Friday 9 November 2018

Weekly Discussion Summary ~ Crying

Tears are the words our hearts need to express.
Our discussion last week centred on crying: when we cry (and don’t cry), why we cry, what crying does for us.
For our members, women with primary or secondary breast cancer, this was a topic which led us to bring our attention to whether we cry a lot, occasionally or whether we have lost the ability to cry.
Numbness, we learned, or cutting off from painful emotions after trauma is a common response and many shared we had been unable to cry on diagnosis and during treatment. Others find tears come easily and we may then worry that we are embarrassing others when we cry in their presence.
The power of crying to heal is undisputed, however, it can feel counter-intuitive to cry when we are struggling and we acknowledged that there are times when it isn’t appropriate to cry – in social situations perhaps, or at work. Some of us prefer not to cry in front of our loved ones, while others feel it’s good to clear the air with a good cry and perhaps a comforting hug.
Many of us might have a really good cry, perhaps even months or even years after key events or experiences. If this happens, we may feel that at last we have unshed tears from deep in our past flowing freely and it can be hugely therapeutic.
Many of us shared that we desperately want to cry but we can’t. The need to cry is there but the tears just don’t come. We wondered if it’s possible to cry without tears? Maybe we feel pressure in the chest, a build up of emotion with nowhere to go. This can be very uncomfortable.
As children, some of us were told that it’s weak to cry. This can lead to unnecessary suffering because the need to cry is subconsciously suppressed due to our deeply ingrained beliefs.
If and when tears eventually come, it may be when we least expect them and at an inconvenient time. Some of us reported deliberately suppressing emotions, remaining detached from our feelings as a self-preservation coping mechanism. We fear that if we allow ourselves to cry, we may never stop.
Tears can convey different emotions – there are angry tears, sad ones, gentle ones, heart wrenching ones. Tears of grief, of sadness, of self-pity, of wretchedness. We cry for others, we cry for ourselves. We cry when we are happy too, tears of pride, of love, of joy. Any strong overwhelming emotion can lead to tears. Tears can be triggered by a piece of moving music or a poignant moment in a TV show, which may turn into a good, long cry. At other times we may feel the tears prickling behind our eyes but we hold them back, wipe them away, refuse to let them come.
We feel relief and calmness following a good cry, and it’s interesting how many of us cry in the shower to start the day – cleansing our body and mind at the same time.
The loss of a loved one may trigger unreleased tears, or perhaps an emotionally charged moment such as a Reiki session or a beautiful sunset.
Naz told us that if we can give ourselves permission to cry, there are many self-soothing benefits. We may feel relaxed, cleansed and relieved. Crying has a positive effect on our nervous system, releasing feel-good hormones that help us feel balanced. There’s a lot to be said for having a good cry, picking ourselves up afterwards and getting on with it, feeling more motivated and determined.
Tears can sometimes be a signal of having overdone things, a sign of fatigue, giving rise to a need to step back or rest. If we notice and listen, we can take better care of ourselves.
Crying isn't a sign of weakness and we should never be ashamed of our tears. If we allow ourselves to go with the flow of our bodies and minds, letting the tears come when they appear, then we can become more at one with the ebb and flow of our emotions. Taking the time to stop, breathe, feel, and cry if we want to, is a healthy way to be in tune with ourselves.

If you are a woman living in the UK and you have a diagnosis of breast cancer, you would be welcome to join our private group. Please message us via our facebook page 

No comments: