I’m always sad when things end. Even when I’m glad they're over.
My in-laws came to visit and meet their new grandson. One week was the perfect length of time. But after they left, the house felt too empty. I couldn’t shake the depressing feeling.
It’s the comedown.
There are at least three contributing factors to a comedown:
- Anticipation and excitement leading up to the event
- Increased alcohol consumption
- Being surrounded by loved ones
Afterwards, as this trifecta subsides, it feels like adderall wearing off.
The same thing happened after our week-long wedding in Puerto Rico. I walked around our empty villa on the last day and the sadness was overwhelming. Everyone was gone. We would never get the week back. It had already become a memory.
Our villa was so full of life and fun and happiness all week but then it was empty. I could feel the emptiness in my body. I wanted to keep everybody close. I wanted to stay together with everyone.
But not really. I’m an introvert. I crave alone time. I was looking forward to getting back home.
But there’s something in the transition that always gets me.
The old me would wallow. I’d hole up in my apartment, binge-watch TV, eat pizza and Cheez-its, and drink a bottle of wine.
The new me only takes a day until I feel better, but that day is always rough. I force myself to workout. And I don’t drink alcohol. But I still want to cry.
I told my husband a few times throughout the day that I was feeling sad. Each time I said it I had to take a few breaths first. I had to control myself or I’d start sobbing.
In The Lost Art of Crying, Nibras Ibnomer explains its benefits:
“Crying is a powerful tool for processing experiences and clearing emotions stored in the body. The fear of crying and our insistence on not allowing ourselves to cry can lead to emotional blocks and [...] restricted self-expression.”
All day I was trying to figure out why I was so sad. I asked myself questions like, “What’s wrong with me? What do I have to be sad about? What can I do to stop feeling this way?”
But those were the wrong questions. Instead I should have asked myself, “Why do I feel stupid for crying? How might it feel to let myself cry? What is the best path to work through my emotions rather than suppress them?”
So the next time a trip ends and I’m feeling sad I’m going to try and just let myself cry. Maybe it will make the transition easier. Maybe I will feel better in much less time.
Or maybe I should drink less wine. But that’s a whole other issue.