There are times when I suddenly realize that I have been holding myself together. Going through life stoically as though I am impervious to what is happening around me. I believe that I am fooling the people who care about me into thinking that I am coping. It is that pinnacle moment when I recognize how much I am holding in, that I need to let it go.
I know friends who journal, some others go to the gym or do yoga, several friends have mastered the skill of meditation. For me, I need to cry. The other things are helpful and definitely a part of a healthy lifestyle but when I know that my body is made up more of tension than calm I need to let go. A full out sob is required.
Over time I have realized that these "emotional breakdowns" work better if they are scheduled (or at least predictable). Sobbing in the line at the grocery store (done it) or on the phone with your alarm system company (done that too) or at a parent/teacher conference (oh yes that too) does not alleviate frustration, it can cause embarassment.
*Although if I had my soap box I would be ranting about the importance of honouring your emotions and not "hiding" you feelings. But the reality is, the general public does not do well with tears ~ there is still a stigma that tears are a sign of weakness or attributed to what Freud termed "hysteria" ~ the plight of the female and her emotional outbursts.*
Sorry, where was I? Oh yes, scheduling "a good cry."
I find time when I know that I can be vulnerable, in a space where I am free of judgement and safe to express my emotions. Sometimes I include my partner if I think it would help for us to better understand how I am currently feeling, but mostly it is something that I choose to do alone.
My favourite place to cry is in the bath. My body is ready to relax from the warmth, there is no concern about getting wet and the accoustics of a good wail reverberated off the walls of a bathroom, priceless. The instant release of tension from every muscle in my body, in addition to the complete and utter exhaustion that comes over me once I have cried is the perfect remedy for my stoicism.
Caution! Once you have allowed for the release it is possible that whatever you have "bottled," "stuffed," or "held onto" will also come out along with the tears.
I probably do not cry as often as I "should" and I probably could learn to identify how I am feeling rather than wait until I can cry. But until that happens I will work with the solutions I have!