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I have always been a crier when faced with frustration. Even on the phone when dealing with a billing problem, or trying to get information, I just start to cry. Right now, I am POA for my Dad who is 800 miles away and I just had him admitted to a nursing home against his will. I did fly back and met with siblings and an elder care attorney to get the ball rolling for one of them to file for guardianship. I also am supporting my husband who is in a crisis with severe chronic pain from fibromyalgia and severe depression (he is also bipolar). He looks like he is dying, and I am driving him for consultations, Doctor appt., physical therapy, the emergency room, and psychiatrist. Some of these are over a hundred miles away. When we get there and I try to describe what is happening (suicide statements, his extreme pain, his not being able to walk a few hundred feet), I always start crying. I feel like an idiot and probably look like a dysfunctional spouse. Any ideas on how to think and act like an adult rather than a needy child? I am even crying pretty hard while typing this. I really need to pull myself together to support those I love while they need me.

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Prairie Lake, I don't think it's unusual for people to cry when faced with monumental challenges and frustration.

Please know that I'm not asking this question out of a sense of superiority, just inquiring. Do you work, and if so, what is your profession? I've seen some women who stay at home and have less experience in the business world become frustrated more easily. Working for pay creates self confidence, and that is I think a major component of handling various types of challenges.

For billing questions, do you research the issues, develop plans for potential alternatives, and know what you want to say or what you want to accomplish?

Can you isolate the reason though that crying seems to occur? I.e., do you feel as though you're dealing with people with higher level medical education, you're intimidated, and you won't understand them? Do you feel some situations are life or time critical and you're pressured to make decisions of which you're uncertain?



If you can isolate the reason for crying, you might be able to focus on that and build up your resistance to specific stressors.

E.g., when my parents first developed cardiac and other issues, I relied totally on my sister's advice; she was a practicing RN. After her death, I was confronted with multiple complex issues, most of which required a decision by me. I was overwhelmed. So I looked to business experience and education, and made each issue a "class project."

I spent a lot of time online, getting good first level explanation articles (from sites like Mayo or Cleveland Clinic), studied them until I understood the issues and options, then discussed those with the medical team. The fact that I understood the basics at that point led them to segue into more complex issues, which I then researched as well.

I think that's an option that many other caregivers take.

Up until my father's death, I was still faced with issues about which I knew little, so I followed the same pattern of research and questioning.

I've found that if you use medical terminology, it establishes a certain level of rapport with medical personnel and they'll spend more time explaining issues and options. Otherwise, the basic assumption seems to be to simplify, with little real discussion at all of the issues.

I won't deny though that I still cry when I am overwhelmed, as I was when I knew my father was dying. But that response is a natural human one; I'm not sure I'd ever want to reach the point of not being able to cry to express my sorrow.

I think though that you should not be so hard on yourself, and recognize that your life is VERY challenging right now. The frustration level would be high, your anxiety is probably high as well b/c of the medical complications. And of course you're worried for your family.

Do you do anything for yourself? Anything relaxing? Some of us read; we can do that in hospitals and nursing homes. Walking, just being in nature, petting a soft animal, listening to music, aromatherapy are all means of relaxing as well.

Try to set aside some time, maybe even just 5 - 10 minutes per hour, and read a favorite magazine, look at gardening magazines or catalogues (as I do), listen to music - whatever "takes you away" - maybe Calgon if it's still around! If you have pets, spend some time just petting them; they'll soothe you, just as you become calmer by their presence.

I keep an empty jar of a magnificent creation by a formal herbal supplier. It has exotic substances - myrhh, frankincense, and more. Just inhaling a small "whiff" of it relaxes me. Sometimes I also take a jar of cinammon, cloves or nutmeg, if I'm going into a stressful situation. These spices remind me of apple pies and other apple treats, and the beauty and solemnity of fall.

When I go into the garden, I pick a sprig of lemon balm or mint and rub it until it deteriorates. These aromatherapy pickups really soothe a troubled soul.

You might try to find a CD of soothing sounds, such as harp music or waves breaking on a shoreline. If you have cable with mood music channels, listen to those. They're typically accompanied by beautiful scenes of nature, mountains, seas, and are very relaxing.


In reading and rereading your post, it seems as though you're faced with a lot of medical challenges and issues, but haven't identified a method of providing relief from them. I get the feeling you're "strung" as tightly as a guitar string. That's not a criticism, just an observation.

