I cry. Rather a lot actually. More than I’d really care to admit. So why I’m writing it on here is beyond me really. Sometimes it’s about normal things that normal people cry over. Like when sad things happen to my friends or family, or something horrible has happened on the news.
Then there’s times when I cry about things I feel a little silly and embarrassed about crying over, like the Monty the penguin advert for John Lewis, or when that bread on the Warbutons adverts looks so lovely and the family is so nice and oh dear, time for another little weep to myself. Ahh now I feel better. OMG wait, I just cried over bread. BREAD. The shame.
Then there’s those times when I cry about nothing. Literally nothing. Like, one moment I’m fine, just sipping my tea or scrolling through my facebook feed, or sat at my desk in work just staring at some excel file and trying to make some sense out of the numbers squiggling their way along the screen. Then all of a sudden there is the familiar pressure in my chest, a hard lump in my throat, and all the water in my body is trying to force its way out of my eyes, like a leaky tap that no matter how hard you turn it, every now and again a little drip of water will find its way out. I’ll look up, blink hard, push my tongue to the top of my mouth and take a deep breath. And then continue whatever I was doing, fine and dandy and like nothing happened. WHAT IS GOING ON?!
I’ve always been fairly emotional. I’ve always been the friend that people like to make laugh, because I cried whenever I found something the mildest bit funny, went red in the face, and fell over in stiches. I’ve always been sensitive to horror films, and being incredibly squeamish would go shaky and faint and the mere mention of something related to blood, or surgery, or anything a little bit freaky, like when people turn their eyelids inside out (why oh why?! Just… seriously why?!) and the one who’d cry because the teacher told me off in front of the whole class and I hate criticism anyway but this time it was in front of everyone and OMG I’m so embarrassed!
Having said that, I would always have some sort of reason for actual real life tears to come out of my face… and super cute adverts never used to be one of them. I was emotional, but not unnecessarily so.
When I had just hit 20, I started to become a lot more… fragile. I could be sat in my room and feel absolutely bloomin’ grand, then the next second feel really sad, or like something bad was going to happen. Sometimes this would pass, potentially with a single solitary tear. Other times I could have a full-blown weep for a good 10mins before feeling back to normal. But then I would be, back to normal (whatever ‘normal’ is…) and would go about doing whatever I was doing before (back then it was probably playing Farmville on facebook whilst attempting to avoid doing my next essay).
If I’m being all scientific about this, it makes sense because studies have shown that when the stress hormone cortisol builds up in your body, crying can reduce the levels of this hormone in your body, thereby relieving your stress. So having a little weep DOES make you feel better. Science. Love it.
As my random crying episodes became a bit more frequent, it freaked me out, and so I promptly trotted down to the docs for a bit of advice. I assumed that they would tell me it was lack of sleep, university-related stress, or perhaps even homesickness from being away at uni. Maybe I had anxiety, or maybe this is what happens to all 20 somethings mid-way through their degree?
Well, after awkwardly telling the lovely female doctor my issue (I cry, like, all the time. For no reason. HELP. Followed by me crying ‘cause it was such an awkward social situation and really quite embarrassing, but at the same time affirming that what I was saying was true), they told me I may have depression, and to take some pills and come back 2 weeks later to see how I was then. As I didn’t feel particularly ‘sad’ in general, and didn’t have any of the stereotypical symptoms of depression (studying for a psych degree meaning I was constantly analysing myself and my own mental state) I wasn’t too interested in taking the tablets, and after reading the inner leaflet and discovering the tablets may cause suicidal thoughts (this under the COMMON symptoms section… yikes!) I decided nahhh… I’ll deal without them, and flung them in the back of my cupboard, never to be looked at again.
Turns out I’m not as bad as I was back then, weeping isn’t exactly a daily feature in the life of Nicci, but it happens enough for my boyfriend to say things like ‘maybe you shouldn’t watch this advert, it will probably make you cry’… which IS a little embarrassing (by the way, it was the Christmas Sainsburys advert, and yes, it DID make me cry *sob*).
So what on earth is going on?! Why do I cry so often, is this just what happens when you hit your 20s? At 23, I’d have thought I’d be managing to cope with looking at a picture of cute animals without demonstrating such a dramatic display of emotion. But no, sadly not.
I’ve learnt to cope with these things by laughing it off, and not being too hard on myself (no more: ‘you cried at the penguin advert AGAIN?! What is wrong with you?!?!?!’ And more of: ‘hahaha you are hilarious, crying at the advert. You silly sausage you’). But the whole thing still really bewilders me, as I don’t know whether this is a personality quirk that I have to learn to live with, a symptom of exhaustion or some sort of imminence of a break down…. Or just something that happens to all us 20-something ladies. I really rather hope it’s the latter!
Monty the penguin IS really cute. Maybe this is normal. Yes, yes I think I’ll go with that. And have another little weep whilst watching kitten play on YouTube. Yes, good idea. And whilst I’m at it, PLEASE tell me this happens to you too! I CAN’T be the only one… right?
Until next time,