The Value of a Good Cry

We don’t watch a lot of TV in our house.  For one thing, there always seems to be other things that need to be tackled.  For another, we’re in the middle of remodeling our house, and we are currently living in only 1/2 the house.  That means the bed is in the living room, and when one person wants to watch TV is about the same time that the other person wants to rest or read.  I would watch more TV, but Matt doesn’t like all the noise, so the invention of the DVR was ideal for me.  It makes it easy for me to record my shows and watch them when Matt is outside or at work or just generally not in the house.
One of my favorite shows is Grey’s Anatomy.  I like the dialogue and the characters.  And I’m almost always guaranteed a good cry.

Normally, I’m a very even-tempered person.  Matt has accused me of being too even-tempered.  He said once that if he came into the house and announced that he won the lottery or that he ran the car through the garage door, my reaction would be the same:  “That’s nice, honey.”  I don’t think that I’m that even-tempered (I would get excited about the lottery), but I would be the first to admit that most things roll off of me very easily.

I am a true believer in the saying “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.  I have toughed it out through issues and crises and emotional upheavals that I wouldn’t have expected myself to make it through.  Some of my hardest battles have been in my fight against clinical depression.  I have felt like King David in Psalms, wondering

How long, O LORD will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
Psalm 13:1-2

With help of family, friends and professionals, however, I have been able to see my way out of each of my episodes of depression (Thank You, God).  I can recognize the warning signs of an episode and seek out proactive help before it gets any worse.  God has been good (and obviously never forgot me).

One of the interesting side effects of my therapy for depression is that now I rarely cry (I think that it is the medication).  I get sad, sometimes have the blues, but crying is an uncommon event.  Matt can probably count on both hands how many times he has seen me cry since we have known each other.

While I am glad that I don’t cry all the time, or at the drop of a hat, I had feared that I had become so cynical or hard that I was unable to cry.  That is why I so appreciate the cry I get each week watching Grey’s Anatomy.  It reminds me that I have the capability to be empathetic, sympathetic, and vulnerable.  I am reminded that (even though scripted and sometimes hokie) there are people out there struggling with their own sets of problems, and somehow surviving through what may seem unendurable.  Somehow, those five or so minutes a week that I silently cry is cathartic.  I usually feel better during the closing credits than I did when I sat down.

Am I weird?  Maybe.  Could I find a better way to let go of some pent up emotion?  Probably.  But for right now, I am grateful for some small things, including that God has helped me fight my war with depression, and yet I still have the ability to have a good cry on a regular basis.  I feel like I got my cake and I’m eating it, too.

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