Today I learned how good it can feel to cry

This morning I experienced a powerful and moving CoDA meeting. I cried, without shame, in front of a group of people. That has literally never happened to me before. Particularly with this specific sadness, a sadness I have never been able to openly and comfortably share with anybody.

Working the CoDA (Codependents Anonymous – more about it here) programme has meant a lot to me. My meetings and the other women I see there mean a lot to me. I’m not 100% sold on the philosophy, especially the God / Higher Power stuff, but I don’t need to be. What I take from the programme is the sharing of experiences and strength. There is a whole lot of wisdom and compassion in those rooms.

I wrote yesterday about the deep sadness I have started feeling lately. It’s been years since I’ve been able to cry about anything, but recently I have a few times. It is painful, unstoppable sobbing when it comes, it hurts my chest and my throat aches. But I can only access that when I am alone, or if I’m in bed and it’s dark so my wife can’t see me.

That’s why it totally took me by surprise when I started to cry during this morning’s meeting. We’d read a story about someone whose brother died when she was 11. It resonated with me because, all though he is still alive, my brother died to me when I was a similar age. Everything I had hoped he would be to me died when he started sexually abusing me.

I didn’t realise how sad I was about that loss until I started to speak. The presence of this solid group of kind, open-hearted listeners made it safe for me to feel that sadness and for the tears to come.

But the most amazing thing was that I wasn’t ashamed of crying. I am usually phobic about being seen crying. But today I didn’t feel like I needed to hide. I was glad to be weeping in that room with those people. I wanted them with me. It wasn’t painful because I could see them hearing and accepting me. It actually felt good. It felt comforting and secure.

I am feeling really blown away by this experience. I feel stronger for it. And I feel more love and gratitude for CoDA and my recovery friends than I had thought was possible before.

Photo: The Manic Macrographer, Creative Commons.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Jami Carder says:

    I just learned how to truly cry this year. I used to shame myself for crying, and now I allow it…it’s healing now💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura Black says:

      Glad to hear this. I’m not quite OK with it yet, but my experience yesterday was definitely an important step towards being more comfortable about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve only been able to cry in therapy the last few months too and I feel exactly the same. I also wrote that when I cried on Tuesday night, it hurt my head, my chest, my back and I couldn’t breathe! X

    Liked by 1 person

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