Crying is therapeutic

Crying is therapeutic

Crying is therapeutic I am told. And indeed I have experienced its therapeutic properties more than a few hundred times in the past eight months. The therapy lasts only for a short while, but it’s immensely useful. Crying is like a painkiller. It acts only for a while and then the pain returns. Perhaps its purpose is to help us cope while the real healing takes place.

I must admit that I never took crying and its role in my life seriously until December 2005. Until then, crying was just not “happening”. Yet when I faced the worst emotional crisis of my life, crying was the only respite I had from overwhelming feelings of extreme helplessness. During that time I began to understand crying and how it seems to work: Each time crying begins by a feeling of heaviness in the heart… feels like it will overflow. Soon, I feel choked. Then slowly, I find my eyes and eyelashes soaked in salty water (I never thought that my tear glands could produce such a huge volume of tears). Then I cry. Sometimes the crying lasts for a few minutes and provides quick relief to feelings of sadness. But at other times it lasts a few hours. In the latter case, the body is seeped of all energy and I often lose interest in everything that’s around me. My only desire is to cry more, which I can’t, because my throat aches. The word that comes closest to describing the situation is ‘hysteria’. Honestly, on one or two occasions it has felt like madness – nothing makes sense. All I want to do is run away. Die.

By now I am all too familiar with crying in all its glorious forms. And I know that crying is therapeutic at least most of the times.

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