I spent a pretty big chunk of Saturday and Sunday crying. Not really the spirit of joy most people have during the holidays. The problem is that once the tears started on Saturday they just wouldn’t stop. Even when I was done ugly crying the tears continued streaming down my face for another 30 minutes as I went about doing dishes and making lunch. And they continued well into Sunday. Off and on, but often.
To be honest I felt relieved. I haven’t cried much since I started my meds back in October. I am an intensely emotional human. I am quick to cry at something as silly as a commercial but nothing has really brought tears lately. I was kind of worried the meds were numbing me a little but at the same time I don’t know if that is really a bad thing. After all, I have cried more tears in the last year than most people do in a lifetime and it felt kind of nice to have a break from them.
The tears were weird on Saturday though. We were watching TV and I started to cry and I just couldn’t stop. I don’t even know why. It was my sister’s birthday and normally that would be hard but I didn’t feel particularly sad about it. I didn’t feel any kind of catalyst or feeling at all. I actually felt pretty disconnected but the tears didn’t end. When you don’t know why you are even crying it makes it difficult to stop. So I just kept crying. For about an hour and a half. Then again later that night and the next day too. There was no warning when it would start, it just did. And once it started it seemed like I would never be able to stop.
In hindsight there are so many reasons for the tears. So many kinds of grief in my life right now that are especially present at this holiday time. I realize that now, but in the moment all I could feel was guilt. I felt like a disappointment. I have ruined this Christmas for everyone in my family. With my ever present sadness. With my tears and depression. With my inability to find joy in all the beauty and happiness around me. For my children and my husband who love this time of year. Who have given so much to me this year. Who must be so tired of this bullshit. I felt despondent. I felt low. I hated myself and I felt right back to where I was in October. Thinking that everyone else would be much better off without me.
I received a card on Saturday in the mail from my dear sweet friend Kathy. I didn’t read it right away because I know her cards are always full of beautiful, kind, compassionate words and they always make me cry and I was not in a spot to read it. So I glanced at it and set it aside. I continued crying my tears but later on Sunday I went back to it and it said this:
“’The tears… they streamed down and I let them flow as freely as they would, making of them a pillow for my heart… and upon them it rested’ -St Augustine
Thinking of you Beth… praying for you. May your sweet and tender heart be given moments of rest during this season. Pillows of Peace to you my friend. I love you.”
I had never heard that quote before but it stopped me. That sentiment is so perfect. I was thinking today that I have gone through a lot in the last few weeks and I haven’t shed any tears. And oh did I need to. I have lost people I love deeply. I have struggled with darkness and hopelessness. I have spent a holiday away from my family for the first time ever. So much loss. Tears for me have always been cathartic. When I let go it is sometimes terrifying the intensity with which I feel but it brings with it a kind of peace. After all the tears and crying and feeling I am left feeling cleansed and also exhausted. The tears truly do make a pillow for my heart and I finally get some rest.
I haven’t been sleeping again. A common thing when my depression and anxiety get worse which leads to exhaustion and feeds my depression and anxiety even more. But after all the tears this weekend I finally had a decent night of sleep. I didn’t lay in bed and replay conversations in my mind. I didn’t imagine different outcomes to things that were already done and can’t be changed. I felt peace. And I had some rest. Not enough to catch up but a start and for today that felt like enough. It feels like a place to start recovering again.
I hope that I can remember my need for tears. My need for this beautiful cleansing ritual. That I can get past my shame and guilt and remember how important the tears can be for healing. For moving on. I hope that I can teach my children all of these things so they will never feel that familiar to me guilt and shame. Tears are holy and important. Just like your feelings. And there is nothing wrong with either of those things. So feel deeply. Cry often if you need to. And may you find peace for your hurting heart if you need it right now. It is okay to not be okay friends. Pillows of peace to you in your struggles ❤