I'm not really the kind of person that wears their heart on their sleeve. I don't often show emotion - I am always the chick smiling and cracking a 'yo mama joke. I'm mad? Oh, I'll just smile. Sad? I've got a joke ready. Anxious? A "no, I'm totally fine" will escape my lips.
This irks my therapist to no end because I try as hard as I can to have the same laid back, "it's all good" demeanor in therapy. It isn't always easy to get work done when I have a joke ready at every turn. But I can't help it. It's just the way I am.
I'd say for the past month or so, I have cried more in therapy than I ever have, but when I cry, I like cover up my face with my hands and curl up in some pretzel-like ball and cry like I'm ashamed of it. Because I am.
I did it again today in therapy. In fact I was trying so hard not to cry, I was pretty close to working myself up to a nice, old-fashioned, panic attack - you know, cue the numb extremities and the shallow breathing and the muted cursing. My hands were flitting around nervously and I was looking around restlessly (everywhere but AT my therapist) and my foot was jiggling a gazillion miles a minute and it was like FOR HELLZ SAKES BRIE, JUST CRY! I think I'm discovering I make a bigger fool out of myself by not crying, than by actually shedding an errant tear or two in therapy because of how worked up I make myself. Sometimes not crying is actually a real task.
So after I had a good cry, (yes, the tears won) and maneuvered myself out of my pretzel to surface for air, my therapist could have reacted in one of two different ways:
She could have made fun of me. Because hell, let's be honest, she makes fun of me all the time, and my Pretzel Cry of Despair was kind of funny.
She could take the high road, and not crack a joke for once, and tell me she was really proud of all the work I'm doing in therapy, and that she knows I've been through a lot this past year, more than most ever have to go through, what with recovering from my ED, and mourning the loss of my daughter, and dealing with all the goo that made me have an ED in the first place, and Some Other Stuff I Don't Want to Talk About on My Blog, etc. She could tell me that I'm amazingly strong, and that she wasn't just "saying that."
She took the high road. And that felt really, really good to hear all that. :)
So what's the next step in this whole "I'm uncomfortable and don't cry or show emotion" journey?
Yep, you guessed it. A VIDEO OF ME CRYING. Wouldn't ya'll just LOVE to watch a video of me on this blog crying for like 33 minutes of un-cut, un-edited TEARS and EMOTION and DRAMA and SNOT? That would certainly be a way to push this strict no crying phobia I've got...
Something to ponder.
For now, I'll continue just cracking jokes and wiping my tears and snot in private.