6 Reasons Why Swearing Is My Preferred Method Of Therapy

by Emily Erson
Andry5 / iStock

Modern-day moms need an escape. For some of you, it’s wine or herbal tea that keeps you from accidentally scrubbing the toilet with your toothbrush. For others, it’s gardening, crafting, or posting on Pinterest that gives you a break from the chaos.

No matter what it is, we all deserve something that can give us an escape from the two million toddler questions that are thrown at us by noon. I’ve often wondered if there is some type of wine-infused coffee that could help me cope with the day.

Since there’s no such thing, I’ve had to choose my own therapeutic methods. My coping mechanism? Dropping F-bombs through this war zone I call raising three kids.

My mom always says, “Emily, when you swear, you sound uneducated.”

You know what I say? “Fuck that!” Of all people, she should know I am not uneducated. Hell, I am an English teacher with a master’s degree — she paid for both of my degrees. If anyone knows how fucking educated I am, it’s her.

And the education that she paid for taught me how to use vulgarities in context. How about all those bills now, Mom?

To me, “damn you” or “asshat” used in context is poetic. It’s me finding the perfect word to express my emotions. And I think it feels amazing.

There’s not much that gives me the calming feeling that swearing does. The tension in my body literally disappears when I tell an idiot who is judging me when my kids act up in Target to “fuck off, asshat.” That feeling is better than any calming effects that herbal tea has to offer. So why is swearing my preferred method of therapy?

1. It spares the humiliation that can come with alcohol.

For me, booze is not an option. Perhaps it’s because alcoholism is deeply embedded in my blood, and I see a 12-step meeting looming in my future if I enjoy too much wine. Even the smell of the finest craft beer conjures up images of the 30-day detox I know would be at the other end of the bottle.

The killer hangover and midnight vomiting sessions make drinking a turnoff as well. My kids don’t leave me alone to pee; they sure as shit aren’t going to leave me alone to recover from a wine hangover. Those of you who can sip on adult beverages all day without the side effects are lucky. Not all of us can hang with the drinking scene. We end up the subject of poorly written limericks.

Here’s to the mom with a full wine glass,

Who drinks her merlot all day with class,

Happy and giddy she grows,

As the wine smoothly flows,

Till she spends the day falling on her ass.

That would be me. So, my drink of choice — a great big glass of fuck you.

2. It helps me get a grip.

There are days when my kids send my nerves into a complete whirlwind. All I can do to settle myself down is walk away and scream. When I add a few fucks and shits and damns in there, I can feel the storm in me subside.

If I used wine to do this, I would be drunk by 8:30 a.m. If I started gardening, I’d likely get caught up in making the garden perfect and end up ignoring my kids. Then there would be children playing with sharp tools. That would lead to injuries, and my swearing would be fear-induced rather than a coping tool. So I skip straight to the swearing to avoid all the unnecessary drama. And it feels good.

3. It’s engaging.

There’s nothing to hide. My kids know when I am behind the wheel of my minivan, any dumb-ass who fails to signal or doesn’t yield is going to hear a few choice words. They’ve even begun to find idiots for me to swear at. It’s become a game. “Look Mom, that guy didn’t signal when he changed lanes.”

Who needs old-fashioned car games or modern technology in a car when you can play, “How can we make Mom’s word choice rage?”

It’s a great feeling when you couldn’t give two fucks about what you say, when you say it, and who you say it in front of.

4. It gets your fucking point across.

Enough said. Do you really have the fortitude to argue with someone who you know is going to throw “fuck”s at you left and right? For most, the answer is no.

5. It’s actually a sign of intelligence.

If you are like my mom, stereotypical visions of ‘hillbillies’ are what you see when vulgarities creep up. But that’s not true at all. In fact, studies show that when you are emotionally aroused, and you can still pick the right swear word, your ability to articulate is connected to your emotional expression. Translation: You are a fucking genius.

6. It reduces pain.

How many fucking Legos have you stepped on in the middle of the night? How many times have your kids left their shoes in front of the door for you to trip over? I bet a loud “Dammit!” made the pain a lot more bearable.

It’s really not a contest. If wine does it for you, I say bottoms up. If it’s crafting, that’s great. If you love spending time growing and arranging flowers or harvesting organic foods, rock on.

For me, it has been and always will be my Give a Shit gauge (GAS). How many shits I give is how much of a reaction I get. If my GAS gauge is full, I am going to give lots of fucks. If it’s empty, I don’t have enough fucks to give.