OCD and the Need to Vent

by Matt B. on March 23, 2015

N asks: Does it help to vent? To get mad at the universe?

For me, it doesn’t. The universe is too big, too diffuse – there’s nowhere to actually place the blame. And as soon as I pick a more specific target – the weather, my job, the asshole next to me in traffic – I know I’ve picked the wrong one.

Maybe it’d be nice if there were a way to externalize – to let off steam by punching a speed bag hard enough. But the thing I’m trying to offload isn’t that separable; it isn’t a fleeting frustration, a black cloud, or a bad day. It’s a part of me, whatever that is. It’s threaded and laced into my patterns of thought and feeling.

Which isn’t as bad as it sounds, actually. Because if that’s what it is – if it’s just a quirk of my brain, an errant wire in the grid – then there’s nothing that needs to be done about it. Like shrapnel in a veteran’s leg, it aches during low-pressure systems, foretells rain, demands rest. So, okay.

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