Crying Is Awesome

Showing unbridled emotion has something of a bad rap. We generally look down on people who scream at strangers in the subway, or follow a new crush around with a bouquet of roses proclaiming their undying love and negative test results, or respond with “More than a little constipated, and pretty unhappy about it” to the question “How are you?” And to be fair, we need something of a social order about how we display our feelings in order to prevent human interaction from devolving into guttural yells and hurling feces at one another. But there are some acts of raw emotion that should be a little more tolerated, and none more so than a good, old-fashioned cry.

What is so wrong with crying? Is it because it’s considered “girly?” Oh, “girly,” the one adjective — aside from perhaps “murderous” or “smelly” — that can immediately turn any activity into something that you don’t want anyone else to see you doing. Crying means that we’re weak, that we don’t know how to handle ourselves, that we’re the emotional equivalent of a five-year-old, crumbling at the first sight of a traffic jam or being passed over for a promotion. It means that there’s something wrong with us if we cry too much. But why?

Is it because we still associate it with the scraped knees and candy-aisle tantrums of our childhood? Is it because some of our more unpleasant moments in life are often coupled with a few wailing sobs and, if you’re a fan of makeup, viscous black liquid pouring down from your eyes like something out of a B horror movie? Maybe. But does that mean that every cry, no matter the circumstance, is automatically bad? That each time we shed a tear — of profound joy, profound loss, or because we can’t reach our finger far enough into the jar to get the last few dregs of Nutella — means we’re enormous losers? The answer is that it doesn’t. Crying is awesome, and we all secretly know it.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll be perfectly frank: I love crying. Sometimes, I feel like a good cry, and I just get all hopped up on Death Cab and heartwarming puppy rescue videos on YouTube and have a nice sob for a half hour or so. It almost feels like a workout, in that afterword, you feel notably lighter, refreshed, and even pleasantly delirious. It feels like something has been released, and whatever catharsis was provided by those wrenching Sarah Mclachlan commercials has been transmuted into the relief you needed from the real problems in your life — the ones you are often not really allowed to talk about.

And if you think about it, there are always things that we’re bottling up. Fighting with a friend? Things not going so well at work? Recently dumped? Jealous of everything you see your acquaintances achieving? We could all use a little release valve that allows us to get it all out and return to a more-or-less human state at the end of the day. I think we’d all be genuinely happier during the rest of our time if we could dedicate just a few minutes every so often to having a good cry. We shouldn’t be embarrassed about having emotions, and we certainly shouldn’t feel shame about expressing them every now and again. Who does it hurt if we’re curled up in our bed, weeping about how “He’s overcome so many obstacles” as we watch a particularly touching backstory on X Factor? The answer is no one.

Crying is something that we all need to do from time to time to get out all of the various thoughts and feelings that we are expected, as members of civilized society, to keep in the deepest recesses of our heart space and never bother anyone else with. Crying — whether by yourself, or with someone else — is the moment that you can take to feel fully you, honest with yourself about what it is you’re really feeling. You can shed all those pains like some kind of a spiritual raw food cleanse and come out the other side feeling like you’ve just removed some enormous weight from your shoulders.

We should all be so lucky to have some crying time every now and again, and we should extoll it as the fabulous exercise that it is. Crying is right up there with orgasms and warm chocolate chip cookies — a moment that makes you feel better, and reminds you that you are human. TC mark

image – Doug88888

Chelsea Fagan

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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  • Mel

    WHAT??? I barely got through the first paragraph. What a mess !!! Big words do not a good article make.

    • http://twitter.com/Amandemic Amandemic (@Amandemic)

      …which words would you consider to be “big”?

    • http://twitter.com/alisonwisneski alisonwisneski (@alisonwisneski)

      Is the word “unbridled” too large for your vocabulary? Also, spacing punctuation does not a well-put sentence make, so….

      • http://twitter.com/hereisjoey J o e y (@hereisjoey)

        if you don’t understand the word, then go look it up on a dictionary. don’t complain.

  • Ebinehita

    yes.

  • http://www.itmakesmestronger.com/2012/07/crying-is-awesome/ Only L<3Ve @ ItMakesMeStronger.com

    […] Thought Catalog » Life Add a comment […]

  • http://thisroomhasnoceiling.wordpress.com/ dex

    Excess of sorrow laughs. Excess of joy weeps.
    -W. Blake
    Proverbs of Hell

  • CL

    two exceptions to when crying isn’t awesome which happened to me last week in the space of 24 hours.
    1. at 3am, drunk, with a guy.
    2. on a plane when the captain announces your flight is delayed by an hour.

  • Allison

    i cry every time i drive the 5 hours to my parents house. one time my friend wanted to come with and i said no because i wanted to have that crying time. soundtrack to my cry- Sigur Ros anything off their ( ) album, most notably track 3 (samskeyti). let it flow! you’re welcome.

  • Coolio

    get over it. yawn

  • http://squirmypantsproduction.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/crying-is-awesome-thought-catalog/ Crying Is Awesome | Thought Catalog « squirmypantsproduction

    […] on thoughtcatalog.com Share this:FacebookTwitterTumblrLike this:LikeBe the first to like […]

  • http://twitter.com/heronkady10 Kady Heron (@heronkady10)

    Yes it is and in fact the only way to let go of your frustrations.
    Saving Thousands of People Hundreds of Dollars a month. Join the club today. Just click -> http://www.saversclub.us

  • http://itsyowyow.com/2012/07/17/thought-catalog-roundup-9/ Thought Catalog Roundup « Yow Yow!

    […] Crying Is Awesome Share this:Like this:LikeBe the first to like this. Tagged Culture, Humor, Life, ME, This or That, Thought Catalog […]

  • http://intheforgotten.wordpress.com kaitovillar

    Reblogged this on In the forgotten..

  • http://melissacyj.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/crying-is-awesome-thought-catalog/ Crying Is Awesome | Thought Catalog | Mcyj

    […] Crying Is Awesome | Thought Catalog. […]

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on Life's like an analogy… and commented:
    Absolutely love a good cry, so refreshing!

  • http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/06/24/having-feelings-is-ok/ Having Feelings is OK | World of Psychology

    […] Fagan’s article, “Crying is Awesome,” speaks to the notion that showcasing “unbridled emotion” […]

  • http://1505avenue.wordpress.com melthambelina

    Reblogged this on 1505avenue and commented:
    chelsea fagan you are a woman after my own heart

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