Crying Is Doing Something

Photo by Ellen Araujo from Pexels

It’s fair to say that I’m prone to fits of dramatic overstatements. You could accuse me of using exaggeration as punctuation, and there would be no argument. It’s true, I tend to be a little much sometimes, but this is not one of those times. In this case, I think it’s reasonable to call this an absolutely no good, horrible, very bad summer.

If this was a ride at some overpriced amusement park? Well, first off, you need to change the name because I’m not amused. Second, let me off this damn thing and let me out of this place. I don’t wanna play anymore. I wanna go home and hug my… Should I use a horrible accent and proclaim my freedom?

Oh, no, no, no, please don’t. No one wants to hear that. Stop watching old movies at 1 AM, geez.

Okay, this isn’t a ride, I’m at home, and no one’s here to give me a hug. Lonely, I’m so lonely…Don’t sing either! No bad accents or depressing songs. Use your words for crickets sake.

Fine, I’ll get on with it.

I’m not much of a hugger anyway. When I hear myself utter the words, I need a hug? It’s a sign that something ain’t right. I’m inches away from falling over the ledge of a very steep cliff. It’s not my fault, not this time. I didn’t do anything, but I’m still hurtling towards the edge, head over arse. Gravity has taken over, and I’ve lost all control.

Oh no, there it is. I’m gonna fall. Quick, someone hug me before it’s too late. Uh, yeah, it might be too late. I think I stumbled over the edge of sanity, and I’m free-falling through a temporary madness brought on by too many emotions and not enough sleep.

I’m snippy, weepy, and easily aggravated by small things. The kettle didn’t boil fast enough. My dog pooped in three different spots and waited until I’d picked one up and tied off the bag. Three bags later, you’d think I was a professional dog walker or my dog was a Great Dane. He’s not. He’s the size of three Chihuahuas glued together. 

(Please don’t glue dogs together, BTW. That’s not right).

I don’t have the energy to recap everything in detail right now. Writing this is a bit of a stretch. If I was remotely close to being a healthy person, I would take some time away, but I can’t seem to stop myself. It could be a habit, I suppose. Or, I don’t know what to do with these thoughts and feelings so, I put them down here. I guess I’m hoping that it will relieve some pressure and, perhaps, it’ll mean something to someone else.

Then again, I could be screaming into the void, but at least it’s not trapped in my head. Out is better than in. It works for emotions and certain bodily fluids. Out damn spot, out.

Some context would be helpful, wouldn’t it? I can’t just come in here, dump, and leave you scratching your head. It’d be like this guy I saw the other day, standing on the street corner screaming, What the f**k’s wrong with you people? Good question, sir, very relatable. Do you mean individually or as a species? Yikes, we could be here a while if you don’t narrow it down a bit.

Right, some context would be helpful. Hopefully, a quick summary will suffice because I just can’t with the words. These last few weeks have been incredibly emotional. A loved one is in the hospital, and they’re very sick. It’s been a few ups, a lot of downs, and I’m not sure if there’s an end in sight. If there is, I’m don’t know what that will look like, and that scares the crap out of me. I’m not ready to say goodbye, but that choice isn’t mine. I have no control, I’m powerless, and I can’t do a damn thing to make this any better.

Then, a few days ago, we lost a loved furry member of our family. The sweetest pup that taught my dog how to be a dog. He looked out for my little guy on our walks. His smile lit up my heart every time I visited. I can still hear his bark, but that bark had been getting tired. He’s at peace now, running through fields of treats and toys. He has his wings, and I’m sure he’s cuddled up next to my Gran. They were the best of friends.

It’s for the best, but my heart is aching. Animal lovers, you’ll understand this all too well. They’re a part of our families, and they become invaluable members of our homes. It isn’t a home without them because they add the heart to our souls. Losing them is like losing a part of us, and that is devastating.

I don’t know if the timing of it, with everything else, makes it worse. It’s one more sucker punch in a summer that came in swinging. There’s been nothing relaxing about it. I haven’t had a moment to catch my breath. I seem to be in a constant state of almost tears. So close yet so far. Have they fallen? A few times, but it just doesn’t feel like it’s enough.

