Do you like to cry sometimes?
I do, and it had been a while for me. I recently realized that menopause robbed me of my monthly premenstrual cry sessions. I miss them.
It might sound like an odd thing to miss, but crying is an important emotional release that has many benefits. For most of my life, having a good sob fest once a month, a day or so before my period, was a sure thing. It refreshed me and helped me process emotions and experiences. I always felt better afterward.
For the past year or so, I haven’t had that. Now I only cry over sad songs, movies, TV shows or the occasional well-made commercial. The Schitt’s Creek finale does it for me every time. But it’s not quite the same – I don’t get the same cathartic benefits. I haven’t cried over my own stuff in a long time.
But that all changed last week when I had a good cry thanks to my amazing new therapist. She listened to me blather on for a while about positive stuff and how great everything is, and then she told me what she actually heard me saying.
It was like a light switch: I burst into tears. I felt seen and heard in that moment, and it felt GOOD. Man, there’s nothing like a good therapist – or a good cry. I anticipate that I’ll have more good cries before we’re through working together.
Honestly, we all have a lot to cry about right now – but because there’s no end in sight to any of the current crises facing our country and world, it feels like if we let ourselves cry, we may never stop. And, of course, sometimes we don’t want to cry.
Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg wrote that we all need to ritually make space for ourselves to mourn and grieve over all we have lost (and continue to lose) to Coronavirus.
Tara Haelle wrote that in the early months of the pandemic, we all used our brain’s “surge capacity” to survive and operate, but that now we’re depleted and struggling because there is no end in sight to the crisis. It has moved from acute to chronic, and we don’t have the capacity to deal with it all.
This explains why so many people do not feel okay. It is most definitely okay to NOT feel okay right now. And if you think you feel okay, you may find – if you want to dig a little deeper – that you most certainly do not.
Honestly, I think that’s part of why I hadn’t cried in so long, even with all of this going on around us. I almost think it was easier for my brain to just wall everything up, emotionally, in order to keep moving forward. But crying helped me feel better.
I am glad to have rediscovered the joy of crying. It may sound odd, but sometimes there is beauty in the breakdown. I don’t want to only feel the good emotions – I want to feel all of them. I want my high highs and low lows, even if it means I might cry more.
If you feel like sharing about how you’re feeling – and whether or not you like to cry sometimes – I’m all ears in the comments below or over on Facebook.