At the beginning of my mom’s diagnosis, I felt overwhelmed by sadness. There was one point when I felt like I was crying so hard, I was fearful I would never stop. For several weeks, I woke up puffy-eyed, and for lack of better words, completely eye-bloated. In order to "name it to tame it," I started asking myself questions about my sadness. This helped me become aware of what I was feeling at a given time + helped give me permission to let it out!
Will I Ever Stop Crying?
When I first found out that my mom had stage 4 cancer, I was a mess. I was crying a lot. It is normal to: cry yourself to sleep, wake up in the middle of the night crying, wake up super eye bloated from crying, cry at random points in the day, crying when provoked by friends with questions. Experiencing tears on tears on tears is a part of the game. And for the record, you will stop. Now that it's several months later, I am no longer crying every single day. Please don’t feel like you’re never going to stop crying because a) that’s just not true and also b) that’s just not possible.
How is it Possible to Feel This Sad?
When she was first diagnosed, I recall experiencing a level of sadness of which I previously did not know was possible. One reason I think I felt this way was because I feel that my sadness was stemming from another emotion: fear. Both fear of knowing this new truth about my mom, as well as fear of the unknown that stems beyond that.
Surrounding myself by other people who had been through difficult experiences really was helpful for me during this period. And that’s of course something I hope that can make you feel more comfortable with what you’re going through, too. I know that the sadness can feel scary, but the good news that is once you hit rock bottom, there is honestly nowhere to go but up. You will indeed feel better soon, I promise.
Why Am I Afraid to Cry?
This was a curious question that snuck up on me, seemingly out of nowhere. I tended to feel ashamed of my tears, which I think is something that a lot of people can relate to. Truthfully, the more you own that crying, tears, sadness etc. is all NORMAL, the less afraid you will feel. There is a weird stigma around releasing your emotions as some sort of weakness, but I’m here to point out that this is simply just not true. We might be afraid to cry because we feel like we’re the only one who is this sad, or because we don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. Releasing the feelings that are building up inside of you will ultimately feel gooood.
Who Will Ever Understand Me?
I definitely feel/felt misunderstood by a lot of my friends when she was diagnosed. This is something that I truthfully really do still struggle with constantly. I mean, kind of one of the reasons I started writing more about it, a la blog, vlog, etc. etc. You’ll find people in your life whose shoulder you can lean on, who will be there for you by listening. No two human beings have, are, or will be in identical situations. It’s not possible for anyone to whole-heartedly understand every possible aspect of your unique situation. So, idk, something about that is really comforting for me. Someone in your family WILL understand you. Someone in your friend circle, at your school, or at your work WILL understand you. And I’m happy to say that I’ll understand you!
Where’s A Place I Can Cry in Solitude?
It’s important to have a space, or a place, that you can go to unwind, let loose, let it out. Examples of places could include - a spot right outside your home when you need to just go for a walk. A spot at a local park, by a tree, near a pond/lake/beach or in nature. A designated corner of your bedroom. Yup, it can be that easy. It’s kind of like giving yourself a time out *lol* — but as a reward, instead of a punishment. And you’re giving it to yourself. Which is kind of scandalous in a way? Like oh, self! You’ve been so bad. What a bad a bad self. Get on wich-yo bad bad self! On the real, having a place to go to zen out makes owning your sadness a conscious choice. You own your emotions, your emotions don’t own you.