Tears. That warm salty liquid that runs out of your eyes when you’re both at your happiest and your most melancholic.
Most people try to avoid them at all costs, especially those arising from emotional trauma. But I want to tell you something: Let them out!
A good cry is so necessary sometimes. There are days when I am collapsed on my bed, overcome with the decisions that must be made, the drama around me, the unfairness of life (though usually, in retrospect, my problems are not that bad in the grand scheme of things). And I become overwhelmed. Tears come to my eyes, and while at first I try to hold them in, invariably they end up streaming down my face. After a couple minutes (or – let’s face it – many minutes) of crying, I always feel better, relieved, liberated, calmed. Every single time.
These past few days have been rough for me. I’ve been holding in my tears because, let’s face, it, who wants to be seen crying? It shows weakness, vulnerability, and just really isn’t that attractive. I mean, your face contorts into strange shapes that you didn’t even think were possible, and then suddenly it’s wet! And for me, it’s streaked black! (All mascara-wearing ladies, if you don’t want the black-lines-down-your-face look, try my personal favorite: Maybelline waterproof mascara. It never runs for me. Except in this picture, when I was wearing my new organic Physician’s Formula mascara. Someone let me know when they make organic waterproof makeup please! Anyway, where was I? Oh yes! The unattractiveness of crying…) When you cry, other people look at you with pity, wanting to comfort but not wanting to intrude. You feel awful both inside and out. For me, right now, I feel like I couldn’t handle that… I’ve been trying to make important decisions in my life, so surely tears would affect my mental state. But, alas, it is not so!
It turns out, there is actually science behind crying; we are actually shedding chemicals through our tears. This makes so much more sense to me! Looking back at my times spent sobbing, I remember the feeling of relief that consistently would follow. I’d wonder why I could not reach that state without looking like a drowned rat first, but this shedding-of-chemicals fact explains a lot of that. Not only does it make sense, but it makes me feel much more accepting of my emotional nature. And it also has me longing for a good cry right now.
I was planning on using this photograph for a later post, but upon looking through my photos and deciding the topic about which I really wanted to write at this moment, this was it. This photo was taken about 10 months ago, when I was going through a rough time and it seemed as though there was nothing to which I could look forward. Life was bleak, my future had been destroyed, and it appeared to me that there was nothing left. Despair, melancholy, hurt, confusion, hopelessness… they all plagued me incessantly. So I broke down. I cried. For hours, albeit intermittently, I sat alone and wallowed in my tears.
Afterwards, I felt liberated! While my problems were not solved and my circumstances had not changed, at least I felt lighter, as though the mountain that had sat on my shoulders had disappeared for a moment. Thanks to science, I now know why. Today, I yearn for a long good cry. Hopefully by myself to avoid the face-distorting, black-streaked situation that tends to accompany it, but I long for it nonetheless. I don’t think it will solve my problems – and indeed I know it won’t – but that feeling of liberation, of release, that comes from crying is one that I know will make me feel a thousand times better.
Then, finally, I can start tomorrow with a clean emotional slate and a clear mind.