Just to Feel

Photo on 4-16-14 at 10.52 AM

No one likes crying.

It’s uncomfortable and humiliating, especially for those of us that are ugly-criers.  The first time I heard the expression, “have a good cry”, I thought it was complete bullshit.  Crying sucks.  We spend a good deal of our lives learning to hold our emotions in, to fight back the tears, because public emotional displays are awkward and make everyone uncomfortable.  (God forbid we be uncomfortable.)

The other day I was reading, late at night, and the scene I was on stirred up something inside me that hurt.  A lot.  I closed the book and lay there, staring into the dark, with a sharp ache in my chest and tears in my eyes.  And then I gave in.

I cried and cried, just feeling the pain and the hurt and whatever else was buried in there, and I didn’t even attempt to wipe the warm tears that washed over my face and soaked into my pillow.  I just experienced it.  The ache in my chest grew and I felt the sharp stabbing in my stomach.  I cried harder and harder, as all of these emotions that I didn’t really understand overcame me.

And then, after a while, I was done.

The aching didn’t consume me.  I didn’t cry forever.  It faded eventually, and I was just okay.  Sad, emotionally worn, a little empty–but okay.

I dried the wetness on my face, picked my book back up, and continued reading until I fell asleep.

Sometimes it’s good just to feel.

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9 thoughts on “Just to Feel

  1. There is almost nothing in this world that can move me so deeply, and can make me FEEL so much, as a book can. Movies don’t come close. But words, especially well written words, or a story so painful or moving, can reduce me to tears for hours – or even days. That is why I think I love reading so much, because it allows me to feel emotions that I otherwise bottle up. And, you are right. Crying hurts, but it is also necessary. I read books as an outlet for that emotion. Because the characters can feel things I don’t allow myself to feel, so I can live vicariously through them.

    Aren’t books beautiful?

    Hang in there.

  2. You know, I’ve noticed something interesting about myself. When I am going through a bout of depression, or anxiety, or stress, I rarely cry. Even when I feel so empty or so low. It’s like I can’t cry, like there’s not enough in me.

    But when I go back and read any journaling or writing I did during that time, THEN I cry. For myself, for my past self. It’s like in the moment I’m too twisted up in all these feelings and my brain doesn’t know whether to process them or ignore them. But afterwards, remembering that pain, I can finally fully process it and cry and . . . grieve, I guess, for anything I lost during that time.

    Reading books–even books that aren’t supposed to be sad–let me experience that pain and grief in a safe way. I still feel like I’m connecting, I am feeling something, but I’m not touching my own raw pain. I agree with you–sometimes it’s good to cry.

    • That’s really interesting. And I love what you said here: “I still feel like I’m connecting, I am feeling something, but I’m not touching my own raw pain.” So beautiful and so true.

      I’m glad you brought up grieving. I’m starting to realize that it’s okay to grieve for myself, and that maybe grieving some of these things will allow me to leave them behind, to come to acceptance. At least that’s what I hope.

  3. These days I will cry over just about anything. Country music (and I’m not even crying because it hurts my ears–mostly), commercials, movies, something I’ve read, a post on Facebook, something I said yesterday that I wish I’d said differently, babies, marriages, whatever touches me or provokes THE FEELS will be sniffled over ad nauseum. At what point does your body just run out of fluid? Because my tear cup runneth over.

    Anyways, I’m glad your tears satisfied something in you. Those are good feels.

    • I used to cry so much. I started wearing waterproof mascara in high school because I literally cried nearly every day and couldn’t predict when it would happen. I only recently (as in, a few months ago) switched to water-resistant.

      It’s hard to be a sensitive person with a lot of feelings. I think some people are just more vulnerable that way–easily moved emotionally, easily hurt by others. I think you and I are very alike that way. I’ve always struggled with being very jealous of friends and friendships, easily rejected, etc. It’s exhausting and I’m sorry that you’ve been so feelinged-out lately.

      I think over the past few years I started detaching myself from my feelings, which is also, I suppose, not too healthy. So it’s harder for me to cry now. I just feel numb or “off” so when I can cry it’s actually kind of a relief. Never thought I’d say that.

  4. May I also say that I enjoy how your pictures fit the mood of your blog perfectly. You have an excellent blog aesthetic.

    • Thank you. I know it’s pretty selfie-heavy but I like to take all the pictures myself and well…that’s what I’ve got. 😉 Haha. I’m glad it translates the way I was hoping.

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