It’s been a few weeks since I wrote and during this period I have had a blissful vacation, done a good amount of introspection and learnt a lot of life lessons. The thing about introspection is that it inevitably leaves you with a bunch of conclusions that are often less than pleasant.
I sat with my friend today, discussing these faults and follies that I had introspected over and she suggested journaling as a way to deal with my stress, academic as well as emotional. Well maybe I’ll start journaling again but blogging seems like a pretty good way to vent too, as long as I make sure to leave the details vague enough.
But do you know what is the one other thing that I think is more cathartic than writing? Tears, that’s what it is.
Crying, weeping, sobbing, the whole deal gives me relief when nothing else can. And crying is something that comes very naturally to me, no it’s not because we come into this world crying. In fact when the doctor yanked me out of my mommy I did not exactly cry, it was more of a squeak is what I hear.
It just is very easy to make me cry, just talk to me in an angry voice and voila tears. Once I wept inconsolably during a hostel meeting where a senior was being generally nasty to us first years and I started crying out of frustration, sobbing more like it. When people tried to ask me what exactly happened all I could say between hiccupping sobs was, “It is involuntary!” and involuntary it was.
Another side to my crying is what I share with all other women who face extreme surges and dips in hormones thanks to PMS, I weep at the drop of a hat starting 10 days before my period but that’s not what this post is about. Sometimes you just know you need to cry to deal with an upsetting situation but for some reason it just does not happen, tragic books and movies help in these situations, try it you’ll find your kryptonite soon enough. Mine is parents or pets dying, or even heartbreak with a dash of humiliation.
My penchant for crying can get me in a pickle in my professional life but I think I’m getting a hold on that. I even start crying out of frustration in the middle of fights and arguments, last it happened seriously was more than 6 months back, I have improved though. But somewhere during this process of controlling an embarrassing tendency to cry at the wrong place I forgot how much it helped ease my mind when I cried.
Recently I’ve had a couple of emotionally charged days involving facing some facts, having a very difficult conversation with a friend and last but not the least the demise of a classmate. I wasn’t particularly close to this classmate and wasn’t exactly grieving, but today sitting at her memorial service, listening to her friends talk just struck a chord and I just could not stop sobbing.
After I was done crying I felt incredibly light; intellectually I always knew that crying is healthy but this was a confirmation of the same like never before. Today when I cried it wasn’t just for the departed soul or for her family and friends, I cried for everything else that I experienced in the recent past. I cried for the friendships that I have lost on the way to adulthood, I cried for the well-meaning but hasty decisions I took, I cried for all the ugliness I came to see in people recently. Now that I think of it all my major crying jags have started off due to a particular stimulus but contained a myriad number of issues propelling them.
But the bottom line is that crying has always been cathartic, not just for me but for most people, just have a look at a few research papers. It is not a sign of weakness and nothing to be ashamed of; it helps you deal with trauma, stress and just pure sadness. Life hands us situations where we really can’t do anything more than just accepting them. We are bombarded with strife, disappointment, betrayal and failure, in the midst of these letting it all out through tears is something that will give every man woman and child at least a modicum of relief when faced with turmoil, be it internal or external.
I rarely dole out advice and despite what some people might think it’s even rarer that I ask for it, but hear my out dear readers. Whether you identify as man or woman, or both depending on your mood or neither, don’t let toxic emotions simmer inside you like bubbling concentrate H2SO4. You. Need. To. Cry. Don’t let society tell you it’s an unattractive quality or a sign of weakness, remember it was society that said being left handed is a sign of evil, that people should only pursue the profession of their ancestors and all other kinds of hogwash.
Crying once in a while will help with those dark feelings festering inside you, but fair warning it might leave you with a red runny nose like mine and maybe even a mild headache.