“Sometimes memories sneak out of my eyes and roll down my cheeks.”– Quoteistan.com
One thing you should know about me is that I have a tendency to cry. A lot. It is almost a badge of honour and a thing people know me chuckle about. Others cheekily ask me if it’s hormonal and suggest I might be pregnant (I am not). For I’ve been this way since I was very young and it has only intensified over the years.
I’ve always had extremely generous tear ducts. In areas plighted by drought, they should just fly me in and dangle me by the ankles, for I will happily provide a continuous stream of eye moisture. I’m basically a human watering can.
Here’s a short list of some places I have cried lately:
- All the rooms in my house
- On multiple trains
- At Sainsbury’s self checkout
- The airport
- In a waiting room
- At the cinema
- At the doctors
- In a restaurant
- In a shopping mall
- In a park
- On the toilet
I must confess I spend a great deal of time crying on the toilet. Please don’t spend too long picturing that as it’s really not a pretty sight.
But it’s a little safe place. A private moment of quiet solace behind a closed door – and conveniently there’s toilet roll right there ready to mop up the tears (and snot).
Crying is cathartic. When the pressure cooker of my little brain starts feeling ready to go off the boil, the tears come and let off the steam. It’s pure release.
Don’t get me wrong, crying can also be painful. A full body experience. Sometimes when you have a solid cry it is swiftly followed by a big old juicy dehydration headache. Stay hydrated, people!
You may also find yourself bunged up in the nose department as you’ve unwittingly RSVP’d ‘Yes’ to The Mucus Party in your face.
When my Dad passed away I cried so hard my face was temporarily covered in red dots where I burst the blood vessels near my eyes. Crying can be intensely physical. Anyone who has sobbed until it feels they’re heart is about to break will know exactly what I mean.
And sometimes you might just cry FOR NO REASON. People might ask “why are you crying?” and you might not be able to offer an answer.
I am frequently Very Sad. I am also frequently Very Happy. A yo-yoing mishmash of both Eeyore and Tigger. Both equally cause me to weep and there’s nothing more joyful than throwing your head back and howling with laughter, warm tears of hilarity streaming down your face.
I do find it hard not to cry and am very suspicious/concerned for people who say they never do it. The thought of not crying, for me, would be the equivalent of suppressing a sneeze or a fart – IT’S ONLY NATURAL AND MUST OUT!
It always makes me sad when people see crying as a sign of weakness – it’s particularly sad when it’s seen as a stigma for men to cry (although men crying is also one of my triggers – just picture Ewan McGregor at the end of Moulin Rouge bawling as Nicole Kidman’s character shuffles off this mortal coil and I’m howling all over again).
Though I’m hoping that times are a-changing and that everyone, regardless of age or gender, feels that it’s OK and perfectly natural to shed the odd tear from time to time.
From being a natural geek and looking into the subject a little more, there appear to be 3 types of tears:
- Basal Tears – These look after your vision by keeping your cornea nice and clean and lubricated. Wow, I’m so mature!! I can actually type ‘lubricated‘ without sniggering! Oh. No. Turns out I can’t.
- Reflex Tears – You know the ones. Ever chopped an onion, encountered pollen or been in a smoky room? These bad boys act as mini shields which protect our peepers.
- Psychic Tears – Now this conjures up images of tiny droplets dressed as fortune tellers predicting you’ll meet a tall, dark stranger. They are actually produced during times of strong emotion (both positive and negative) and tend to contain more hormones.
How cool is that? These multipurpose tears are made up of water, oil and mucus. By secreting them it also helps reduce stress, lowers your blood pressure and helps rid the body of toxins. Those are some sexy droplets!
So I encourage you all to embrace your facial moisture. Watch ET, chop a ton of onions or howl with laughter at the humble Whoopie Cushion placed on a friend’s chair.
They’re just signs our body is working and we are, in fact, human.
Now please excuse me, I’ve just got to nip to the loo….
Love (and tears) and stuff,