I grew up hearing this a lot. Whenever I cried, I heard, “Be strong”.
Whenever someone else cried, especially boys, I heard it said to them, “Be strong.”
Crying was always a weakness.
It has taken me YEARS of unlearning that. Crying is strength. It is permission to myself to FEEL. And to go through that feeling instead of around it or away from it.
I do it privately for the most part because it makes people around me uncomfortable. Most of them do not know how to react to someone who is crying. I choose who I cry around openly. Around those who extend their hand to hold mine. Around those who hug. Around those who put their arm around my shoulder. Around those who say nothing. Because words mean nothing when I’m going through my feelings. I have to FEEL them.
Sit with me as I cry. Make me a Gin & Tonic if you have to “do” something. Wait for me to go through it. Sometimes it takes a minute. Sometimes, several. Sometimes several minutes over several days.
It is ok.
I do not want to be strong if being strong means that I have to ignore my feelings and shove them under the carpet.
Like Omar says, “The bill will come due later.”
And then, a simple cry will not help at all.