Cry Baby, Cry

When was the last time you cried?

I’m not talking about the type of crying you do at the end of Rudy.

I’m talking about that Ricky Schroder type of crying, like when he can’t wake up the Champ.

I’m talking bloodshot eyes, snot everywhere and eyeliner that looks like someone left tire tracks on your face.

The type of crying that makes it hard to breathe.

The type of crying where you can’t get the words out.

The type of crying that makes you rethink everything you thought you knew about yourself.

For me, it was yesterday, in my car, in a parking lot, listening to Creed.

When I first got sober, Creed was pretty much all I listened to for some reason.

Music is funny like that. It can move shit around in your brain and your bones. It can shake the tree in your soul until every last apple hits the dirt with a dull thud.

When I was active in my addiction, I used alcohol and drugs to not feel. Always avoiding the real stuff.

Happy on the outside, hurting on the inside.

I was like the clown that goes home and uses those ridiculously oversized shoes to kick his cat clear across the room.

There’s a quote from a great book that kind of shook my world when I first read it.

"More than most people, the alcoholic leads a double life. He is very
much the actor. To the outer world he presents his stage character.
This is the one he likes his fellows to see. He wants to enjoy a
certain reputation but knows in his heart he doesn't deserve it."

Jesus. Fucking. Christ. That was me.

I had the big job, the beautiful wife, the cute kids, the house and like 3,000 Facebook friends.

Winner winner, chicken dinner.

I was fucking miserable. 

I couldn’t look in the mirror without gritting my teeth.

Do you know how much energy it takes to smile through pain?

Do you know what it feels like when someone asks, “Hey man. How are you?” and all you can muster is an “all good bro” but in your head you’re screaming at the top of your lungs, "come back and ask again"?

Please ask again.

But I never cried. Not once.

Pour a drink, pop a pill.

I wish I knew then how important it is to cry. How healing it would have been to let it all go.

Tears are literally meant to cleanse, to heal. 

Have you ever gotten an eyelash stuck in your eye? That shit tears up immediately. They wash that eyelash away like Marshall, Will and Holly on a one way expedition.

Tears do the same thing for feelings. Especially the hard ones. The ones that sit inside your stomach and rot away like a dead rat trapped behind a wall.

Tears connect the thoughts to the feelings. They help you process the emotions you don’t understand. Tears defragment the hard drive in your brain.

Now that I’m sober, I cry all the time. Sometimes it’s painful and sometimes it’s joy but it’s always followed by gratitude. Gratitude for the ability to feel hurt and pain and love and confusion. Sometimes all at once.

I’ve learned a lot about myself from crying.

The most important thing I’ve learned is I can’t stay sober running away from the real stuff. No matter how broken I feel inside.

My experience tells me that the hardest, most fucked up shit I go through, will always become my greatest assets in recovery.


So cry baby, cry.

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  1. When tear doesn’t go out from my inside because I’m shamed if someone laugh at me how to I cry?

    1. Never be ashamed! It's the most human thing we can do. Thanks for sharing.

  2. And thank for your write it is heart warming


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