You know, you’d think as someone who takes 25 pills a day, I would have a pill for everything. And when it comes to aches and pains, muscle spasms, migraines, restless legs, or insomnia..it’s true. I’ve got a pill for most things. I carry around my pharmacy in a medium-sized black bag with birds on it. It’s like my second purse, but probably more important. But in the depths of that entire bag, among all the bottles of pills of every color and every shape, there is no pill for crying. Sometime’s life is really hard, and you just have to feel it. In two words; it sucks. It’s tiring and seemingly unrelenting and comes and goes in waves but just like everything else, it won’t last. It isn’t forever. And sometimes that’s the only thing to get you past the moment.
Sorry about being all depressing, but I’m going through some hardships right now and I told myself I’d write good, bad or ugly, so here’s sticking to goals. I won’t get into all the details but I am going through a breakup, thus the random waves of crying that come on like sudden nausea. It’s awful! It’s also funny, because truthfully, I was never much of a crier. If I felt the urge to cry I held it back, and I especially didn’t like to do it in front of people. I didn’t cry at my dads funeral. Maybe it’s because I was 12 or maybe it’s because seriously, his funeral was somehow a joyous occasion and I don’t really know how to explain that except that we sang happy music and felt proud that his life filled up an entire church. It wasn’t until my step-dad died, unexpectedly in the middle of college, that I turned into a crier. There was no holding it back anymore. It was tragic and it happened fast and left the family a little lost, especially my mom. It’s funny because my mom was never much of a crier either, but after Roger died, the same thing happened to her too. Sometimes we’d sit in the office, trying to tackle another post-death obstacle like canceling Roger’s phone (which somehow took FOUR MONTHS) and we’d sit there just sniffling and wiping tears away. Truthfully, there wasn’t always something wise to say. A quote about God’s plan or everything happening for a reason really falls short when you’re in the very raw place of grief. Sometimes all there is to do is cry or be a shoulder to cry on and remember that it won’t last. But what I’m trying to get at is this; it’s OK to cry.
I don’t know how our society or culture became this way, but it feels like somehow we view crying as a weakness. And when someone begins to cry our first impulse is to try to get them to stop. “Don’t cry,” we’ll say. Or “It’s OK” or some other vague comment that is usually untrue. The problem is crying makes other people uncomfortable–we’re a people of solutions, and crying means that someone is in pain or hurting some way, and we want them to stop. That’s the nice thing about dogs, they let you cry and cry and they don’t judge you for it. The thing is though, crying is not only natural, it’s good for you. It’s acknowledgment and acceptance that yes, this moment or time is rough. It’s challenging or painful. And the truth is, you just have to feel it. You have to exist in the grit of it. It hurts. But it also means you’re awake. I thought after 2011 that I would literally run out of tears. There was one day that I cried on and off most of the day and finally by 9 I thought wow, I think I’m all cried out! Then a commercial about abandoned dogs in New Orleans came on and I burst into tears. Nope, wasn’t all out after all!
My point is, that instead of telling someone to stop crying or to be strong or to move on, we should try the opposite. We should encourage them to cry. Tell them to go ahead and sob it out. Hold their hand or offer your shoulder or pass the whole stupid box of kleenex if that’s what it’s going to take. But don’t try to stop the process. Sometimes life is sad, and it’s OK to acknowledge that and it’s OK to cry about it. Babies do it. Women do it. Men do it. Even elephants do it. Just like laughter is an expression of something funny or entertaining, crying is an expression of sadness or loss, it is honest, and to repress it is only going to make it hurt more later. Simply put–let it out. Shakespeare said “To weep is to make less the depth of grief.” That being said…Waahhhhhhhh.
Kidding. I’m not crying right now. I’m watching the Golden Girls with Monty and accepting that this is a tough time but I’m going to survive. If I could recommend a new class for college it would be called Breaking Up 101. I have thought this for a long time, because breaking up is one of the hardest experiences and worst pains you can feel, even if it is the right thing to do. But we’re conditioned to think that if you feel this bad, then something’s not right–you shouldn’t do it. So then it follows, if you’re miserable from a breakup, then maybe you made the wrong decision? The truth is, there is never a good time to break up, it hurts like hell whenever it happens, and it’s going to screw with your life for a while. Aka…you might burst into tears while watching Say Yes to the Dress or you might suffer an identity crisis and start wearing brightly colored wigs like Kim Kardashian did. But that’s kind of how it goes. It’s tough, but it won’t last.
Anyway, that’s what’s going on in my life…how are you? Haha. I hope this doesn’t sound too tragic. Everything and everyone will be OK. I am assured. Mostly. But I still get waves of tears and random things that set them off, like an old photo from college or coming across my old business card from when I used to have a real job and my life was more..clear. Sometimes I feel like I’m floating on a raft in the middle of the ocean and am just drifting in no particular direction at all. It’s living in the “grey” of things. But it’s OK. I’m going to cry and then I’m going to stop and then I’m going to pick up the pieces and keep going. Because that’s the thing about life..it goes on.
Health, Happiness, and BOO HOO!
*Photo Credit: Jill Greenberg