Having a GOOD Cry

Yesterday I had a good cry. How can I tell it was a 'good' cry as opposed to a 'bad' cry or even a mediocre one? I have a failsafe way of telling the difference: my energy goes up afterwards and I feel a lot better about feeling bad.

I have been feeling very low on energy for about three weeks now. As always when I feel this low, I am also in pain form head to foot. I wake up feeling like death warmed up. I cannot face having a shower until the afternoon. I feel stuck at home, unable to do very much except lie in bed reading or sit on the settee watching TV (or one of the many DVDs I have forgotten I have already watched!)

I am pretty good at keeping my spirits up through it all but there always comes a point when I have had enough. Yesterday, I reached that point. I made a huge effort to run the vacuum cleaner on the ground floor of my house and I struggled while doing it. As is usual when I am in this low energy state, I was very clumsy and got continuously tangled up in the lead and repeatedly tripped up on the hose. After a while, my frustration got the better of me and I screamed it out again and again. After that, I started crying and continued to sob my heart out for a good long while.

In order to use my emotional outburst as a healing opportunity, I then followed Deepak Chopra's Seven Stages of Emotional Healing. I highly recommend this method: it works for me every time.

Here are those Seven Steps:

  1. Taking Responsibility - I have no problem with that because I do recognise that I and I alone am responsible for the way I feel. My emotions are mine.
  2. Witnessing - this stage enables me to step back and observe my emotions as they joust for attention in my own mind.
  3. Labelling - rather than just say 'I feel bad' or I feel 'upset', I do my best to identify my emotions and give them a specific name. Yesterday, I wrote down: Frustration, Anger, Pain and Sadness. These were my four emotional labels.
  4. Expressing - I then wrote down everything I was feeling under my four labels, from my point of view AND from the point of view of someone else watching me. I am always amazed at the further insights that come up from writing as another person.
  5. Sharing - I first thought I would do the sharing on this blog but something told me I needed the physical presence of another human being there and then, so I went and cried all over my lovely neighbour J. This stage is very important to me and I am glad I have learnt to overcome my reticence to burden someone else. J is wonderful at just BEING with me when I feel distressed.
  6. Releasing - my favourite way to release my emotions is to burn the paper on which I have written my labelling and my expressing. I love to watch my emotions being purified by fire. Many of my unwanted emotional baggage has thus been dispatched in ashes down the kitchen sink.
  7. Celebrating - I tend to forget this last stage and yet I recognise its importance. Yesterday, I celebrated my emotional cleansing with a glass of diet Pepsi. Not exactly Champagne but close enough for someone who cannot tolerate alcohol!

As a result of going through the above seven steps, yesterday I had a GOOD cry and today I have felt much better - less overwhelmed, less frustrated and less burdened. Where clinical depression is concerned, I have observed again and again that being able to deal with my emotions successfully has enabled me not to feel depressed about being depressed.

One layer of clinical (i.e. physical/chemical) depression is enough for anyone to cope with: who in their right mind would want to add another layer of emotional depression on top of it?! Not me, that's for sure...

Gabrielle's Blog

Hi Gabrielle,

Just found your website and I absoluetely love it. Its infomational, entertaining and very insightful.  I love the Seven Stages of Emotional Healing ...very similar to the Sedona Method which my therapist used with me.

I wish you every sucess with your Bipolar Blogs. Karen Tyrrell

Thank you Karen!

I love it when new friends appear on my website! Thank you for your encouragement Karen - it means the world to me :D xx

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