I’ve Always Been A Crier – Now I’m On Antidepressants & I Can’t Shed A Tear


On Saturday I am close to tears for the first time in weeks. I can feel them blooming behind my eyes as I watch, of all things, the season one finale of Ugly Betty. “Somewhere” from West Side Story swells as Betty’s sister, Hilda, learns that her fiancé, Santos, has been shot. She collapses in sobs on screen while I valiantly well up, focusing on my tear ducts. I know I can do it. I can feel the brimming of emotion that always gets me during melodramatic moments; my cheeks and eyes feel swollen and my forehead is dramatically crinkled. Eventually, as Hilda’s sobs echo around the school hall, I feel myself blink out two distinct tears from each eye.

My wife, unperturbed by the dramatic performance on the sofa next to her, doesn’t notice until I wildly, enthusiastically, throw a balled up sock at her.

“Babe, look! I did it. I cried!”

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I’ve always been a crier. Tears would spring to my eyes unbidden for the silliest reasons: a deliberately emotive ad for a bank featuring a queer couple; a puppy tripping over its paws in the park; seeing friends on Zoom for the first time in less than a week. I am an advertiser’s dream. My feelings are always on the surface or ready to rise to it, and they can absorb me in seconds. I recognize how ridiculous it is to be swayed so easily – especially by media that is designed exactly to catch suckers like me – but it is an integral facet of my being. I am someone who is moved deeply by innocuous things. There’s a catharsis to being so absorbed by a feeling (whether it is joy, anger, or sadness) before it dissipates. More often than not, I feel renewed.

But in recent years my tears have been less innocent. When I first got absorbed by anxiety (which turned out to be OCD) in 2019 I couldn’t understand why I was feeling such panic. I became increasingly terrified of my own thoughts and the fear and doubt that encircled me would make me sob in terror. This escalated until at its worst I was having what I called anxiety attacks almost daily – a thought that would once have seemed innocuous now felt paralyzing and I would feel trapped in a spiral of panic which I could only express in deeply overwrought sobs. Even when I was coping, balancing on the precipice between obsession and normalcy, my eyes felt like overfull buckets that could tip at a moment’s notice. I went from feeling my emotions at their fullest to feeling too much. It was a constant overflow.

Crying went from an innocuous expression of emotion to an indication of despair. It was no longer cathartic; it didn’t allow for healing for myself or anyone around me. The tears were symptomatic of a much larger problem: my inability to separate my thoughts from my feelings or recognize how my thoughts and feelings actually interacted …read more

Source:: Refinery29

      

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