Crying is NOT a Sign of Weakness

by Dr. Jeff Hagan

Today, true story:

While sitting on the couch watching the DVR’d final episode of Celebrity Apprentice, the one starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, this overwhelming dark cloud engulfed me and I began to sob uncontrollably. I asked myself, “Where is this coming from?” but I couldn’t stop. Gut wrenching tears, deep labored breaths, strange noises of mourning and woe emitting from my throat. I couldn’t identify what was causing this unusual break with reality. That’s when it hit me, it’s not a “break” with reality, I’m having a break because of my reality.

Once I realized I didn’t have to blame the tears on any one specific issue, that there didn’t have to be a solitary and identifiable reason for my lamenting, I felt free to cry until my body was ready to stop on its own. Life has crushed me, completely crushed me, yet again. My life has been an unrelenting battle and to be honest, I’m utterly exhausted. I suppose there’s no need for details as we all have things we go through. Besides, usually when one shares what’s got them down in the dumps it results in judgment from others, accusations of pessimism, unsolicited advice from people that don’t have a clue, and the ever famous “stop whining and just get over it” phrase gets spewed out by some ignorant buffoon. All of which do nothing to improve the situation and, in fact, most often brings about even more pain to the one hurting.

Regardless if its homelessness, joblessness, chronic pain, life threatening illness, broken relationship(s), a crisis of faith, loneliness, a wayward child, or just a throbbing headache, take the time to cry it out when your body or psyche tells you that’s what it needs to do. Don’t ignore it. I just spent about 30 minutes in tears and I feel much better. My stomach muscles and throat are a bit sore, my eyes burn a little, and now I feel tired, but the 5,000 pounds of pressure that was lifted from my shoulders makes it worth it. Will pressure and pain return? Oh, most assuredly. Will I get overwhelmed all over again? Absolutely. But all we can do is handle it one day at time. Today’s been handled, so let’s look forward to tomorrow.

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