talk therapy and I may
have learned to talk myself out of
some things. And, on a side, when
I get to talking, I also talk too
much, and I d be the first to tell
you that without embarrassment.
I appreciate that that too is an
inner intrigue of my nervousness.
Chrisselle responded to last
week s article and we got to chat-
ting. She said, "After reading your
segment in today s Guardian,
which so many of us can relate to,
we are all up to our eyeballs in
what makes us sick and tired!
You are allowed to have a bad day
and after writing and getting it off
your chest, I hope today finds you
feeling plenty better.
"I just had a massage on my
back, shoulders and neck area,"
she continued, "my therapist told
me that my muscles were like con-
crete. She thinks the reason for
that with me is that I don t vent!"
So I responded to her saying,
"It s amazing, this venting. Today
was a better day. I returned my
friend s Sally-Ann s call. Then
decided I needed rest so I went
back to bed. Late this evening I
planted more than a dozen
anthuriums and cleaned up my
entire propagating area. I plan to
write about the benefits of venting
next! Thank you, Chrisselle."
Chrisselle expressed her desire
to read the follow-up, saying, "I
am one who likes to hold in every-
thing and deal with it on my own,
but I see how it is hurting my body
by doing this, so now I m trying
to learn how to vent without being
too much of a complainer."
For your benefit, Chrisselle, here
is what www.care2.com says, "Our
feelings are the very thing that
separate us from all other species,
but we re told not to feel them, let
alone experience them. When we
ignore our feelings---particularly
people who are in stressful situ-
ations---eventually our bodies
scream at us.
"Many of us have been taught
to stuff our feelings to ignore them,
to just buck up. When you do
this, you are in trouble. We need
to embrace our negative feelings
and I encourage you to do the
same. They show up for a reason.
They are yelling at you because
you ve ignored them. Honour your
negative feelings just like you hon-
our moments of joy. Sadness,
anger, resentment, frustration, and
even depression are all part and
parcel of life."
During the exchange, Chrisselle,
whom I d only just met on the
Mental Health Matters Facebook
page, said this:
"I like how you put that: mas-
tering the vent . I can imagine that
would take years of practice and
here I am about to start! I ve always
been looked at as the strong person
who handles things so calmly, but
even I didn t realise that I was stor-
ing all of it in my body, hence the
reason that I m now living in pain,
I guess I too wanted to prove
myself as strong, and plus I hate
whining! So I m on a mission
now with compassion for myself!"
And, for everything behaviour
we need to unlearn, that s the key:
personal compassion. So, today I
multiply my compassion for
myself, as should you Chrisselle,
as you begin venting!
There's a positive way to vent
CAROLINE C RAVELLO
Don't pull your hair
out. Find a healthy
way to vent your
anger and make
your life easier.
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