Some time along the last few years I had lost my ability to cry. It was a strange phenomenon for me, since I have been a crybaby from my earliest memories. Slowly I did manage to squeeze out some tears during moments of sadness, but they felt more like water dripping out of a leaky pipe versus the torrential rain I was used to.
Last week was a bad week for me. I had recovered from a terrible migraine attack which I thought I had coped with pretty well. I get them now once a month during my menstrual cycle – the science says it is now a commonly known fact for hormones to cause migraines, but the science doesn’t really know why. I am learning to fit these attacks in my life by pre-marking them out in my calendar. At this point I have pretty much given hope on not having them recur again.
I have tried everything: going to TCM regularly, exercising regularly, quitting coffee, etc. Maybe a few months of care is not enough, maybe it will take years of me practicing the lifestyle of a nun. I don’t know how long it will take, or if the end is ever in sight.
My migraines are pretty debilitating, during an attack I cannot do much except lie in bed in pain. They last for 2-3 days, and post-attack I tend to suffer an indescribable exhaustion. They have found a correlation between depression and migraine sufferers, which is not surprising considering how much it impacts my life. These days I am not sure if I am depressed because of my migraines or vice versa.
So one moment last week I found tears rolling down my face after being triggered by an innocuous incident. Again I let my tears drop as though they were from a leaky pipe. Suddenly, I felt a switch flick somewhere, and I started sobbing like a broken child, letting my body feel the torrents of grief, fear, anger, disappointment and pain. I cried like there was no tomorrow. I cried over all the hopes I had, all the effort I had steadfastly put in but to no avail, all those times I tried to be “positive” in the face of despair, all the pretense I had to put up in front of people in order to not let them know how broken I truly am (and I don’t even know if I know how to be otherwise), all the fatigue I have accumulated trying to bear and endure it all, all the wounds I have been carrying.
It was an incredibly exhausting and breaking experience. I thought I would sink into an abyss after. There seemed like there was no way I was going to pick myself up after that. I truly felt like dying. I cried over how much I felt like dying but how much I know I can’t. I cried over how I can never ever explain why I feel like dying so much when outwardly my life seems to be everything I can ever ask for.
Yet. Hours later in the aftermath, I felt a tiny, little bit better. Maybe that is all that is needed. Just a tiny, little bit. Maybe it is because I have finally given myself some space to acknowledge the brunt of my emotions. That maybe sometimes, I can give up trying to be strong. Maybe there are times when I just don’t want to try anymore. I could let myself die a little, and that is okay. And even if nobody would ever understand why and how much I suffer to keep myself alive, at the very least I could try to acknowledge it myself. To tell that little child in me that it is okay to feel this pain, alone.