It is well documented on these pages that I am not a crier. In fact, I cry with such infrequency that when I do, it is rather epic. Envision a spigot being thrown to full throttle and all the tears that a normal person may have shed over the past year gushing out in the form of heaves, gulps and near convulsions. Then double it. It is that ugly. It also results in a red nose, a shiny forehead and swollen, painful iguana orbs.* It is not for the faint of heart.
Last night I had one such episode. A series of annoying, upsetting, irritating, frustrating and, yes, infuriating events (none nearly as epic as the crying) sent me reeling. It all snuck up on me (as it always does, dammit) and knocked me on my ass. At one point, about an hour into it**, I dragged myself to the bathroom to throw water on my face and somehow wound up crouched on the floor which, it was pointed out to me***, was a position which Amy Weinhouse had likely assumed more than once: knees pulled to my chest, head leaning (pathetically) against the vanity, mascara smeared (pathetically) in streaks down my face, hair tangled (that was more because I hadn’t done anything with it in the morning and it would have looked that awful under any circumstances, yet somehow the added ugliness made it worse), nose red, skin shiny.
I was profoundly sad. My brain and heart were not only on overload, they ached. All I wanted to do was to crawl under the sink, or in the tub, or into bed and, well, suck my thumb. And rock back and forth. A glass of wine wouldn’t have hurt, either. There were so many thoughts, feelings, fears and concerns coursing through my mind, fighting to get out that I almost forgot, midway through it all, what had set me off. (Almost.)
In the throes of my psychotic episode I did have two distinct moments of clarity: 1.) I was relieved that I didn’t have to work in the morning because I knew, from past such episodes, that I was going to be a hot, iguana-eyed mess in the morning and, 2.) I knew, deep down in the bowels of my heaving tears, that I was going to be okay and I recognized that I am never alone in this life.
Once I finally got myself together and had the good sense to ice my eyes (in vain…they were puffed not-quite-closed this morning) (see iguana comment) and have a glass of wine, I crawled into bed and did something I have not done in weeks. I slept all night. I woke up ugly, but with eight uninterrupted hours of sleep under my belt.
Clearly it all had to get out. The miles-long walks and hours-long workouts (okay, maybe not hours long, but…) hadn’t purged me of the angst. It had escaped me that it was imperative that I disinfect my body of the impressive emotional poisons that had accumulated and bloated my psyche. I did not plan it nor, while it was happening, did I particularly enjoy it. I also did not, again, while it was happening, “appreciate” it (that is something my therapist and I have discussed: appreciating something horrid for what it will teach you and where it will get you. Yeah, I rolled my eyes at it when she first said it, too, but it has its merits.) In hindsight, however, I am glad that it happened.
I awoke this morning well-rested. Yeah, my eyes were swollen to the point that when I applied mascara (which I would never go without) it smeared all over my eyelids, mostly because they were ballooning out as though I had been pumped up intravenously with soy sauce. And, yeah, my pallor was indicative of an ailing iguana. My hair, meanwhile, was a snarled, knotted mess thanks to my coma-like siesta. But (and this is a big but) my head was clear.
I have a new perspective. I have re-established a grip on things and am emoting in a more productive way. Last night I thought (repeatedly) that I am a fraud and the “you can do this” mantra I have been spouting was a load of crap. Today I am back on my own bandwagon and feeling (almost) in control. I am not sure if I can credit “Bawl-a-Palooza 2013”, the resulting sleep or a combination of the two, but , either way, I am back in business. Until next time.
*I always thought that my eyes did this because they are so light. There is, apparently, and according to my doctor who I saw this morning for an unrelated issue, no scientific evidence of that.
**Total time: 3.5 hours. I told you it was epic.
***By RRL who, along with MLS, came to my rescue when I sent out an SOS text. BTS and DTL hand-held from afar. xoxo to them all. Be grateful you weren’t a textee this time.