Fighting the Tears

Gabrielle underneath a rain co

Why do I always find it so difficult to cry when I feel very low? What is stopping me from letting the tears flow?

As I let myself ponder these questions, a few thoughts are making their appearance thus:

The first thing that comes to mind is that I have nothing to cry about. I am not upset, I am not sad, I am not heart-broken; in fact, emotionally-speaking, I am perfectly happy. So why would I cry? It doesn’t make any sense and I am very big on things making sense :0)  I instinctively resist anything that doesn’t make sense, especially if it is in any way connected to my own behaviour. I keep my tears bottled up until I remember that I always feel a huge sense of relief when I have cried – actually, ‘sobbed’ is a more accurate description. Sobbing is what I really need to do. It’s like being suddenly overcome by a gigantic itch: eventually, you’ve just got to scratch it. It’s a physical need – not an emotional one!  Therefore, it doesn’t have to make sense emotionally, it just needs to be acknowledged and ‘allowed’. I guess learning how to allow my crying relief is yet another aspect of my becoming less of a Physical Idiot :0)

The second thing that occurs to me is that I don’t want to upset my husband and others who care for me because they associate crying with unhappiness and my being unhappy makes them unhappy too. Naturally, I want to reassure them but I then feel an idiot telling them that I am crying for nothing. “I know I am sobbing my heart out but I am really perfectly fine, honest”! It feels very silly. Correction: I feel very silly.  However, until I have the courage to share this so-called silly behaviour with my loved ones, they will never take it for what it is, a symptomatic physical relief rather than an expression of sorrow. It’s time for me to become braver.

The last thought is about resentment. I resent this ‘stupid’ illness taking control of my physical self to such an extent that I can no longer be my normal self. This really annoys me so I fight the urge to sob because I don’t want to give in. I do this, in spite of the fact that I know very well that fighting it only makes this illness worse: the more you push, the more it pushes back. I guess I still have some way to go before I master the art of non-resistance.  This is not a physical issue – it is an emotional and intellectual challenge so I should be better equipped to deal with it. At this point, I am giggling to myself because I have just become aware that intellectual and emotional challenges come in so many varied guises that it is often very hard for us to recognise them immediately for what they are.

So what will I do differently next time I find myself gradually drowning in the urge to cry? Well, I think I’ll do this:

  • I’ll acknowledge it for what it is, a symptomatic physical need
  • I’ll ‘warn’ my husband and anyone else close by that I will probably need to do some ‘scratch-crying’ at some point today!
  • I’ll have a good laugh about it when the itch has gone away.

All in all, a much less knackering way of making it through a low day :0)


An effort to get better is a stregnth. - Marla Ahlgrimm

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