Some people cry all the time; others barely ever do it. Some people do it openly, others only behind shut doors. Some people are always close to tears and cry whenever there is a sad scene in a movie or they hear that their neighbor’s old rabbit had died. I was exactly like that. I even cried while watching Fifty Shades of Grey. Now I know that me being so emotional meant that I was healthy. I was happy and healthy.
And then everything changed. My boyfriend died. He died unexpectedly when he was already doing much better after being in a terrible accident, and it was the shock of my life. I could not breathe. I started crying hysterically and didn’t stop for an entire week. I had to take some medications that would calm me down and stop the crying. From that point on I felt like I was living in a cloud. The last time I really cried was at his funeral. Afterwards I couldn’t. My psychologist saw a few tiny tears once, but that was it. Even after quitting the pills, I could not cry anymore. I asked her what was wrong with me. She said I am having a posttraumatic depression and it will get better.
Now months have passed and there is still nothing. I am caught in a deep, black, invisible hole. My family and friends don’t see my pain because I am laughing and joking. I am wearing the perfect mask. My colleagues at my new job don’t know what happened and they would never guess. They would never ever think that I am going through hell. That there are times when I am wishing I was lying in the casket instead of him—or at least with him. My psychologist is telling me I have to keep trying to cry to let out the pain that is trapped inside my soul. So I am standing in the shower and I am trying. I am thinking about our last vacation together, about all the things we experienced together, about our first night in our apartment after moving in together and about his first reaction when he was waking up out of the coma when I said “I love you” and he nodded. I am not tearing up. I am feeling pain inside of me that’s tearing me apart and I am wondering how much a person can survive, but I am not crying. I am coming together with his family every once in a while, and his mom and sister cry every time. Even his dad starts crying when hugging me goodbye. I am sitting with his best friend having a coffee and we are exchanging memories. He starts crying. Why do they all cry and I don’t? Why do we cry in the first place? We cry to release hormones; we do it to feel better when we are sad. It’s a natural reaction of the body to the soul. Some people let it out all the time; others hold back because they don’t want to cry in front of others but do it when they are alone at home. Everyone does it eventually.
After thinking about it again and again and trying again and again, I came to the point of acceptance. Maybe I am mentally ill and that is the reason. Maybe I used up all the tears I had and there just aren’t any left. Or maybe it’s time to accept that there is pain in this world that is so unbearable that your body knows that not even crying is going to fix it. A pain that goes so deep and makes you feel so empty for a long time that tears just aren’t enough.
Tears are nothing you can force, nor should you want to. Just because you cannot cry doesn’t mean that your pain isn’t there or isn’t valid. You should accept that sadness expresses itself in many ways. You shouldn’t have to cry to prove to yourself how much you are grieving OR to others. Just because people can’t see how you are hurting they should never forget that you are. You should never forget that you are, either. Be gentle with yourself. If people ask you how you are doing, be honest so they know to be gentle with you. There is no honor in lying about how you feel. Even if you know that nobody understands your pain, keep telling them that it’s there. Keep telling so people know that even though you don’t show it on the outside, there still is a colossal storm on the inside.