Hey friends! How are you today?
I hope you are well.
Have you ever been told that you’re too sensitive? Or that maybe you tend to over-exaggerate things? Or called a cry-baby?
I’ve been told these things all my life.
Let’s be real. I cry. I cry all the time.
I cry when I’m happy.
I cry when I am sad.
I cry when I am frustrated, angry, hurt, sick.
Sappy holiday commercials that have already started showing up on the TV (really?! Come on tv people, it’s October!)? Nevertheless, I cry at them.
Sappy song that makes me think of someone I care about? I cry.
You name it. I cry.
I’m a crier.
I used to be ashamed of this. I thought it made me a weaker person, because, well, I was always told that it did. Reality? I wasn’t afraid to show my emotions and how much things upset me, or made me happy. But growing up, I was made to feel ashamed, I was made fun of for showing my emotions, for wearing my heart on my sleeve.
Overtime this led me to not talking about things. Keeping things close to my chest. I forced myself to not cry during the movie The Notebook while I was at a friends house. Because I had been made fun of so much for how easily I cried, it was like I was facing a gauntlet challenge. Cry at this movie, forever be seen as an overly sensitve person who cries too easily. Don’t cry, be looked at as a heartless bitch who doesn’t cry at The Notebook. I chose the latter.
Come on, that movie is super sad, and super cute at the end. How can anyone not cry? I didn’t I held it in.
Same with A Walk to Remember.
I feel a bit deprived of my precious sappy teenage years because I refused to cry at these movies.
Now, I cry at everything...
The movie Brave when she is worried and freaks out about her mum staying a bear?
Yeah. Gets me every. Damn. Time.
I mean... It’s not that I didn’t EVER cry. I cried at the really important stuff, but it was usually behind closed doors...in my house...where everyone knew I was a crier. But I got used to just not crying. Which in turn made me very angry. Which made me want to cry more. But I couldn’t let myself, so I just got more angry. See the circle here?
I am here today to tell you, cry. Go ahead. Cry it out. Scream it out. Laugh it out. Do whatever you have to. You’re feelings and your emotions are 100% valid, and only you can tell yourself if you’ve being overly sensitive about a situation. It’s not anyone else’s call on how you react. It’s not anyone’s business how you react. For someone to dictate how you could or should not react is out of line.
But there are times were our own thoughts get the better of us.
I like to think I have a pretty good handle on my anxiety. But occasionally, I will still get those thoughts... You know the ones I am talking about.
You say something that you think is funny, but no one laughs:
“Ugh, they must think I am an idiot.”
You’re laying in bed, trying to sleep (ahh, the insomnia life), and suddenly your brain goes to a conversation you had five years ago, and you think of how you should have responded, or you think:
“Oh man, I was so mean, I wonder if they are upset with me over this, I should apologize... But wait, that was so long ago, they must be over it by now... But what if they aren’t?”
Suddenly you’re down a rabbit hole remembering all the stupid things you said, and how mean they could have been taken even if you were just joking.
You’re walking down the street, minding your own business, lost in thought as most anxious people usually are. Suddenly you trip and fall flat on your face, you take a minute on the ground praying that no one saw you. Someone did though :”are you okay?”
“Yup... I’m fine. Thanks.” you say on the outside... as you hurriedly get yourself up, collect your stuff that flew everywhere on your way down, and very quickly walk away from the situation.
“God, they must think I am a loser. I can’t even walk down the street. I don’t know what hurts more, my face, or my ego. I am really hurt, but I don’t want anyone to think I am... oh man, am I limping? Just brush it up, keep your head up, cry when you get to where you’re going... Don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry. Are they still watching? Oh goodness, I am such an idiot.”
... Not that I know this from experience ...
*side note, I totally do. I once fell down the stairs at the one of the GO train stations here in Ontario, surrounded by a hundred people that I took the train with every day. I spent the next month and a half worried that people were always going to see me as the girl who fell down the stairs while wearing heels and a dress, and probably flashing everyone my underwear*
Part of having high anxiety is that you are always concerned about what other people will and are thinking of you. Even if you aren’t aware of it. You make up scenarios in your head, and when a situation occurs that is similar to what you’ve concocted in your mind, you react exactly how you think you would.
As if your own imagination of what people could be thinking about you isn’t bad enough, it is even harder when someone calls you out, or actually says something about how you’re reacting. Even if they just give you a look like “what the hell, are you fucked?” The instant humiliation and embarrassment hits like a wrecking ball. Your stomach sinks and suddenly you’re flooded with all those horrible thoughts going through your head...
And what do I do in this situation? Yup, you guessed it, I cry.
Then you get even more looks, or laughed at more for being “overly sensitive” or “too emotional”.
Okay, I have made it seem like all I do is cry. That’s not true. I’m one of those people who is generally mostly happy. I usually always have a smile on my face. I’m usually the person who says “I’m so mad!” But then laugh it off two minutes later. Sure, I get upset easily, but for the most part I am happy, and I rarely get angry. Apparently when I do Get angry though, it gets scary. There are people in my family have never seen me actually angry. I have friends who have never seen it, and don’t actually believe it could happen. Let me give an example of how I know this is true:
There was one day during my divorce process, I was talking to one of my best friends. Something happened, who knows what, tempers fly high during that kind of stress, but I remember telling her that I was so mad. Her response? She laughed. She actually laughed at the ridiculous idea of me being angry. I can’t blame her. We had been friends for 12 years, and had never seen me angry or mad.
She finally believed me when I told her what was actually going on. I look back on that conversation and laugh now. She wasn’t wrong to laugh at me. The thought of me actually being angry is quite funny because it‘s so obscure of a thought.
The bottom line is, you are allowed to feel however you want, about whatever you want.
And when those horrible anxious thoughts about what other’s might be thinking of you?
If someone tells you, that you’re being too emotional, or overly sensitive cause it was “just a joke”, that’s called gaslighting (I promise, I will write a post about gaslighting and all the ways it can happen), and you are allowed up be upset and angry with them for it.
If someone laughs at you for doing something silly, laugh with them.
One of the best ways I curbed those anxious thoughts is to laugh at myself when I do something that might be “dumb”. Because it’s not dumb. I’m not dumb. You’re not dumb. Sometimes we do silly things, and that’s okay.
Anxiety and abuse can lead us down a path of negative self-talk. Which leads us to that “Ugh, I’m so dumb” mentality. The more we call ourselves dumb, the more we believe it. But in order to stop these things from happening, you have to make the conscious effort to stop it.
Let me repeat this in case those of you in the back that didn’t hear it:
You are allowed to react how you feel fit.
No one can tell you differently.
It’s how your body reacts.
You get to choose how to react.
YOUR. FEELINGS. ARE. VALID.
End of story.
Laugh so hard you cry.
Do whatever you want.
Because you’re your own person, and no one can tell you how to live your life.
But no matter what, always keep your chin up.
Keep turning your life into lemonade. It will get better.
Have a great day my friends.
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