I went through a phase where I did not let myself cry.
And then I went through a phase where I could not cry.
It started in high school when I felt like if I broke down then everything would break down even more. There had to be at least one “level-headed” person in the house, and that person I decided was me. (of course now I don’t think of levelheadedness and not showing emotion as the same thing.)
I practiced this for years. Numbing myself and holding it all in until it became a habit.
But then I lived into becoming a person who did not view emotions as negatively as I once did, but found that when I felt sadness it no longer expressed itself physically. I would feel the ache, but was not able to release it.
This too, I had to practice to recover.
My identity was so locked as someone who did not cry that I whenever I felt like I needed to I had to get a quiet place and focus on allowing myself too. Eventually I did.
And then I had to gather the evidence.
Every time I cried, I started taking a picture. Gradually my identity started shifting as my perception did.
The thing that I thought would happen if I cried (everything falling apart) never did (at least never more so then it already had). But I did feel some relief. I felt more calm. I felt like my inside world and outside world were more aligned. It is truly a gift to be able to allow yourself to feel what you feel.