Love letter to my tears

Love letter to my tears
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June is almost over. And thank goodness for that.

Between the five weeks my mom was in the hospital and one week in a rehab facility, my 43rd birthday, and the sudden and unexpected death of my favorite uncle, it's been a month I'm eager to see come to a close. That, of course, is on top of leaving my job in January, totaling my car in April, and a number of other personal matters I've kept to myself this year. 2014 just isn't my year, so far.


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I'm not a big crier and have mostly not shed a tear throughout the ordeal of the last six weeks. When I do cry, I do it completely alone and it's awful.

Today I cried.

It happened pretty spontaneously as I pulled into my garage this morning. I had just picked up my mom from the rehab facility, where believe me, she wasn't getting any care or rehab services whatsoever, dropped her off at her house in Arlington Heights, and driven back to my house in Lake Bluff to catch up on stuff I'd put on the back burner while I attended my uncle's funeral and prepare for a job networking event this afternoon.

As I turned the corner into my subdivision, I felt my eyes well up and no amount of telling myself I didn't have time for tears stopped the flow. The tears just came and came. And then the sobs started.

All of the emotions I've kept inside these past few weeks came pouring out of me with abandon. I could hardly see as I drove through my neighborhood and onto my street. My tears pooled up behind my sunglasses. It was bad.

As much as I wanted the tears to stop, I knew that I had an hour to fully experience my emotions and decided that feeling my feelings and grieving the loss of my uncle, mourning the dreams I am giving up in my mid-40s, and expressing my frustrations at the failed promises of the medical industry, was the healthiest thing I could do. Crying was self-care.

Psychology Today says that "emotional tears also contain stress hormones which get excreted from the body through crying." For me, crying is cathartic and often makes me feel better. By the time I dried my tears, I had released my stress and anxiety, felt like a weight had been lifted from my body, and I knew that I could go back out into the world with my best face forward. And I was grateful for the ability to feel my emotions.

Although I'm not a fan of showing emotion, I can honestly say that I loved today's tears.


Tonight's post is part of a monthly Blogapalooza where ChicagoNow bloggers are assigned a topic to blog about at 9:00 p.m. Our mission, if we choose to accept it, is to write about that topic and hit publish at 10:00 p.m. Tonight's assignment:

Hey all,

Welcome to ChicagoNow's Blogapalooz-Hour!

Your challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to publish a post in one hour. Here is tonight's challenge:

"Write a love letter, but it can't be to a person."

Think outside the box: Can be a place, a time of day, a school, a book, an animal, a team, a word, a piece of furniture, your childhood blanket, your adult blanket ... the options are endless.

Don't bail because you can't think of a good topic. The point of this exercise is to do it no matter what. Be creative, enjoy the process. Use words, images or video. Whatever you need to tell your story.

Be aware of the time. No matter when you finish, please wait until 10 p.m. to publish. Above all, please respect the deadline.

You have one hour.




Want to read the rest of our Blogapalooza posts? Check out the Storify.

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    Jessica Gardner

    A native of Chicago's Northwest Suburbs and resident of the North Shore, Little Merry Sunshine comes by her name honestly. The story goes that as a child, she was always so happy that she even slept with a smile on her face. Her mom nicknamed her Little Merry Sunshine. It stuck, along with her insatiable desire to focus on the good in the world and to leave it a little better than she found it. She does this by sharing her passions and dreams, what inspires her, and maybe you too, and furthering the discussion about how we can listen to our better angels. You can reach her at LittleMerrySunshineCN[at]WowWay[dot]com.

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