Catharsis

My Life Without Me is the saddest movie ever made. And it’s good. Which means I cried while watching it. A LOT! And I cried after watching it. Even more. I usually tear up when watching sad movies, no matter how good or cliché they are, but I’ve never felt so crushed and violently shaken by a film until this one. Maybe it was because that afternoon I’d heard some devastating news about a dear friend, perhaps because MLWM is a lot like life, I don’t really know. But the fact is, after the last scene of the movie, I couldn’t stop sobbing. It went on for maybe 10 minutes. Looking back, I can’t say why exactly I was crying, my life is not exactly sob material (thank God), the movie was over and yet there I was, sitting in the dark, crying the ugly cry.

I think we all have this reservoir where we accumulate emotions without realizing it. It doesn’t have to be something that impacts on our lives directly, just something we experience and process unknowingly. And when that reservoir is overflowing, with anger, sadness, frustration, pain, resentment, anxiety, well then we need to deal with the flood somehow. So we cry… So I cried.

During the ten-minute bawling, my super-ego would sometimes intervene and make me realize how ridiculous it all was and truthfully I was almost laughing at myself. But despite this apparent contradiction tears kept rolling down. The end of it was as unexpected as the need to cry. So I washed my face, drank a glass of water and breathed deeply feeling liberated… As if I’d passed a great hurdle in my life. It all began with feeling sad, but then I was crying because it felt so good to just let go, although I couldn’t tell you what exactly I was letting go of.

“The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears or the sea.” [Isak Dinesen]

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