Emmy Award Winning Actor Jon Hamm as Mad Men’s Don Draper
(Yes, Men Do Cry & That’s Okay)
Sometimes the feeling starts in my throat.
It feels tight. I try to swallow a few times to see if that will make it go away.
The next thing I know a lump has formed as I begin to feel my eyes well up with water. I try looking up at the ceiling because a good friend told me this is a trick she uses to prevent crying.
Or I pinch the bridge of my nose so that I focus on the twinge of my skin and not on the feeling of sadness or frustration that is starting to bring me to tears. Oh no, I think, my outside self is cracking.
If I am with another person, they may try to say something that they think will make me feel better but at this point, it’s hard to pull back.
Instead, my emotions and thoughts intensify, my voice may shake a little and then I know I’m a goner.
Mama, I’m gonna cry.
Not only am I gonna cry, I ain’t gonna apologize for it.
No matter what people say, it is perfectly A-okay to cry. It’s shows you are a human being with a beating heart and a sympathetic soul.
Whether you are a man or a woman, you are not a cry baby. You are courageous. You are brave.
When you cry full out, it means you are facing and embracing the crushing weight of your problems and giving yourself permission to get rid of major negative emotional stress. Yup that’s what crying is. Letting go.
Crying is beneficial to your mental and physical health. It’s a legitimate emotion and a healthy release of emotional stress or tension that may have built up after a loved one’s death, the loss of a job, an unexpected piece of personal news, a medical diagnosis or just sheer frustration at not being able to turn around a negative situation.
Your feelings are very close to the surface when you are in the midst of a trauma and it doesn’t take too much to make you feel completely out of control when trying to handle any of these circumstances that life may put on your path.
No matter where we happen to be when we break down and let the waterworks go, we all know we feel a whole hell of a lot better afterwards. As though we wiped the slate clean and got a second chance handed us to start fresh. A do-over, if you will.
Take a deep breath.
I know I really don’t care where I am when I need to cry but I was curious about where other people feel comfortable when they feel a good cry coming on, so I talked to a small group of people and did an informal survey and here is my list of the top 5 places to shed tears and the reasons why people choose them:
— In The Car: It’s similar to being inside an emotional bubble. You’re driving along and your mind is rambling and then it hits an emotional road bump. I am not suggesting that you drive at a top speed and cry at the same time. Most people said they were usually driving around, doing errands, or on their way to meet someone or on their way to work and they would be sitting in the car and then the tears would flow. It feels private in the car even though people can see inside. Sometimes I did my best crying inside my car. Especially if a song came on which brought back some tender memories. Lots of people said they liked crying in the car because it felt contained. They would cry, get it out of their system, get out of the car, slam the door and then get on with their day.
— Phone: This is an easy one to understand because unless you are skyping, the other person cannot see your ugly cry. They can’t the mascara and the rest of your makeup running down your face or see your face turning red and splotchy. You can let all of your emotions hang out without the visuals.
— Shower: You are already wet so crying just blends in with the rest of the water. Running water or music on the radio can drown out the sobbing that you may not want other people to hear.
— Church: This would be me again. If you kneel down and bow your head in your hands you can let your feelings go for a little bit. A few people said they already felt emotional in church and if a particular song began to play that could trigger the start of tears along with prayers for help. No one in church finds it strange that you may be crying during a service.
— Grocery Store: Maybe you just broke up with someone or a loved one recently died. You find yourself in the aisle where their favorite food is displayed. That gets your mind going about how you probably won’t be buying that food any more and then you are taking a jog down memory land. Emotional overload can happen and these days I don’t think anyone would blame you for crying in the checkout line when your groceries are totaled after a hard day at work and you know you still need to go home and cook for the family.
Hang in there my friends. Don’t be afraid to grab a box of tissues.
Go with what helps you survive your personal storm.
You can cry if you want to because crying helps you move on and persevere!