When I was young I was a “crybaby”. I have always been an emotional person. I’m not sure where this came from. I’ve had no traumatic upbringing, have always had a nice group of friends around me and have never gone without anything.
I always thought that I’d grow out of this; become strong and wizened up with age…but I’m not and I haven’t. In a way this is perhaps a good thing. Crying reminds us that we are human and bottling things up is not very healthy. Over the years, I have to a degree been able to control it. I rarely cry in front of people anymore and usually can keep it in until after people leave. Actually most of my friends think I’m a very cheerful optimistic person, which to a degree I am as even when I’m sad I know its temporary.
I’m not depressed; I don’t genuinely have a negative outlook on life. I read on Facebook of all places that “depression is caring about nothing, anxiety is caring about everything and having both is hell”. I think I have anxiety as I overanalyse absolutely everything and stew over things for far longer than the ordinary person. Little things bother me like being late or appearing rude over the slightest thing. If I were a cartoon character I’d be that high strung rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. Having said all this none of this has been formally diagnosed but I’m sure my family would testify this is true if asked.
I think anxiety makes the pre-30 freakout all the worse. I’m worried about things that haven’t happened and I’m scared of things that I want to happen but I believe won’t.
As an anxious person, I tend to play out every possible scenario to every small issue I am having, before the actual event (which usually turns out to be nothing). I convince myself the worst case scenario is likely but then I justify this silly behaviour as being a good thing to do, because if I played out various scenes a million times in my head I have contingency plans for all of them so the theory is I’ll never be at a loss of what to do.
All of this occasionally leads me to crying.
As I said before I have now trained myself to hold back until alone (a necessity of being a teacher as students have often made me want to cry with their constant rudeness) but I still cry a lot and sometimes with seemingly with no reason. I cry over everything and nothing at the same time. A mixture of self pity then guilt over crying over self pity as I know so many people in the world would love to have one of my bad days.
I think it got worse when I worked with refugees. Sure, I was having a bad week when I found out my contract was not being renewed, but at least my home hadn’t been attacked and I knew all my family were safe and sound. Pain is relative but I have worked with people who have been through hell and it makes me feel guilty for being sad over seemingly trivial matters. I don’t regret the experience though as it really opened up mine eyes as to how lucky I actually am and gave me more of an understanding of what is happening in this world of ours. Helping these kids was fufilling and purposeful (even the naughty ones who eventually settled down).
Sometimes I also feel like in my family and friends group, unless my issues have to do with a relationship breakdown or children no one cares about my problems. Logically I know this isn’t true, but these are the core issues of most people I know and I’m reluctant to “burden” people wit my problems when their storms have passed.
Oh my, this is a sad blog post. Sorry everyone. I’ve just been a bit sad today as I’ve been applying for jobs again (which always makes me sad as I honestly think in most cases it’s a waste of time). I may have also just been watching Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants which always makes me bawl out as there is a child with Leukaemia in it (but it’s just normal to cry during that movie I think).
I think adult crying is not uncommon though. I think many people do it just some are better at hiding it than others. But when you think about it why do we feel compelled to hide that fact we’re human and have emotions? Wouldn’t it be better to cry in front of loved ones and talk things out? Maybe. I don’t really have the answers.
Unfortunately, in our culture, I think it’s just not viewed as socially acceptable to cry (even worse for men). Maybe this needs to change so people will open up more to one another (myself included).