This has been one of the hardest blog posts for me to write. I’ve written it and erased it many times. Written it many different ways and points of view. At one point, I just thought I wouldn’t share this experience. But it is important for me to share because the truth is everyone gets angry and everyone sheds tears, including me. Tears and anger are amongst the “closeted” topics. We don’t talk about how anger sometimes results in punched walls, and are encouraged to save our tears for our pillows. But tears and anger are crucial parts of the human experience.
This week, I cried and got angry, things I rarely do. And that’s okay. My mom says so, my therapist, and my therapist friend say so. But convincing myself has been another story.
In the hospital, my therapist created these things called compassion letters. It’s where you write a letter expressing only compassion towards yourself. Self-compassion is something I have been working on. And I will keep working on it because it produces self-love and self-worth, two things we all need.
So, I decided to write myself a compassion letter. Another thing I haven’t done in quite some time. Here it is.
Today marks a week since the incident at work when you got angry. It has also been a few days since you cried. I know you can’t remember the last time that either happened. They’re that rare and surprising of occurrences. Because you’ve made it a rule that you can’t cry or get angry. A rule that prohibits you from expressing your emotions, especially the negative ones. A rule that you broke in the last week. A rule that when broken makes you feel disappointed, weak, out of control, and a little scared.
I know that breaking the rules is something very against your core. Rules give you structure, predictability, the safety you yearn for. And that’s okay. Some rules have purpose and are meant to follow. However, there are some rules that have no purpose or maybe in other words have a detrimental purpose. The rule that you can’t cry or get angry is one of those rules. And I want you to know that it’s okay to break that rule.
It’s okay to cry and get angry. Because despite how you feel sometimes, you are human. You are part of the planet Earth. You are a member of a species that can feel and speak and think. God created you to do all of this. And all that God created is beautiful. Including you and your emotions, the happy ones and the sad ones. I was about to say the good ones and the bad ones, but there is no such thing. All emotions are good. They all serve a purpose. They make life exciting and real. They create both balance and spontaneity. They fill our bodies and charge our movements. They make us who we are.
Part of living your truth is discovering who you are. Your story is part of who you are. And just because it is part of who you are, it doesn’t mean it has to be who you are. Do you know what I mean? It’s like that pie chart from therapy. There are many pieces that make up the whole, not just a whole without parts. Despite all the pieces, the broken ones included, you are still Makayla. And it’s okay to cry over the broken pieces. Your life before mental illness. Your college experience. Your Boston life. It’s okay to be angry about some of the pieces too. Westchester. Mental illness. The experience you have put your family through. Not feeling like a normal 21-year-old. Not being included. It’s okay to cry and be angry about all of that. It’s normal and human.
So, with the new year fast approaching, I want some new things for you, bud. New year, new you. Another opportunity for improvement just like every day is. This year, I want you to cry tears of joy and sadness. This year, I want you to get so angry that you fight for a change. This year, I want you to be a living, breathing, feeling participant of the human race.
And remember that it is totally okay. I give you permission. You have my blessing to feel.