A cartoon about being bereaved almost brought me to tears this morning. When I say “almost” my eyes got wet. That tends to be the closest I get to weeping unless I am depressed or shocked. This is in sharp contrast to the years of between sixteen and about thirty seven when I cried at the drop of a hat. It was a sure fire way to make people disappear at the rate of knots so it wasn’t terribly comforting. And embarrassing at work. Worse at parties. Oh, I was a right old cheery chops.
Eventually my doctor prescribed a combination of anti-depressants and a mood stabilizer that worked (after a series of failures: a common experience). It was lovely to be able to tackle life without making sure there was a man-size box of tissues ready to hand. But there was a downside. Oh, there always is, isn’t there?
Emotion? What’s that? I hardly ever cry now—it’s only when sufficient stress builds up and breaks through my medication. Then I just up the dose. Music sometimes gets me, very occasionally a film, or poetry.
In my novel, I’m writing about a woman who has every reason to be emotional but so far the most expressive the poor character has managed is to swear once and get a bit tetchy when her husband behaves abominably. Just a tad unrealistic? Okay she has spent twenty years of her life blocking out the most important thing that ever happened to her, but still. Or is that her strength and flaw? Is it perhaps reasonable that it is only when she becomes ill that she lets her guard down? Who knows? Re-write number. twelve coming up. Will the page be blotted with tears? Rent in pieces? Or will it continue in nineteen forties style tightened jaw and wide eyes?