Sunday, March 4, 2012

Better health through blogging, or why I vent my spleen in writing...

Yesterday was a hell of a day.  I woke up to the lights coming back on after thunderstorms had knocked out the power at our house.  We had electricity, but our phone lines were down, so I couldn't get online until late afternoon.

In the midst of the Internet outage, my husband and I took our dogs to the vet for some routine blood tests and a vaccine.  I had actually been more concerned about our older dog, MacGregor, but it turned out he was fine.  Zane, our younger dog, came up positive for ehrlichiosis and now has to take antibiotics for a month.  At some time this month, we have to bring MacGregor in to get his teeth cleaned and a couple of lipomas removed which will hopefully not end up being cancerous.  This treatment will set us back a several hundred bucks.  Actually, given what we used to pay for similar services in the Washington, DC area, I guess I shouldn't complain.  At least at this point, we can more easily afford them than we could when we lived near DC.

Around mid afternoon, I was feeling really frustrated about the Internet situation because I felt like posting. I decided to use the down time constructively by reading a book.  As I was reading the book, I got drowsy and fell asleep.  My husband and dogs joined me and we were all snoozing when the doorbell rang.  It was the phone guy coming to find out what the problem was.  The dogs went berserk, so I was jarred from my nap.  

Then my husband started making ravioli.  Just as he started stuffing the homemade raviolis, Zane tried to jump into my lap from the wrong side and ended up hitting the back of my chair.  I turned around, scolding him for his clumsiness, when I noticed that he was covered in hives!  Poor Zane had a reaction to the vaccine he had received.  So my husband had to rush him to the emergency vet while I stuffed raviolis.  And then I found a critical comment on my blog.  Yesterday was quite a day.  I probably would be writing about yesterday had someone not decided to leave me a comment.

This morning, my husband and I were talking about the original blog post that prompted the critical comment.  The commenter criticized me for writing a long response to a comment I had gotten on an old Epinions review.  I'm guessing that the person who left me the comment was a man, though I could be wrong.  For the sake of this post, I'm going to assume the person is a guy... who perhaps doesn't quite understand the psychology of a woman. 

I am certainly not perfect.  I have a short temper.  I like to swear.  I am easily offended by certain things.   I have a lot to say and not too many people around to say things to.  Blogging is a place for me to communicate.  Sometimes I share interesting or funny things.  Sometimes I vent or kvetch.  Sometimes I feel like being funny or trying to be profound.  Sometimes I don't.  The point is, this blog is my little corner of the Internet and it's essentially for me.  That's right; even though I address my readers, I don't necessarily write for them.  There are other places on the 'Net where I write for other people, but here, I write for myself.

When I get angry or annoyed or feel the need to vent, I often come to my blog and pour out my thoughts.  This morning, when I was talking to my husband about this, it occurred to me that writing down my thoughts is actually pretty healthy.  Consider the other ways I could work out my frustrations...  I could kick the dog or slap my spouse across the face.  I could key someone's car or break a window.  I could binge on alcohol or food.  Granted, there are other healthy ways I could work out my anger.  I could channel that extra energy into something physical, like exercise.  I choose to go the mental route because frankly I'm much better at it.  It's easier for me to write than it is to go jogging, even though jogging might do me more good.  The point is, though, that writing is something I do for me.  For me, it's constructive, even if what I end up writing is full of piss and vinegar that may not be pleasant for other people to read.

I think a lot of folks dislike it when people express anger or annoyance.  Many people fear the power of negative emotions.  They prefer to focus on the positive and ignore the negative.  Frankly, I don't trust people who are outwardly overly positive because they usually come off as fake.  That doesn't mean I enjoy being around complainers, but when someone is overwhelmingly chipper and happy, I wonder how they really feel or if they're being honest with me.  I also tend to get bored with them.

Anger is not an invalid emotion.  It's very healthy to express anger, as long as you do it in at an appropriate time, place, and manner.  Ranting and raving on a blog is, in my mind, much more appropriate than running someone off the road or slashing their tires.  

In any case, I think the commenter who took issue with my ranting and raving actually kind of missed the point of that blog post.  That post wasn't really so much about me being mad at a random drive-by poster on Epinions.  It was more about the process I went through to alleviate my anger.  In that case, I was angry about the poster's inaccurate and overly personal comments.  Maybe some people might think my anger was inappropriate; nevertheless, I felt anger and decided to express it in writing on my blog.  After writing, I felt better.  No one died or had to pay for a new paint job, a new window, or new tires.  In my book, that's success.    

At least I don't vent like this guy does...

Or apologize for it like he does...

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