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Wednesday, 8 November 2017

It's ok to cry


I’ve always been a massive crybaby. I cry a lot; as little as once a week, or as often as a few times a day. Usually I tend to cry at little things, but sometimes major things can get me as well.

Society has a pretty negative attitude towards crying and showing ‘negative’ emotions and being ‘too sensitive’, although things are changing. I think that message has especially always hit hard for men. Men have always been expected to hold in their feelings and taught ‘boys don’t cry.’ I would never want my son or my future male partner to feel like that. I would hate to be with a stoic guy that never showed his feelings.

Feelings are important and part of being human. They can’t kill you, even if they sometimes feel like they can. Crying and breaking down is absolutely fine, and actually a sign that your body is healthy because it’s responding to its stimuli. It’s a release of tension. I think repressing your feelings is far more dangerous. I’ve done that so many times; only during the last couple of years have I begun to really let go and feel my feelings as opposed to suck them in.

I can cry at anything. I cry because I had a panic attack, or because I’m exhausted. I’ve frequently cried over worries that my music and writing careers are going to go nowhere. I adore Game of Thrones but emotionally it does take its toll on me a lot; it’s the most violent and humanly realistic show I’ve seen, and it doesn’t hesitate to make me shed a tear. If a character I love dies or gets seriously hurt in a book or TV show, I can be upset for the rest of the day. Sometimes I cry when I hurt myself, or I cry because someone shouted at me, or for no reason at all.

And I’m not ashamed of it. I’m not ashamed of being a highly sensitive person. I’ve always been that way. In primary school kids used to make fun of the fact that I cried all the time, which is probably where the emotionally repressing began. It was tough in secondary school; if I could feel tears coming on because my friends said something that upset me I would go quiet and drink water to try and push them back. I think Year 7 was the last time I really howled in school in front of other students.

And it really freaks people out, you know? If we go back to societal attitudes; kids get unnerved when they see someone who is super emotional. Just as I laugh a lot and easily, I cry a lot and easily. Teenagers and children don’t respond well to super sensitive kids or kids suffering from mental illness. My parents never did; my mum and I have recently discussed that and looking back she’s said she wished she was more understanding. But how would she have known? Society tells parents to tell their kids to ‘stop that silly crying.’ It still tells young boys to ‘man up.’ Those that are too sensitive or ‘out there’ are seen as weird and strange. No one wants to befriend the person who’s always cutting their arms and staring into space.

My dad has played a huge role in this too. He comes from Tanzania and I think that culture is very much a ‘suck it up and take it’ culture, that doesn’t really allow for emotional reflection. Because there’s a lot of poverty and hardship there, people need to be more resilient in order to get through the day, so there’s almost no time for being upset. In a way it’s good because everyone talks to each other rather than needing a therapist. But at the same time if you are someone like me who gets stressed out and distressed and upset easily, it’s horribly disheartening to be in a surrounding where people tell you to ‘get on with it’ rather than just allowing you to feel your feelings.

Whenever I cried growing up, if my dad asked me about it afterwards I’d say ‘what crying? I wasn’t crying.’ He always seemed to grimace or wince or even look disgusted if I started bawling. I don’t want to psychoanalyse my dad and I don’t know what goes through his head, I know him as my father but not really as a person. He always says he hasn’t cried since he was seventeen. Maybe he has an unhealthy attitude to crying and sees it as weak. I can’t write this post without saying that had an awful influence on me and my attitude to crying, that I viewed it as weak and tried to repress it rather than accepting it as healthy and natural.

Crying is not weak. It is fine. It is healthy. It’s as healthy as laughing or any other feeling. When we push our feelings aside, all we’re doing is giving them room to build up and up until one day they explode. (This is why I get panic attacks; years of emotional tension). Always allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling, and never let anyone make you feel bad for it. 

2 comments:

  1. i agree, i don't get why showing emotions is seen as a bad thing, humans aren't robots and there's nothing wrong with simply having feelings

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