I've recently discovered a new personality quirk that is embarrassing, humbling, and life affirming. And also totally laughable.
I can cry at anything. Anything. A newborn baby? Watery eyes as the memories of my own little ones well up inside me. My friends one year old finally getting her first tooth? Shiny tears in the corner of my eyes as I remember those first teeth. Working the last stitches in the baby hat I'm praying will one day grace the head of a niece or nephew? Glistening tracks down my cheeks. Hearing Violet sing her part in the upcoming Holiday Magic Show? Tears, coursing down that I swipe away quickly with my sleeve. Watching Violet watch the older dancers as they move their bodies in the most beautiful, magnificent, fluid ways and her eyes follow them, and I see that she hopes to move that gracefully, that wonderfully some day? Full on ugly cry.
This? All happened in the span of about an hour. An hour, people.
Which got me thinking. When I was in the depths of my depression, I didn't cry at beautiful things. Ever. I cried out of fear, anxiety and despair. But I never saw beauty so I never reacted to it. Now that I am healing and am out of that black, roiling place, I see beauty and grace everywhere I turn. I appreciate it. I think I appreciate it even more because I was so horribly blind to it for so long.
My feelings were also so incredibly turned 'off' during that time period, that now, as they awaken, it's as though my nerves are exposed. I feel things with more intensity. They are more powerful. A hug from Sarah can send my heart racing, make my entire day. I don't mean, "Oh, that just made my day!" But, literally, change my entire outlook on the day. A hug. Her two little arms reaching around my neck, her sweet scent, and BAM! The day is fixed. Before, a hug was like putting a band aid on huge gash. It worked just fine, until I moved.
I used to escape into books. (I still read voraciously. Don't get me wrong.) I'd get so angry if I was interrupted because the book was my one chance to be whole, to be normal. The other day I was reading and was at an awesome spot when John wormed his way up next to me. He dragged the blanket over himself, snuggled next to me, grabbed my face with his little hands and kissed me. Then laid back and watched t.v. I put the book down, wrapped us up and watched the show with him. We talked and giggled the whole way through it. And I cried.
I can be driving down the street and see a father walking with his son, holding hands, and I well up. The site of my three kids holding hands, spontaneously, this summer put me over the edge. The way my friends dog greeted me the other night. Such unbridled love. And oddly enough, that is when I realized what I have been feeling.
First, I've started feeling again. And that was absent for so long. So long that it physically hurts to think about it. Second, I'm feeling unbridled love. I'm not analyzing it. I'm not saying, "Why?" I'm not asking, "Should I be feeling this?" I'm not running away from it. I'm just . . . feeling. Yes, it is sometimes frightening. For so long I medicated away every emotion, every tear, that now when I actually have these authentic feelings my first response is, "Oh God, I'm cracking up again!" But then I realize that people feel things. They are happy. Sad. Angry. Scared. And I can feel all of these, and more, and not be ready for the hospital again.
So, lately? I've been one big cry baby. And I think I'll stay that way for a while.