There’s this belief that crying is a sign of weakness. Where did it come from?
Don’t worry there’s no history lesson here. All I know is that when I was growing up I wasn’t allowed to feel anything. At any moment my crying or yelling would be minimized to “being dramatic.” As I said in an earlier post, though the mental, physical, and sexual abuse I faced finally did come to an end, I was allowing the cycle to continue. If I cried I’d judge myself for it. When I’d get angry and lash out I’d feel guilty about it. I had flashbacks that I couldn’t control, and nightmares that haunted me well past unconsciousness.
It was only recently that I realized I needed to decide to move on from the abuse. I was stuck in a wheel of pain, confusion, sadness, and self doubt. Through therapy, I’ve learned that I really can take control of my life. I still have flashbacks, I still can’t fully trust myself to feel, but now I’m making a conscious decision to make a very long and difficult change. A change that is completely foreign to me. Stopping the abuse.
Which brings me to my next point. September of 2013-March 2014 was a really dark time for me. I was diagnosed, in and out of psych hospitals, extremely suicidal, and recovering from an attempt. I was so unstable that crying almost always led to suicidal ideations. Because of this, I’ve been scared to let myself cry or get too upset in fear of falling into a rut of depression. I’m slowly starting to trust myself again, but it’s no easy feat.
Crying is not a sign of weakness. Crying is a way to let out all the emotions you’re holding inside of you. Now whenever my eyes well up and I get a knot in my throat, I try to allow myself to let it out. And you know what? After it’s over… I feel better.
Theresa gave me a book called “The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook”
I know. Mouthful.
But it has incredible suggestions for coping. Crying is one of them. Crying ends. You won’t cry forever. And once it’s over what do you have? Once it’s really over and you have no more tears to cry what’s left?
That stress and pain and suffering… it’s gone for the moment. You’ve let it out and freed yourself from it. Sometimes it’ll fill up inside your heart again, and then it’ll overflow and you’ll have to cry again. But once that tank is on empty, you’ll be able to see things more clearly, and realize that it’s not as bad as it seems. It was just incredibly overwhelming at the moment.
If you learn nothing else from my experiences, please take this nugget with you. Allow yourself to feel. Never judge yourself for having those feelings. You are human, and you deserve to let go of your pain.