Why We Need Release – In More Ways Than One
I suppose university hasn’t been a total loss if things don’t quite go as planned…I learned a lot about the gastrointestinal tract.
Although that’s just an aside, as I’m really just using that as a segue to references to flatulence.
Gas is painful when you hold it in, yet loads of us hold it in all the time…and to those who don’t, I’m not judging you! In fact, I actively encourage people to pass the gas.
The thing is, although I know the idea of people constantly passing gas is perhaps unpleasant…most people are discreetly passing gas anyway, so why don’t we just make peace with the fact that we’re all pretty stinky on the inside? It’s so much easier to be nice to others when you’re not cursing your productive digestive system, battling with crippling bloat and trapped gas!
So, I compared mental health to farts the other day.
Sounds a bit silly, I know. Hear me out.
We’re so ashamed of something that all of us are affected by every day. Something we all know about, but we would rather pretend we don’t deal with, for fear of embarrassment, shame.
Farts, but what I really want to focus on –feelings – can cause intense pain when held in.
The other day, someone unabashedly shared with me that she had cried six times that day.
Something flickered in me, in that moment. I have cried countless times in recent weeks.
I cry when I’m in the shower.
I cry when I wake up.
I cry when I’m listening to music on the bus.
I cry when I’m walking around in the park or in town.
I cry when I think about my late Siamese cat, who was my confidante (yes, we conversed) all throughout my childhood and adolescence.
I cry when I remember my heart being broken by someone who I trusted and envisioned a future with.
I cry when I’m sitting alone at home on the sofa, candle burning on the coffee table, wondering if I’ll live here forever, or if my life will take me somewhere new.
I cry when I remember the old friends I made throughout university. Or the carefree days of high school, when I lived at home, and the beach, my friends, and my bicycle were my life.
I cry when I remember my grandparents, my paternal in Denmark, and maternal in Puerto Rico. Visiting these homes. Feeling loved and cherished as though I was their miracle. Imagining what my late grandparents are doing and if they are watching me.
I cry when I think about my younger self. Little me. When my precious time was filled with reading for hours in the nooks of bookstores and libraries, playing with my cat and dog, frolicking in cherubic nudity in the garden, writing short stories in Comic Sans on Windows ’95, scorching villains in Spyro (the original trilogy on PlayStation…).
I wonder what I would say to her, if she felt like I did.
I know what I would do, however – I would care for her. I would be there for her. Listen to her. Ask her if there’s anything to do that would help, offer or search for ideas. Make her a comforting, nutritious – or any favourite – meal. Put some soothing music on (though child Monica does love a bit of Limp Bizkit and Offspring, so she might have that instead) or an audiobook (she would listen to storytelling cassettes tapes in bed back then). I’d offer her a warm bath with a dash of eucalyptus oil so she could breathe easier. Or, if all was offered, or if she didn’t want me around anymore, and just needed some alone time, that would be okay too. But I would still be there.
I’ve talked about caring for this childlike version of myself. Somehow this allows me to consider myself as a person worthy of self-love. I remember that I am this little girl inside, navigating the stormy seas of life and trying to make peace with the krakens, creatures in my mind, that I discover along the way.
I am often thankful for the rainy days, because it means you can cry freely and passersby will assume it’s the weather.
If my childlike self needed to fart, I would tell her to fart. If she were crying, I would allow her tears to flow. I would want to help her, if that meant consoling her, a hug, letting her vent, coping with her thoughts or emotions. Krakens cannot be fought alone.
Krakens and farts. That’s what this all boils down to.
I like irreverence. It makes light of our struggles and can draw humour from the worst of circumstances.
Though reading this may not have convinced you to pass wind quite as openly as I propose we help each other by sharing our emotions and finding ways to stay afloat – together.
Flatulence can have quite an oppressive stench, but it dissipates on it’s own once passed a relatively short time.
Krakens live in us…constant, invisible burdens that we cope with as conscious, ruminating beings…they are there to be dealt with. To be tamed. To be calmed. And in this task you must never be, and are never, alone.