There’s no point in crying over spilt milk, but there is a point in crying.
You constantly hear women talk about hormonal breakdowns occurring during and after pregnancy. Things like, “I cried because Braum’s was closed, and I wanted a black forest sundae.” TV and movies portray the same idea constantly, banking on the amusing sides of a pregnant woman sobbing over something seemingly stupid. That literally never happened to me. I know the feeling of PMS – when you find yourself upset over something really petty for no good reason. I never felt that way. I cried, oh yes, I had some major breakdowns. But they were each based in legitimate fear, anxiety, or depression (and thankfully, did not occur once I got a solid birth and adoption plan working).
What is the point of crying over “spilt milk” situations? What does it gain you? It may feel like a good emotional release at the time, but in the end, it solves nothing. Inevitably, you are actually upset about something much more real deep inside, and you are blowing up about something tiny simply to relieve some pressure. When you find yourself becoming upset about little things or things that have never upset you before, stop. Get some time by yourself. Sit down and force yourself to think things through, to decide what you are really upset about, to face the truth, and to accept it. Then breakdown. Have your emotional release. Cry. Crying is an amazingly cathartic experience! But cry about what is really bothering you, not about that sundae you really wanted and can’t have right now.
Exactly a week after delivery, I experienced this situation. For a couple days, I had been feeling more and more “off.” My boyfriend had finally ended his ship contract and come to stay with me, so I felt like I should have been happy, excited to be with him, ready to do life together. Instead, I was finding a couple small things about our living situation and relationship that were bothering me. Tiny, petty things that had never bothered me before. Then I found myself wanting to cry at every little occurrence throughout the day. Finally, I took some time alone in my room while he did whatever in the living room. I started writing about the things that were bothering me and why, I started crying a little on and off… and then, all of the sudden, I knew exactly why I was upset. I slowly typed out “I just want to hold her.” That was it. For the first time, I missed my baby. A perfectly natural thing to be feeling after having given her to her adoptive parents. A perfectly acceptable thing to sob about. As soon as I accepted the real reason I was upset, the smaller things disappeared. They didn’t matter anymore. And I had my emotional release. My boyfriend held me while I sobbed for a good half hour. There was nothing that needed to change, there was nothing he or I could do to fix the matter – I just needed to be sad for a while.
I cried until I was out of tears, we made some dinner, I took a long, relaxing lavender bath, and by the time we went to bed, I felt so much better. The next morning, I was back to feeling happy and excited for life, having accepted what was making me sad and allowed myself to be sad about it.
It’s okay to cry. In fact, I would say that it’s healthy to cry. But don’t waste your tears on spilt milk. Find the truth behind your sadness and embrace it. Cry with purpose.