Water for the Soul

This has been a very strange week.   Everything has seemed off somehow.  It has also been an emotional week.  I am not now nor have I ever been a crier.  I was the only on in the theater who did not cry during the movie “Out of Africa.”  I don’t remember anything about the movie except that it was long, very long and everyone cried.

Let me qualify that remark about crying.  I was a drunken crier.  When I was a practicing alcoholic, I had two extremes- very happy or very sad.  Very happy meant singing the loudest, dancing like a woman possessed, telling really lame jokes, and being the life of the party.  Very sad meant I would cry and tell you how horrible my life was, how depressing world events were, or isolating from everyone.

I wasn’t allowed to cry as a child.  After being “corrected” for crying a few times, I learned how to control it.  Grandma said that God punished you for crying because He sees it as a lack of faith.  Later I believed that crying was a sign of weakness and I needed everyone to know I was strong.

It took therapy and feeling safe enough to cry again once I got clean and sober.  I still don’t cry often.  It makes me feel vulnerable.  When I do cry, I try not to do it in front of anyone.    I have not been successful in that endeavor this week.   I have cried in the presence of at least ten people this week.  I believe that may be a record.

Why all the tears?   There are some major changes going on at work.  I am changing positions and perhaps office locations.  I will no longer be working with the staff I have managed for the past three years.   You were expecting something horrific, I bet.  I love the work I do and have been doing it a long time.    There is huge sense of loss and confusion around the changes.

Last night I received news that someone very important in my life had passed away.  I had not seen Paul in about ten years.  He had some serious health issues and was over 80 years old.  What I have learned about grief is that when you lost someone, it goes somewhere in your brain where all the other grief is stored.  It opens all the old wounds.  I shared the news with my friend Jan last night  and while we “talked”, I cried.  She is one of my “safe spaces.”   I thought a lot about Paul last night and today.  I also touched that grief and memories of my friend Jan (another Jan), my mother and my “other mother” who all died in the past few years.

I spent some time today with the staff from the position I held three years ago.  They are a trusted and valued circle of friends.  We were working on a project and we stopped to get something to eat.  Someone said something that poked a hole in the well of tears and they started again.

I am not a crier, but I think I am learning to become one more and more.   I know that I will not break or fall apart if I cry.  I found that God doesn’t mind if I cry, nor do my friends.    My therapist gave me a bumper sticker for my office that said, “I used to have superpowers, but my therapist took them away.”  I am not Superwoman or Wonder Woman.  I have emotions.  I have tears.  I am human.   And, you know, I think I am OK with that.

Let your tears come.  Let them water your soul.  ~Eileen Mayhew

16 responses

  1. Cathy, I’m so sorry that you lost your friend. As I said in one of my blogs I lost Betty Jean a couple of years ago she was not only my sister but my best friend. I still miss her so much at times that I think my heart will burst but it is getting better. I have so many loved ones waiting for me in Heaven and I’m looking forwar to seeing them when God is ready to call me home. Cry if you feel like it, I do. Crying is good medicine. But also remember to laugh when you feel like it. We are all on this journey together.
    You have a great blog, keep up the good work. Are you writing a book, could be a novel, if not why not? I must get back to my manuscript. God bless.

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing that. I am working on a book . I don’t know to do it as fiction or non fiction. 🙂

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  2. I agree it’s been an odd week. Something to do with the approach of the Venus/Sun eclipse? I’ve been having a one person pity party & a bit weepy too but your post reminds me of what’s real.

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  3. I too have had a rough couple of weeks, so I appreciate you sharing. Crying is a challenge and I don’t do it very often either – I wish I could sometimes.
    I am sorry for the loss of your friend and the loss in your job. Both things to bring sad emotions to the forefront.
    Love the bumper sticker, “I used to have superpowers, but my therapist took them away.” THAT is awesome!

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    1. Thanks. I have found that sharing with others helps. Yeah..I love the bumper sticker too.

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  4. I’m honored to be a “safe place” for you! I feel that is very mutual, by the way.

    I love the superpowers saying! It makes me laugh in its truth!

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  5. Cathy, I think your vulnerability here is beautiful and transparent and real. I certainly see it as a strength. I watched my daughter graduate High School this week and I couldn’t help but to feel a little loss for what once was. I am always stoic, but this week I have cried more for “no apparent” reason than in recent years. I think you are right, maybe that little pain just found its way to some bigger one. I have always handled death and change well, because its always been a constant in my life. Maybe God is pushing you out of your comfortable place so that he can use your incredible story to impact different peoples lives. I always try to see beyond my personal emotions in a given situation to see,”How will God use me next?” Sometimes the clarity comes after the storm, but it doesn’t keep me from focusing on something bigger than myself. Your story is powerful and vulnerable, as well as useful to other people that still struggle where you have been. P.S. I still have my Super Powers!! lol.

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    1. Thank you so much for your comments. It reminds me that my friend used to say, “What is the lesson you are suppose to learn from this?” I must admit I kept a few of the super powers around as a back up.

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  6. Hello! I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! Congratulations! Thank you for your contributions to the Blogosphere! Keep up the great work! You can follow this link, http://wp.me/p1fiGl-h0 for the rules regarding this award!

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  7. When I was little, I got yelled at for crying too. I finally had to accept that crying for pain and loss is okay. Sometimes a good cry helps me feel better, too. 🙂

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    1. Yes, I have found that to be true now in my life. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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  8. Cathy thanks for sharing. I too have an issue with crying in front of others, not that I was told not to cry, but because I didn’t want others to view me as weak or vulnerable. However, as I grow older, I’m becoming more comfortable with my sensitive side.

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    1. I am working on letting the sensitive side out. Thank you

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  9. […] Water for the Soul(cathysvoicenow.wordpress.com) […]

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  10. […] Water for the Soul (cathysvoicenow.wordpress.com) […]

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