I cry easily. Not because I’m a sad person generally, but because I just get emotional, and the first thing I do when something is sad, or overwhelming, or scary, or even joyful, is cry. Not always bawling—in fact, rarely bawling—but tears definitely wet my cheeks more than I care to admit.

But it helps to have a good cry.

I cry because my baby won’t stop crying. It’s frustrating and a little scary, so I cry because I feel hopeless.

I cry because my head hurts or my back hurts or my feet hurt, and crying helps me focus on something else.

I cry because of politics. 

I used to be ashamed of crying. I used to hide in the bathroom or go to bed early or wipe off my face in my car. But I’m not ashamed anymore. Crying makes me feel better.

I cry because sometimes life is just too overwhelming and I feel like I’m not a good mother or partner.

I cry when I reread our wedding vows every anniversary.

I cry when I read the news.

But it helps to have a good cry.

I cry during any episode of The West Wing when CJ gets passionate. So, every episode.

I cry when I laugh at my favorite comedians’ jokes, even when I’ve heard them 100 times before. I cry harder when my husband laughs in the same places.

I cry from the overwhelming beauty of a story, a song, or a piece of art.

Sometimes I’m crying and I don’t know why I’m crying. And not knowing why I’m crying makes me frustrated, which makes me cry harder.

But I’ve learned that crying is not a bad thing. It does not make me weak. Even though I can’t always control it, I now know it’s not a hindrance. It’s a coping mechanism. It’s innately human.

I cry when I think about my grandmother, even though she passed away almost 20 years ago. I’m crying not just because I miss her, but because she was the epitome of my childhood and it’s bittersweet to think about.

I cry when I’m furious. My mother calls it the “crying gene” since she does the same thing. We can’t have an argument without both of us bursting into tears. We don’t argue anymore, and now it’s funny to think about. I cry when I think about it.

I cry when reminiscing about college because I’ll never have that energy or that freedom again.

I cry when my toddler smacks his face on the cement and starts bleeding. He’s screaming because he’s scared and hurt, and he starts crying louder when he sees me cry. So I cry more and shield his face in my shirt so he won’t see me cry. I only care a little bit that there is blood on my shirt. Mostly I cry because he’s OK. I also cry because I made him afraid of me, if only for a moment.

I cry because I really have nothing to cry about because my life is so good compared to so many. Then I cry harder because I feel guilty for crying.

But it helps to have a good cry.

I cry when I think about life in general. Will my children grow up to be good people? Will the planet be around for my grandchildren to enjoy? Will robots have taken over the world?

I cry when I scream at my kids because they’re driving me crazy. I wonder if they’ll inherit my crying gene. I cry about this thought.

I’m crying while writing this.

But the crying does not control me. I’ve learned to embrace the crying. It helps me breath and gain composure. It helps to have a good cry.

Originally published on Sammiches & Psych Meds 

Elaine Ferrell

Elaine Ferrell is a working mom of 2 under 3. She lives in the DC suburbs with her family, and is not a professional writer, but aspires to be one in her ample free time (ha, ha). When not stepping on toys, picking sippy cups off the floor, or writing, Elaine enjoys dancing, binge watching reruns of 30 Rock and The West Wing, and having adult conversations with adult friends. Her work has been featured in Blunt Moms, Sammiches & Psych Meds and Pregnant Chicken. She also blogs at ferrellfoibles.wordpress.com and really really tries to blog on a regular basis.