Sometimes you just need to have a good cry.
Because life, man.
Maybe you’ve lost someone you love. Maybe life isn’t going the way you thought it would, and you’re feeling a little bit powerless to change your trajectory. Perhaps your job sucks. Or maybe you just had a pretty shitty day. The potential reasons for a justified weeping are nearly infinite.
I’ve always cried more than society deems normal for a “man.” I used to get worked up about this. I would feel ashamed of being sensitive. But then I matured a little bit and realized there was nothing wrong with having a proclivity for crying; that most of the time a person can’t help it if their eyes well up; that there’s really no shame in emoting every once in a while.
A friend of mine and I were recently G-chatting during the workday about the dissolution of her serious relationship, and the crying that had resulted. She said she knew for sure she was going to cry when she returned home that night, and that she couldn’t wait to get through the day so that she could be alone and let it out.
This spurred a discussion about how to have a really good, really successful cry.
Here is how to do it:
The most successful and cathartic sob sessions come when you are alone, so before you let your tear ducts fly, find a place where nobody is going to bother you for at least a little while.
Once in your fortress of solitude (I prefer my bedroom), close the door, lock it up, and fucking let it out. If there are others in your apartment or home, you may want to turn on some fitting music to accompany your angst, so as to ensure people don’t hear you heaving through the door. You may want to put some music on regardless. I recommend Elliott Smith or Bright Eyes. Maybe even a song that reminds you of what you have lost, or what is making you so sad. When you’re committing to a serous cry, the best thing to do is hit your problem head on. Stop running from it. You can let it out now.
Personally, I like to cry when I’m either sitting down or lying in bed. But sometimes, for whatever reason, I get restless when crying and begin pacing around the room. If you do this, check yourself out in the mirror at least once. Until now you’ve felt your pain, and you know you’re crying, but you don’t know what you look like when extremely anguished. Stare at yourself in the mirror as you heave—two or three heaving breaths sucked in for each laborious exhalation—and take it all in: the rosy cheeks, the salty tears streaming down them, the bloodshot eyes, and the scrunched up facial expression that is akin to Bitter Beer Face.
The thing you must realize when embarking on this soggy adventure is that there is no time limit on having a good cry. Unless interrupted, it ends when it ends, and you should do nothing to combat that. Just let it flow, and don’t hold back. I sincerely believe that humans didn’t learn or develop a reflex to weep without reason. It’s a tangible way for us to expel the demons from our body that have been haunting us, and if you don’t get it all out when you set out to, the sadness is likely to stay inside of you, to build up again, and further exacerbate your misery.
Once the tears will come no more and you are mostly exhausted, rinse your face off, drink some water (because you’ve got to hydrate), and then try to relax for a little while. Once I’ve let all of my tears for the evening out, I like to spend some time recovering by engaging in an escapist exercise that will help you to live outside the sadness for a little while. Books tend to help, especially funny ones. (Like, don’t go and read The Fault In Our Stars or Long Way Down.) Comics are also great. Calvin and Hobbes always makes me feel better. Then there are sitcoms and comedic movies.
What I’m saying is when the crying is over, try to enjoy yourself for a little bit if you can. The next day might bring more pain, more sadness, and, ultimately, more tears. But at least for tonight, you went ahead and let it all out.