How Hard/Often Do You Laugh and Cry?

As I write openly about things like reproductive challenges (back before I had my uterus burned forever), grief, mental health or parenting struggles I’m always comforted by voices who say, “I thought I was the only one.”

Yesterday I found myself fighting off tears all day because my brother left. I reminded everyone in my family (“Mom? Have you been crying?”) that I always do this when I say goodbye to him, and I did it whenever I had to say Goodbye to my Dad too. These are very normal things that make me cry. I am fortunate to love my family enough that saying Goodbye makes me cry…it’s a sad thing, but it’s a blessing.

But then I think about all of the other things that maybe aren’t so normal that make me cry. Sappy Starbucks commercials with trans men celebrating their name being used. Trailers for superhero movies. Sweet potatoes. (Don’t ask.) I cry a lot. Especially over the last 4 years as I look at election night 2016 as the day I cried the most in the last several years. I cried so hard that night I couldn’t catch my breath.

I have never come across another adult in my life in the wild who looked like they had been crying. NEVER. That I can think of, anyway. I’ve been around people who have cried to me as a friend like I have to them, but never just randomly crossed paths with a stranger who had been crying and y’all? I cross paths with strangers almost every day WITH TEARS IN MY EYES.

BUT! With my brother’s visit I also realized: I also laugh ALL THE TIME. Like, I laugh LOUDLY and OFTEN…especially when he’s around. He was only around me for 5 days and I almost wet my pants from laughing at least a dozen times. My kids love making me laugh because it’s so loud and it makes them feel proud. Unless their friends are around and then they try not to make me laugh because my laugh is so loud it’s embarrassing.

So now I’m wondering, how often and how strongly do you laugh and/or cry? Maybe the two go hand-in-hand? Maybe I’m a frequent cryer because I’m a frequent laugher? Maybe I cry so hard because I laugh so loud? Maybe the two things are connected and I can temper my shame over the constant tears by being grateful for a lot of laughter in between?

Or maybe I’m just grasping at straws and trying to make myself feel better because there have been a lot of tears lately. Raising teenagers is hard. Being the emotional support of your family is hard. Working inconsistently so without real culturally-defined purpose is hard. Living in Trump’s America is hard. I feel like I’m crying every day now and I think I’m just looking for either A) Silver lining in the form of my frequent laughter or B) Voices from the ether that say, “I cried at the grocery store too.”

6 thoughts on “How Hard/Often Do You Laugh and Cry?”

  1. I Think you had a breakthrough 🙂
    Sounds pretty healthy to me that you can laugh and cry in equal measures you are brave enough to let yourself FEEL life and really it’s full of double standard, weirdness plain messiness.

    I’ve already cried this morning I’m missing a good old pal who recently died of cancer but also so grateful for the Winter sunshine poring in the windows. Xx

  2. quick comment (I’m at work!!)
    I cry all the time. In the closet rocking back and forth at times frankly. In the car. In my office. I go into the van in my garage to cry. In the basement storage room. Commercials, movies–giving hugs, getting hugs….
    I don’t however laugh as much as I think I should and have been wondering about that lately.
    Crying has also greatly increased since perimenapause. Which has also coordinated with the decrease in laughing.

  3. I laugh a lot at home. With just a couple of friends and my husband, I feel relaxed enough to laugh frequently, but usually that’s not in public, and I’m too embarrassed to cry in front of people. Crying, to me, feels very vulnerable/scary and so I almost never do it around people if I can help it. After typing that out, it sounds so ridiculous, and yet it has been true. What a great question to ask of yourself. How often do you laugh/cry and why? I think I’ll start trying to become aware of and work on my anxieties behind laughing/crying.

  4. I have done both this week. We lost a beloved co-worker that has made me cry to the point I have a headache. The memories of her made me laugh. Then as I’m giving or receiving a hug the tears are there.

    In that note I’m not a big crier but when it hits I doesn’t shut off. Belly laughs happen infrequently for me. I’m the middle of the road person.

  5. I’d like to think I laugh/cry equally, but since I am alone so much and don’t find much to laugh about alone, I don’t think I can say that. However, I do cry a lot. I just finished binge-watching all 7 series of The West Wing, and I bet I cried during 75-80% of the episodes. I cried last week anticipating picking my son and his wife up from the airport, and I cried when I dropped them off on Monday. I cry at commercials, songs, movies, tv shows… and not just in spots where you’d expect someone to cry.

  6. My family literally have contests to pick out commercials or you tube clips to see who can make me cry the fastest. Sometimes when stress builds up I will cry at something totally unrelated but once I have this release its like the relief that fires me back up and keeps me going.

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