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Me - 17 Irrational, Emotional Flip-Out = What I'm Feeling About What Actually Happened
An irrational, emotional flip-out can be calling up the cable company and screaming at the customer service about the slow Internet connection. Or yelling at my husband about the ski rack he hasn't put on the car even though it's still summer. Or yelling at the kids about throwing water out of the bathtub. Or fixating on my neighbor who lives off a trust fund and never has to work and gets to stay home with her kids. Or throwing away half my closet because everything is lumpy and horrible on me. Or eating stale peanut brittle circa two Christmases past. Or—gulp— all of the above.

When these are removed, I no longer am able to work off a small portion of whatever is inside me (while alienating friends and family). Thus, I end up feeling very, very mad about the friend dying or very, very sad about the amazing promotion that didn’t work out. Neither of which are emotions I exactly want to have, but do let me examine what happened and how I might survive it. The upside is that this is the one equation in the world where, even if the answer is embarrassing or upsetting or not what anybody wants to hear at the time, it is always 100 percent right.

Leigh Newman is the deputy editor of Oprah.com and the author of Still Points North: One Alaskan Childhood, One Grown-up World, One Long Journey Home.

Next: 8 can't-quit quotes from swimmer Diana Nyad


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