Buckle in, I’m gunna start with a story.
So for the past two weeks I haven’t been able to work. I came in contact with a positive Covid case when one of my close friends got it. He tested positive three days after I had seen him. Now, my company is pretty strict about Covid protocol, so even with a negative test on my end (thank goodness!), I was told I couldn’t work until two weeks after I’d come in contact with him. Of course I was bummed, but I understand safety is important and I respect that. Plus, at that point it was only 10 more days which isn’t long in the span of a life. I was still glad I was honest and told them about the situation. At least they know I have integrity, right?
So last Friday, I got an email about coming back to work and they informed me that I actually can’t work until 14 days after I reported the fact that I came in contact with a Covid case. So that’s three days longer than I expected and now 18 days after I came in contact with that friend.
And let me tell you that news wrecked me.
I know what you’re thinking. It’s three extra days. Not a big deal. But I’m the kind of person whose mental health kinda revolves around work. Being unemployed and then working from home for five straight months was killer for me. I lost motivation, I felt lonely and purposeless. So yea, being told I had to take even 10 days off was rough. Being off from a job I was just starting was rough. Being off from a job where I was finally making some friends and getting that social interaction I have been craving was rough. Being off from a job where I was actually getting paid decently after months of unemployment and hustling with side jobs was rough.
Hearing that it would be three more days of those rough waters, of feeling a little purposeless and lonely, it just put me over the edge.
And I cried. Friday, after I got that email, I grabbed my blanket from my bed, wrapped it around my head and body, laid in the fetal position, and cried for about 45 minutes straight. Then I called my mommy and cried for 45 more.
Dramatic, I know.
But I promise it wasn’t all about work and all the thoughts and emotions already listed above. The work news was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. I started crying about not being able to go to work. But then I started crying about the state of the world. Then I started crying about the future of America. Then I started crying about the fact that we’re still in the middle of Covid without a real end in sight. Then I started crying about the fact that the president won’t even admit that fact. Then I started crying because we’re all just so damn divided and it breaks my heart. Then I just started crying to cry because all these combined feelings just became really overwhelming.
They teach you in acting class that fighting off tears is usually more compelling than full-on crying on stage. Let me tell you, that is NOT the case when it comes to emotional breakdowns.
In that moment on Friday, I let it all out. I’m talking sobbing, snot coming out of my nose, and wailing. Yes, this sounds dramatic. No, I don’t care.
Because let me tell you, I needed it.
Sometimes all those really big emotions you’re holding inside just need a way to get out of you. And as someone who always “looks on the bright side” or “tries to find the positive,” I had a lot of negative emotions that finally demanded to be felt.
Feeling them made me feel better — I mean, not in the moment. The middle of an emotional breakdown usually feels like absolutely crap. It’s not fun. It can be painful — but then, usually after some time, it stops hurting so much. Because you let it out.
We all need a really good cry every once in a while. And with everything happening in America and in the world, now may be a really good time for one.
Crying allows you to let out your emotions. It allows you to stop being brave for a second. Stop putting on that “everything is okay” face, because sometimes, everything is not okay. Sometimes everything is crap. And as you’re wading through the crap, you don’t really want to try and pretend it’s flowers. You want to say “this is crap, it smells, and I’m sad I’m wading through it.”
Then you find a plan to make your way out of the crap. And you will, I promise. But who am I to stop you from crying about a less than ideal situation while you’re in it?
Everyone has bad days. Everyone has hard seasons. You don’t have to be Superman and face them with smiles and positivity. You can raise hell. You can cry about it. You can have a moment to feel sorry for yourself and experience the full scale of your emotions. In fact, I encourage you to do so.
Sometimes you need to cry. Sometimes you need to throw yourself a pity party. Sometimes it’s okay to acknowledge your feelings of being overwhelmed, hopeless, or just sad. You have to get the bad out before you can wholeheartedly welcome the good back in.
So let it all out. Have a good cry. Just because you have a breakdown, doesn’t mean you aren’t strong. In fact, I’d say it makes you stronger.
Nobody’s life is happy all the time. And it’s ridiculous to expect that from yourself. So start normalizing the fact that you’re going to feel overwhelmed sometimes, and you may just need to cry about it.
Me, for example. I write a self-help blog. I write about finding moments of light and joy and spreading positivity. But my whole life is far from being rainbows and sunshine. I have days of deep sadness and emotional breakdowns and crying on my bed for an hour and a half. My smile can cover a lot, but don’t let it fool you. I’m happy overall, but nothing can be perfect 100% of the time. I cry. I get sad. I live in that for as long as I need to. Then I work on finding the positive and turning it around.
I always strive for complete honesty on here. I usually write about good things, because I think life is full of good things. That doesn’t mean bad things aren’t also there. Having the bad things, sad thoughts, or down moments doesn’t mean I am not inherently good. It just means I needed to feel bad for a little bit.
A good cry was what I needed. It didn’t solve my problems, but it took the weight off of them. I don’t feel as overwhelmed anymore. And for right now, that’s a great step forward.
So if you’ve been needing a good cry, I’d encourage you to go on and have it. Throw yourself a pity party. Curl up under your blanket and eat a pile of junk food. Whatever style of emotional breakdown fits you best!
Cry about it. Let it out. Let it out so that all good things can come back in. You owe that to yourself. And if you need someone to come cry with you, you give me a call.
Happy crying, my friends.