Don’t Stop Those Tears!

Don’t Stop Those Tears!
I cried easily when I was a child. I still do — perhaps more now than during my childhood. At school, fellow students mocked my behavior. At home, my parents, having survived the Depression era, encouraged being tough rather than expressing feelings.  To avoid criticism, I learned to hold back tears and hide my emotions. I became an expert at distraction, mainly in the form of humor or sarcasm. Those were socially acceptable, while tears were not. So successful was I at swallowing negative emotions that they didn’t emerge until adulthood. When they did, it was in the form of physical symptoms. Hello, fibromyalgia! Psychotherapists have helped illustrate the relationship between my stifled feelings and the varied physical symptoms I’ve developed. After many years of study and therapy, I read a wonderful book called "The Divided Mind" by Dr. John Sarno. It summed up everything I'd learned in a way that resonated with me.  That newfound knowledge was encouraging. My assumption was that changing my behavior would improve my health. However, old habits die hard. Despite my valiant attempt to “let it all hang out,” acknowledging and expressing negative feelings are skills most easily learned in childhood with influential adults as role models. Having missed that opportunity, I compensated with self-help books and continue
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2 comments

  1. Tracie says:

    I don’t want to have fibromyalgia.
    I feel bad for feeling bad.
    I am not being treated well
    I feel like giving up.

  2. Shannon Higgins says:

    I feel the very same way you so often but I do not allow myself to give up. I’m not sure who is not treating you well but what if you were to educate them about fibromyalgia, perhaps they would be more understanding.

    It will be very important to get support from a therapist that specializes with chronic pain so you can have someone who treats you well and helps you encourage yourself.

    Take care of you. There is life beyond fibromyalgia. We just have to sneak in the moments on our good days. You are loved and you matter!

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