18 January 2009

Pass the Tissue, Please


I come from a family of cry-babies. Just looking at us "funny" could set us off and, more often than not, once one child was crying the other three would chime in. The behavior struck some in the community as strange or cause for concern but we paid them no mind. We had each other first and foremost, all the more so if one of us had tear-stained cheeks.

Not until grad school did I become self-conscious about being so quick to cry. Hard as I tried, I couldn't stop myself. There was a threshold, above which any amount of joy or sadness or embarrassment or fear or nervousness would trigger my tears. I cried in restaurants and doctors' offices. I cried after performances and after sex. Sometimes I woke myself up crying -- apparently I even cried in my sleep.

So far I've found only one thing interrupts the flow: anti-depressant medication.

Or it used to interrupt the flow. I've been on anti-depressants this time for about 10 months and hadn't been crying much until election day. Since then my tendency to teariness has steadily increased.

I think about the Obamas and cry. I see the pictures of the Obama and Biden families onstage the night of the victory and cry. I am listening to NPR now, voices of people on their way or just arrived in DC for the inauguration...

Relief. Anticipation. Hope.

Fear.

I can't help it. It feels like a new day. Like it's okay to breath and feel again.

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