For the first time in five years, I cried myself to sleep last week.
As far as I can remember, I’ve cried myself to sleep almost everyday as a child up until about five years ago. I made a conscious decision to stop feeling; crying was exhausting and I attributed my miserable self to crying too much. People around probably thought I was cold, I probably was.
That didn’t mean I didn’t cry at all. When I did cry there was some sort of big event — was rejected again on a job, or someone had fallen ill or had an argument with someone I loved etc. — and it was in my own personal space.
Over the last week, I was tensed, overwhelmed and agitated at the slightest of things. I was making passive aggressive remarks at people because I was a little over it all.
There was no one thing that affected me; just bits and bobs accumulated over the last few months. I couldn’t focus, I was procrastinating, and everything just annoyed me. I slept at 9pm, woke up at midnight and was up until 5 just staring into my ceiling with an overactive brain — wanting to be productive but not able to get up and do it. And when I did feel sleepy it was time to be up to get into work. One could say PMS, but I have two weeks to go.
Thursday night at 3 am, on another sleepless night, I texted a friend venting about my week. And then I started to cry, the kind of cry where you purge, subconsciously clinging on to my bolster, like I used to.
I can’t quite remember how or when I fell asleep, a bit like how people describe a night out. But, unlike a hangover, I woke up the next morning feeling free, a load off my chest and head, a lot calmer. I started my day feeling surprised how I had forgotten that crying can be healing.
I had shut myself off from crying because it was exhausting being a permanently sad pigeon. But I didn’t realise how much it helped me get through tough days — because it’s the release my body needed.
So, when you’re feeling overwhelmed, tensed, stressed, have a cry — may not solve anything but will help you feel even a little better.