I wish I could just stop crying

Ellie McDowell

More stories from Ellie McDowell

It takes a village
April 19, 2023

I don’t think I have ever posted a picture of me crying anywhere, so here we go

I don’t even know why I’m crying at this point.

Sometimes I’m just sitting in fourth-hour Architectural Rendering and Design and I have to resist the urge to let the tears pooling up spill over.

Occasionally, I’m driving home from work after the sun has already gone down and my vision starts to blur with tears I can’t hold in anymore. I know I shouldn’t drive like that, and most times I pause to recollect myself, just to hold it in until I drive home the next day.

Most of the time nothing made me cry. Sometimes it’s just because someone asked me how my week has been or if I need anything. Sometimes it’s my boyfriend giving me a hug. Every once in a while, someone tells me I’m doing a good job and I just can’t stop the tears anymore. Usually, though, I just cry for no reason.

In fourth hour I was just sitting there working on my house and all of a sudden my eyes filled with tears. I wasn’t even putting that much thought into anything at all, but I started crying anyway.

Maybe I’m overwhelmed. I probably am. I have my fair share of things to be overwhelmed about. It’s almost time for graduation and then college. I have a lot going on. I don’t really have much downtime.

Maybe I’m just drained. I have very little social battery from day to day, and I’m pretty exhausted most of the time. Most nights I don’t sleep very well. I’m sure the lack of sleep doesn’t help my social battery, and I know my job doesn’t. I like my job well enough, but it’s exhausting. Every time I get there I want to snap at the first customer to talk to me. Most of the time I have to hold back tears for the last hour of my shift.

I’m tired of crying for no reason. I don’t know how to stop it. Whenever someone asks me if I’m okay I start to cry. Literally every single time. Lately, the tears have been begging to spill over. I have to stop and collect myself between every class. Every time I’m alone in my car I have to wipe away tears. My music slowly gets more and more sad.

I started this column because I was crying, and I couldn’t stop. I was sitting in one of my classes, and the tears wouldn’t stop. I’m finishing it nearly two weeks later and I feel just a little differently.

I feel like maybe, just maybe, I can cry and still be strong at the same time.

For the last two years, I have written about things that made me cry. Those things have given me so much inspiration.

What did I cry about today? I feel a little bloated. I had coffee this morning, and it made my stomach hurt a little so I don’t feel great about myself.

The things I cried the most about, though? My best friend. He left again today. He’s off to continue training for the Marines, and I woke up bright and early to go to the airport and say goodbye. I saw him, and I was doing great. I gave him a hug, and I still hadn’t cried. I walked out to my car with my boyfriend and I was still tear-free. I started my car and got to Patterson—I wasn’t okay anymore.

The first time he left I tried to hold the tears back. I didn’t want to cry because that’s weak, and I’m not weak. I think I’m pretty strong. I think I’m pretty strong, and I think that’s why I let myself cry this time.

I didn’t hold them back, I let them spill because I knew that the tears mean that I care. They mean that Noah means a lot to me, and I’m super proud of him.

I cried about college today, too. I was writing a column to my three favorite people, and I got to Kyle. I started crying in Sociology. I’m going to miss him a lot. I’m going to be so far away, and I’m going to miss him so much.

I wish I didn’t cry so much, but I feel a little differently than when I started this column two weeks ago. I feel like maybe, just maybe, I can cry and still be strong at the same time.