Crying. That taboo “C” word that people usually say quietly under their breath or hang their head just a bit lower so people won’t see them uttering such a socially unacceptable word. The act itself is best done alone, or at least in the privacy of one’s home, say most people. Take it to the streets and a national — if not global — epidemic is sure to develop.
Now, I’m obviously exaggerating here, friends, but I’ve been thinking about crying a lot these last few days. Maybe the holidays have tugged at my heartstrings one too many times this year. Maybe it’s because it’s hitting me that another year is dawning without my father. Who knows the reason, but I do know one thing: I’m not the sort of person who is ashamed to cry. At all, which is funny because my sister is the opposite. Growing up, I made my peace with crying at an early age. It was simply one way of expressing emotion for me. Sure, I suppose those trips to the hospital had something to do with it too, but I can’t help but feel like crying quickly became my security blanket — something to help me make sense of all that confusion.
Crying and I met again after my father died. I cried the most on the day he died; I suppose part of me didn’t know what else to do. There were people surrounding me the whole day, family and friends streaming in and out of our tiny apartment, but I didn’t care one bit if they saw tears rolling down my cheeks. In fact, it never even occurred to me to “put on a stoic face” for them. In the tug-of-war between modesty and emotional release, the latter won out.
And then when I struggled with depression, crying became almost like a reflex. It seemed like I cried over everything, and the littlest thing (like not being able to concentrate for very long) would just set me off. I felt utterly lost.
But crying, I soon found, had a hand in helping me find my way. A pretty big hand, actually. Because we all need to know that it’s OK to cry, don’t we? We need that reassurance that crying is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. Because sometimes, really, we just need to cry. No judgment. No questions. Just some time to cry…and a box of tissues and a spare shoulder.
How cool would it be if there was an advertising campaign encouraging you to cry? I imagine a giant Kleenex box with a tissue peeking out of it and the words, “Go ahead…cry” written on the tissue. Would that be awesome?
So, friends, I’d love to know: When was the last time you cried? Do you remember what it was about? What makes you cry? Do you find yourself crying a lot? Do you cry more or less as you get older? xoxo
P.S. Men and crying.
[Photos via Le Love]
when i was younger i used to cry at anything. i got really self conscious about it and tried to make myself "tougher" so that i wouldn't cry so easily. now, as an adult, i rarely cry but when i do it's super intense! sometimes crying just feels good and helps reduce stress and anxiety.
Dancing Branflake says
I cry more as I get older but I still don't cry a lot. In fact, the last time I cried it was because I was laughing to hard. Before that they were certainly happy tears, also.
I'm not brave enough to talk openly about the last time I cried but I will say this: crying is deeply cathartic and I think, a very healthy reaction to certain circumstances. I too am not ashamed when I need to let the tears flow.
I rarely cry, but when I do it's always about something goofy. The last time I cried it was because I was tired and didn't want to go car shopping. (I know, so dumb!) But if it's serious I tend to suck it up and not show emotion. I know that's probably not healthy and it's something I really want to work on. Sometimes I wonder if I cry over the little things BECAUSE I never allow myself to cry over the big things.
Daydream Believer says
I cry a lot, and I'm ok with that. I mean, the things I cry about are meaningful–I'm not sitting here crying over not having any chocolate in my house or anything (although that IS depressing). The last time I cried was when I said goodbye to my family after the holidays. I live across the country from them, and I still cannot say goodbye to them without crying. I miss them so much.
Meggan of Lila Grace says
Melissa, Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog! I love your blog and your writing style! I definitely find myself crying often, if I am happy, sad, afraid, sympathizing. I used to try and squash it feeling like it made me weak but now i find it to be cathartic to just let it out and move on 🙂 xoxo Meggan
Annie Dog says
I'm almost surprised that I would see this post, right now. But in another way, I'm not surprised at all.
Tonight – an hour ago – I was crying. Crying to see my father, sick with cancer and struggling to take medication for his pain, let alone to eat. Crying to imagine my life without him. Then feeling the barrage of insecurity that comes with that thought. Irrational fears, fears about never being good enough for a man who might want my carefree and beautiful sister instead of this emotional and thoughtful mess. Fears about not having my dad there to walk me through my first home-ownership disaster. Fears about little, irrelevant things. Tears about those things. And all tonight.
It does help. And hopefully once the tears are out, the fears go with it.
just tututiny says
I cry about once a month, hubby calles it pmsing 😉
Hope you had a wonderful New Year!
Check out my blog for a review of V Nunes jewelry, thanks 😉
Fashion, Art and other fancies says
I cry whenever I feel like it and not ashamed to do so. So sorry re. your papa. Yes. Depression is not an easy thing to overcome. My parents taught me how to cry. xx
I have been crying a lot lately. Going through a divorce and my anger is subsiding and I'm coming to grips with all that has been lost. It's a lot easier to be angry, that's for sure but I am sure the sadness, crying, and going through the feelings of fear and loss are part of the journey of getting through to the other side. Hope you are feeling better these days. I haven't lost a parent yet but can't imagine the loss that would be. xoxo
The Blonde Duck says
I actually don't remember.
My aunt's funeral. I'm generally not much of a cryer anymore. It takes a lot for me to really let the tears flow. I do get choked up at movies but usually I don't outright cry.
The last time I cried was on the way to work yesterday – partly from being sad (I'm in a long distance relationship and he had to go back after the holidays) and also out of pure relief that 2011 is over. I cry a lot more than I used to. I tend to get overwhelmed with emotion (happy or sad) and it just comes out!
Just M says
I can remember the last two times I've cried. Or really cried to a point that it wasn't just watery eyes.
The last was August 8th. The day my Grandmother died. No explanation really needed.
The time before that was June 20th. I got on a plane in Palm Springs, California to fly back to the east coast. It was 5:30am and I was saying goodbye to my now ex boyfriend who lives in Japan. We had just spent the best five days of my life together and it we had no idea when we would see each other again. We both cried. Then I cried some more on the plane while talking to him waiting to taxi. I think I cried all the way to Chicago where my connection was. I felt like someone died. That's the last time I really cried other than the death I mentioned before.
I cry every day. I'm just sensitive. It's very therapeutic, and when I cry so often it doesn't last all that long.
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