So, the rain is lashing down and hasn’t stopped all day. It’s battering most of the country apparently, with flood warnings in the South today and the heart of the storm due to travel up North tomorrow.
The young girl that still lives in my head and thinks I’m still about 13 – and is regularly terrified that I am responsible for three small children, a house, a business and that I have to make my own big life decisions – is convinced the weather is a reflection of how I am feeling. Like I am some sort of undiscovered superhero. Like my mood can affect the weather, but I’ve not yet realised how much power I’ve actually got inside me.
Ridiculous I know, but try telling my 13 year old self that!
So, it’s all my fault -the storm – and it started last night when I was on the telephone to my dad. Mum hadn’t had a good weekend, he said. She’d declined further, he said and he didn’t say so, but I could hear in his voice the toll the previous 24 hours had taken on him and how he was clearly struggling to cope with the new physical challenges that he’d been faced with. He has called for more help today and the District Nurse was calling in this afternoon to offer him advice on this new stage in Mum’s condition. I was okay listening to him yesterday, trying to take in the new devastating news – the new stage in my 66 year old mother’s decline – until he put her on the phone and for a few seconds it was “her”. It was her voice saying hello. It was my mum. And my heart broke.
Hubby valiantly took the phone off me and tried to converse with Mum, who had shut down again and was not responding to anything. I shut myself away from the kids and the world and let the pain do its worst.
I’ve heard it said that a good cry can make you feel better. It’s the standard mantra isn’t it? Particularly for us girls…we tell ourselves we love weepy films because we need a good cry. That we’ll feel lighter somehow by releasing the emotion and catching it in snotty tissues.
I too always thought that a good cry was a release – a positive thing – a good thing.
Until I woke up this morning and looked in the mirror and realised that a damned good cry has not done me any favours at all. My eyes are puffy and sore and have remained scratchy and dry all day. My head aches and has done all day, just a dull pain behind the eyes. It’s like all my wailing has inflamed something and my eyeballs and my tear ducts want me to bloody well know how hard they worked yesterday! My skin is blotchy and red and my lips are dry and make me look like I’ve spent a few weeks lost in the Sahara, which I am putting down to the amount of tears I shed yesterday and the fact that this must have left my body parched and dehydrated.
I thought I would feel better after the noisy, ugly “release”. I thought I would feel brighter and lighter, more able to cope now that I had let the pain out. But I don’t. I feel haunted by it and am constantly reminded about it because of my sore eyes and blotchy skin.
I don’t actually cry very much, or to be more accurate, not very often. When I do go for it, it’s unpleasant and actually, when I have been considering my dry lips, scratchy sore puffy eyes and general feeling of melancholy today, I have come to the conclusion that crying is not for me. It does not suit me. My body does not react how others do – all romantic and weepy and girly. No, my body has an allergic reaction to the emotional release and I don’t even feel lighter and better for the release. Nothing that makes me look and feel this dreadful can possibly be a good thing.
So, normality will resume tomorrow; my mood will lift and I will resume life with my pain tucked away again, hidden from view from most. As such, I expect the storm to abate and the weather to return to normal, you know – the standard dull, drizzly, cold November days. Hmmmm…..must try harder with this mood thing.