When I had a bout of major depression about 10 years ago, the therapist explained to me a line that I heard on an episode of M*A*S*H, but didn’t give much thought to. Depression is anger turned inward. And I was really good at holding all of my anger, stress, and frustration inside. The key to my recovery (if I didn’t want to go on medication and I didn’t), was to vent my anger, stress, and frustration in a safe, constructive way.
It was long after this, my mother gave me a journal for the now defunct Aunt Kiki Day. That journal became my outlet and it kept my anger, frustration, and stress from building up inside and poisoning me. It was a life saver really and it’s still my go-to way of relieving that kind of tension.
But there are times when I want to vent to an actual person. Like screaming into the void, sometimes I’d rather hear the words of my frustrations rather than just see them written down. Sometimes I’d rather let people know where I’m at and what my deal is.
Sometimes I would like a little support, even if it’s just someone listening.
The problem with this is that I don’t always have someone to vent to. The people in my life don’t always have time for such bullshit. They don’t care, don’t want to listen, and I don’t blame them. They have productive lives of their own. Why take time out to listen to me?
Not to mention that it’s such an established trope that I’m self-sustaining and I don’t NEED any support (that’s a post for a different day) that they don’t really think about me needing that sort of outlet. I’m the one THEY got to when THEY need to vent.
I used to vent on the Internet. Shouting into the void. The problem with that is now with social networking it’s getting harder and harder to vent without the people I’m venting about reading it and then getting offended.
Why not talk to them directly? In a perfect world, that sort of open communication would be nice. However, the reality is that people get offended by that sort of thing. I know from experience. I get pissed at people and the shit they do. I get annoyed with people and the shit they do. I’ve talked to people about the shit they do. And the reality is…nothing changes. In the end, it’s my fault for getting pissed or getting annoyed, they don’t change a damn thing, and the whole argument isn’t productive.
Venting is what I do because I can’t change them. And sometimes (getting more frequent), I can’t vent the way I want to so I can avoid opening a whole can of worms.
Which just adds to my frustration.
It’s a vicious cycle, one that I’m having a tough time escaping, partially because it’s one that’s partially of my own creation. And making the changes I need to make on my end doesn’t completely stop it.
It’s a bitch for sure.
It’s time for me to be a bigger one if things are going to change.