sneezing in a dust-filled barn

I am so very tired of crying. I hate that I cry when I’m frustrated or mad or stressed. I can handle crying when I’m sad or hurt, although I really wish I could control that too. You don’t always want to show your emotions so blatantly, you know. You want to be able to keep something back, only be that vulnerable to people you trust, and when showing vulnerability won’t hurt you.

I don’t have that luxury. Whatever part of me it is that deals in crying decides it’s time, and crying it is. There’s no stopping it.

I know I’ve been feeling stress lately. Stress is a funny thing. I’ll start to feel overwhelmed by lots of little things. I’ll get cranky, tired. I’ll have trouble sleeping, focusing. And I’ll think, what is wrong with me? And then I find myself at the drive-through window at Jack-in-the-Box trying to order one of those new ciabatta sandwiches, and my stutter keeps me from saying anything at all, and only then do I realize that I’m feeling stress. Do you know how frustrating it is not to be able to place an order at a fucking drive-through window? And to top it off, those ciabatta sandwiches aren’t even all that good. The bruschetta one kind of sucks, actually.

So, I was having a bad week, and I thought to myself that things were bound to get better, and then, things got worse. Nothing really awful happened, I just encountered some frustrating disappointments. And any hope I had that things were bound to get better just vanished. Things could just keep getting worse forever, really. There’s no reason they have to get better.

I got angry, I got frustrated. I cried. In front of people that I really had no desire to see me cry, ever. And as the days went on, I kept crying. I cried again this morning. It’s my new talent. It’s the little something extra I can bring to any gathering. Or meeting.

I also gained two pounds. Why is it that when things are stressful, I eat everything in sight? Well, I shouldn’t ask why. I know why. It takes work to pay attention to what you eat and exercise willpower to say no to the good stuff. And when the stress takes over, there’s no strength left for that kind of work. I want something to enjoy. I want Indian food with heavy cream sauces, and cheeseburgers and fries, and potato soup made with bacon fat (and crappy Jack-in-the-Box sandwiches, apparently). The joy is fleeting, I know. And those pounds can take weeks of work to get off. But in the moment, it just doesn’t matter.

It’s not like I’m all that attractive with my raccoon eyes (I really should go back to waterproof mascara), so what’s a couple of pounds on top of that?

I’ve decided to buck up and stop crying, but the trouble is you can tell yourself “enough with the crying already” all you want, it doesn’t actually stop you from crying. It’s like saying “stop sneezing” when you’re in a dust-filled barn.

One of the hardest parts of a week where you feel like you keep getting knocked down is the getting back up. You feel worn out, your strength is gone, you just want to rest. But you have to get back up. Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

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