While I am a sensitive and emotional person, I have always hated showing my emotions to other people, even my closest friends and family. However, after what was probably the hardest summer of my life, I’ve learned to embrace the catharsis in showing others how I feel.
COVID-19 brought on a whirlwind of emotions for me. Being at home with my parents and sister for nearly six months, I felt incredibly responsible for their health and well-being. I literally didn’t see anyone outside of my family within 6 feet for months because I was so afraid of putting my loved ones at risk.
This was obviously hard on me emotionally. Between the isolation I felt from not seeing friends and the anxiety I had about COVID-19, I reached my breaking point quicker than I expected. I internalized my feelings for so long, but at a certain point I couldn’t hold it in any longer. One night at the kitchen counter with my parents, I broke down crying, and even though I covered my face out of habit, I felt more relief than I had in a long time.
Crying in front of people is a whole different kind of vulnerable, but it can help start honest conversation about how you’re feeling and what you need. I think most people are uncomfortable crying in front of people, but I promise you, sharing your emotions with people you trust is the first step to feeling just a little bit better.
This year has been hard for so many reasons. We all have something we’re going through, and when piled on with a global pandemic, which none of us really know how to deal with, the hard stuff feels incredibly overwhelming.
Let someone in. It doesn’t matter if it’s a family member, a friend or an acquaintance. The people who love you want to know how you’re really doing, so next time someone asks you if something is wrong, resist the urge to brush it off with an “I’m fine.” Tell them what’s really going on, and maybe that ear to listen will lighten some of the load.
— Lily Shahida, arts & culture editor