Next time you feel like crying, try some of the suggestions, and see if any help. I think if you can break up the medical and emotional challenges with respite, you might find that stress lessens and you won't cry as easily.
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Reply to GardenArtist
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I have been a crier since a particular day when I was advocating for humane treatment of animals at a local county board meeting. I started to go and it's been downhill ever since. I was in my 30s when that happened.

I'm a single woman and held professional corporate jobs my whole career. But I cry at the drop of a hat. I agree with just saying, "Look, this is an emotional issue for me but I'm fully in control of my mental faculties, just not my tear ducts." And keep going. If I told someone they had the option of waiting until I stopped, that would totally trigger me to keep crying, LOL. It's really embarrassing and frustrating sometimes. I cry at parades when military bands go by. I cry when a fire truck goes by and every driver pulls over to the side (it makes me cry that we all work together). I cry at commercials. Hardly a day goes by that I don't cry.

When my mom passed away, I was working and I only told two people at work because I knew if anyone mentioned it to me (even weeks later) I would dissolve into a puddle of tears. I wasn't distraught, just weepy, weepy, weepy. I think we'll live longer because we get those emotions out. I'd rather do that than bottle it up. I just think we're wired a little differently. And you have a HUGE amount of stressful things going on in your life right now. My advice? Keep calm and cry on. {{{Hugs}}}
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Thank you, especially blannie. I am a professional with many years working with patients as a speech Language Pathologist. I have a lot of medical knowledge. I can stay calm and get through emergencies-like my child getting bit in the face by our dog. I seem to cry more quickly when I don’t think the other person is not hearing what I am saying. I stay very functional, I just cry. I have been to lots of counseling over the years, and I cry through them all.
I am like you blannie-listening to people singing the Star Spangled Banner even makes me cry. But right now I do feel like a tightly strung guitar string.
I like the idea that it is a good thing to cry-maybe that will help me to not try to stop, which will keep me from crying more. (Does any of that make any sense at all?)
Thank all of you for quick responses. You all helped me remember the things I need to do. Usually it is really hard exercise and then a relaxing time in the hot tub. I have not done that for a long time. So that is what I am going to do this evening.
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Reply to PrairieLake
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Prairie, I have oft been a crier myself -- I never know when it's going to happen. What I do know, tho, is that I am still very functional while I'm crying. I used to do this sometimes during my career. I would simply say, "This is a hormonal issue and probably makes you more uncomfortable than it does me. Are you ok if we continue, or do you need to wait until this health issue subsides?" Ha ha -- throws everyone off! I say cry when you need to, and if it impedes your functioning, excuse yourself for a minute or several, then continue.
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Reply to talkey
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I read sometime ago that chemical tests of tears revealed some hormones (?) , compounds that are released during stressful periods. So, crying is good.
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PS I also once cried in front of a policeman who had stopped me for speeding ("so unfair!!!"). But I did it too late. If I'd thought to cry *before* he wrote the ticket I might just have got away with it. Dang..!
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Reply to Countrymouse
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I once burst into tears of rage in the middle of a school debate on vivisection. It was extremely humiliating, and I feel for you.

Write it down. It's the only way. Then sleep on it, revise your notes in the morning, cross out anything that is an adjective or an adverb unless they are there for strictly technical understanding. Rehearse.

If it's then not practical to communicate in writing, and you've no choice but to have spoken conversations, with a bit of luck you'll be so familiar with the material you're discussing that it will have lost some of its sharpness for you.

There's nothing with having an emotional response, you know. It doesn't make you wrong about the facts, or about anything else. The only trouble is when it gets in the way of communication - maybe keep reminding yourself that what you have to say is IMPORTANT, and see if that helps you to focus.
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CM, crying when stopped by law enforcement is definitely acceptable!
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I don't cry , ever. And I would give anything if I could. Sometimes I try very hard because I need to. But I get a splitting head ache and have trouble talking but I can not cry as much as I need to. So cry on and be very happy you can. My sister doesn't either.
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Reply to sondraO
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Dear PrairieLake,
I am a woman, a doctor, a Mom, and even after over forty years working outside of the home, I cry pretty easily. When my life is overflowing with the responsibility to care for my loved ones, as is sounds as if you are experiencing right now, I cry in the shower. When it gets really bad I make an appointment with a friend, my physician, or another confidant to get some of the pressure off of my chest. Sometimes if you can just tell someone else it helps. Over the years, I have realized that crying is really a gift. Crying is very cathartic for me. I am thankful when I can cry. I hope you can find a way to give yourself permission to cry, you deserve it. Hang in there.
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