It feels like, if I really let loose, the tears won’t stop, and I’ll melt away into a puddle of goo. Would it be the worst thing if it happened? Honestly, at this point, nope. It might actually be a relief to let go and dissolve away. Then again, I’m not much of cryer.

And now, I feel like I should apologize because I’m being a downer. No matter what’s going on, I actively try to find the positives. It’s something I do for myself, mostly. I automatically wander into the negative spaces, and it’s become a bad habit. I’m trying to retrain my brain to, at the very least, acknowledge that there’s more to life than the worst possible outcome.

Sometimes life surprises us and throws something good our way. Often, it happens when we least expect it. It slaps us across the face. We stumble back two feet and look down at the shiny bobble on the ground. It’s a rare gem. So bright and shimmery. It’s confusing but in a delightful way. What are you, sweet thing? Did something good just land at my feet? Will wonders never cease.

But then there are long stretches like this where life doesn’t simply take a bite out of us. It picks us up and throws us around. We crack and shatter as we hit the rocky bottom of a very steep canyon. There’s a groan, a whimper, and maybe a tear.

Full-on cry? I end up doing it in spurts. It starts out as a bit of seepage. For a minute or two, my face contorts into the ugly cry squish, and a small whimper tickles the back of my throat. Sometimes it comes out as a squeak, and I quickly swallow it back down. I hold the tears back as long as I can, but they eventually fall out.

I have no control over my body at this point. It will do what it needs to do despite my objections and futile attempts to regain my composure. Crying is… I don’t…It involves icky feelings that I’d much rather swallow and forget. Healthy, I know.

If I’m out or around people when the seepage occurs? Well, there aren’t a lot of people who have seen me cry. They’re the people I trust with my life, heart, and overall weirdness. I think I can count these people on my one hand, but I’ve never been good at math.

Or emotions, I’m absolutely rubbish when it comes to handling my own feelings, mental health, or mental illnesses. Other people’s emotional baggage? I actually enjoy helping people when life has thrown them down a canyon. When someone trusts me with their story? That’s a special gift, and I do my best to honour that and them.

Yes, I see it. It’s a bit two-faced. I want to help you, but I won’t let you help me. Isn’t vulnerability a two-person dance? I’ll show you mine if you show me yours. On the count of three. Tada! Yep, just what I thought. We’re both human beings with challenges, mental health issues, and that requires teamwork.

But crying is… I don’t know. It feels like it should be private for reasons that I can’t come up with. It’s not weakness or anything like that. It’s heavy, that’s the word for it: heavy, weighted, burdensome. The last thing I want to be is a burden.

Every time I find myself weighed down by tears and the accompanying emotions, I hear this voice telling me to quit crying and do something about it. Don’t just sit there wallowing; move your body. Get involved. Do something to change the cause of this upset.

Except, there’s nothing I can do about anything that’s going on right now. I’m absolutely useless, and that triggers a sense of hopelessness. Sure, I can cook a meal for my family. I can place a phone call. I can stroke a sweet pup’s head as he gets his wings. But fix it? Make it okay? Other than time, nothing will make this okay.

If there’s one thing I know about crying and these kinds of feelings? You can bury them for a while, but they’ve gotta come out eventually. Like it or not, the tears will fall because those flood gates are flimsy. It’ll be ugly, snotty, and the noises will sound like a whale mating call.

When it’s over?

I don’t know about you, but I end up feeling lighter. I can take a deep breath in for the first time in ages. I’m physically and mentally exhausted, which means I get a good night’s sleep. Sure, it doesn’t fix my problems or take away the emotions. It seems to make room for more so I don’t burst or puncture a vital organ.

It doesn’t seem like it should help, and it goes against societal norms. It goes against everything we’re taught about being strong and brave. Those lessons usually tell us to quit our bellyaching or something equal archaic. But the truth is, for me, crying is doing something to help me deal with a difficult situation.

Crying makes room for more emotions. It gives me a moment to breathe, and it frees me up to rest. It has a purpose, a function, that’s healing. Crying is doing something even though it’s not my favourite thing to do. So, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to curl up and let me feelings take over.

It’s about time I cry this one out because I’m running out of room to hold on.


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