“The saddest kind of sad is the sad that tries not to be sad. You know, when Sad tries to bite it’s lip and not cry and smile and go: “No, I’m happy for you?” That’s when it’s really sad.”
I can remember so many times having to force back tears that were lodged in my throat because I did not want anyone to see me cry. That is pain. This has happened in my life because of chronic pain and circumstances having nothing to do with pain but dealing with an invisible illness along with the normal tragedies/life changes does not help. I never wanted anyone to see me cry because of chronic pain or the series of ailments that come with this disease: depression, loneliness, anxiety, anger, and loss. The worst pain was the pain I felt after a failed attempt of having my pain cured. I remember one late afternoon driving home with my dad and my grandmother furious that the procedure I went under not only did not help alleviate pain but made the pain worse. I was an eighteen year old, hormone filled, confused teenager living the life of an eighty-five year old spending my existence in the offices of doctors. I was livid this particular day and as we all seem to do took out my frustration/sadness on my dad. He was/is always optimistic: looking back this is such an amazing attribute and one that has helped me to no end. However, his optimism this particular day really pissed me off. He always said: “It is okay Martino (my nick name he gave me at a young age) we will try this or that. There is no reason to cry, we will get you through this.” His words on this day angered me and I forced myself hard to hold back tears. It is a struggle that is so hard to express in words when you are literally fighting tears from falling down your face. I wish I had known then what I know now. You must release those tears. It all goes back to resistance. Do not resist your emotional pain, chronic pain is difficult enough. Let it out. But please keep in mind that men and women are for the most part very different when it comes to crying. It took me thirty-four years to learn that although my dad or my husband may not do what I would do when seeing someone cry does not mean they do not love me. Gender differences are forgotten way too often and only lead to more pain: physical and emotional. It is so difficult for a man to care for his wife or daughter or sister when she has an illness that there may be no cure for. Men like to fix things and some things just cannot be fixed: they can be mended and taken care of but not “fixed.” Chronic pain may not be fixable, something I obviously have come to terms with and am leading the life I am proud of. I am happy despite pain. However, I still cry. I no longer hold it in, that pain and fear eats one alive. Some people do not like to see their loved ones cry or just have no idea the pain he or she is in: it has nothing to do with you. You are allowed to cry. I still find that any form of salt water relieves so much tension: tears, the ocean, and the most minute thing as saline solution. You can cry alone or you can call one of your friends that understands crying and is able to just listen. They may not understand physical pain but everyone knows some kind of pain in some form. Email me if you need to. Get those tears out. You have been dealt a very difficult hand of cards in life if you have chronic pain: you have full permission to let those tears fall and no one has the right to make you feel less than for crying. You are not alone and I sincerely want you to remember that. Now, if you are fighting back tears at this exact moment go let it out. I always feel better after a good cry: just don’t live there!