Replacing One with Another

Have you ever felt like you needed something, and then you do something, hoping that it’ll fill that need in you, and then you find out that what you did was great and all, but it really didnt’ fill the need? Yeah, that happens to me a lot.

I’ve always been the tough girl, standing up for my friends, being the strong one when they need me, making everyone know that I’m not gonna take BS from anyone, all that stuff. Along with that, in my mind, comes not crying very often. To me, crying = vulnerability. And vulnerability = no tough girl. So crying = not being a tough girl. So I trained myself not to cry. I think I did a pretty good job at it, actually. I really don’t cry all that often. However, because of that, it’s also really hard for me to cry when I really need to, like when everything I could have cried about has built up in my chest and I really need to relieve that pressure. So that pressure just keeps building up.

Sometimes I can have a really good laugh and have a great time with my friends and that relieves pressure. (Crying and Laughing are right next to each other in the brain, so one can trigger the other– aka, we tear up when we laugh really hard — so I think that’s why laughing really hard can relieve that pressure.) But you know what? Sometimes when I have a really good laugh, I know deep down in my heart that I didn’t want to laugh. I wanted to cry. I’ve gotten pretty close sometimes, too. Laughing really hard makes my breath catch in my throat and I can feel the tears forming in my eyes, but since I’m with friends, I make sure it just seems like laughing.

For the record, when I cry, it’s usually alone. I don’t like to cry in front of people because of said vulnerability. When I was dating my ex, he wanted me to be with him when I cried just so he could hold me and comfort me and all that romantic stuff. But I always tried to make sure I was alone. So I use movies like My Sister’s Keeper and The Green Mile to make myself cry when I know it’s inevitable that tears are going to fall.

But sometimes, I feel fine. Sometimes I don’t want to cry because it doesn’t feel like I need to. Sure, maybe I feel a little stressed, but it’s not enough to warrant crying. But when I was with my boyfriend last night, I had a revelation. … Epiphany? … Whatever the word is, that’s what happened. I wanted to be intimate with my boyfriend because I like being with him. I really do. I really enjoy it, and I love the cuddling afterward and all that. But then when I eventually had to go home, I realized that, even though the intimacy was very fulfilling and I really super enjoyed it, it apparently wasn’t exactly what I wanted. I mean, I wanted it pretty badly, but…. You know when you have a craving for something and you try a food that you think might satisfy the craving, and you really liked it, but it just didn’t hit the spot quite right? That’s how it was with my boyfriend. I know I wanted something from him, but intimacy didnt’ hit the spot quite right. (…no pun intended). So I thought about it on the 15min drive home. And I came to the conclusion that what I really need is… like a whole day of crying. It’s been awhile since I’ve cried. And I think that’s what I need. Soul-shaking, messy, hyperventilating crying. I don’t think people realize the full extent to which crying heals the soul. I heard this from someone and I really liked it: Crying is like a shower for your soul. I know, I know, it gives you a headache and you can’t breathe through your nose cuz of all the boogers and your face gets all red and all that stuff. But it really does help. I know it does.

Random image: holding emotion back is like dropping Mentos in Diet Coke and then putting the cap back on the bottle. Maybe it’ll hold the pressure for awhile, but eventually the pressure has to be released. One way or another, there’s gonna be an explosion.

But anyway, yeah, that’s my conclusion: I try to release pressure with enjoyable things, hoping it’ll help and make me feel better, but the good feeling only lasts so long. I can’t keep it up. I’m just gonna have to find out what makes me cry and give my soul a shower a lot more often. Maybe it’ll help with my anger issues, too, who knows?

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