Therapy in Literary Tears

Wuthering Heights by Scott MacLeod Liddle on Flickr

A sadness has hit me recently, and with it the desire to read a good, cry-inducing book. I’m a very private person and disclosing my feelings, even with close friends and family, is incredibly difficult for me. Having a solitary cry over a book seems a much more acceptable (and less vulnerable) form of expressing my feelings. Whether this is healthy or not is up to debate, but it seems to work for me so I’ve stuck with it over the years.

My teary tome of choice has been Wuthering Heights, a book I have read multiple times since I was a young girl of 12 or 13. It’s such a perfect way to wallow in the doldrums for a spell. The characters are incredibly flawed, sometimes so much so that I wonder why I even care about them in the first place. But this is real life, is it not? The people we love and are drawn to have imperfections. It’s nice to experience a realistic, gritty portrayal of a love story instead of the typical romance formula. C’mon ladies: we are much more likely to experience a brooding, temperamental Heathcliff than a doting, impossibly perfect Edward.

The emotion is palpable. I’m about a fourth of the way through the book and I’ve already shed tears a few times. It’s not hard to cry while reading this book. And it feels so good to open the floodgates of emotion while I’m in a depressive state. There is definitely something to be said for “getting it all out” and purging my system of unhappy thoughts.

I can already feel a deeply satisfying emotional cleansing – a catharsis – taking place. And soon it will be time to smile once again.

How do you cope when you’re having a down day, or week, or month, so that you come out on the other side with your optimism intact?

4 Comments on Therapy in Literary Tears

  1. Mark Johnson
    April 29, 2010 at 11:16 pm (14 years ago)

    Awesome post! A movie can be a quicker way to get a good cry, if you really need it. For example, "Breakfast at Tiffany's" or "A River Runs Through It" always cause tears to gush out.

    • Marie
      April 30, 2010 at 8:03 am (14 years ago)

      That is so true, Mark. I actually got Wuthering Heights from Netflix last night (perfect timing!) and watched it at home. It was the version with Juliette Binoche and Ralph Fiennes, and it was so good. I’m still going to finish the book, but the movie was a great addition to my wallowing. 🙂

  2. Nora
    April 29, 2010 at 11:32 pm (14 years ago)

    I E-A-T, not sure it makes me come out feeling better though. 😉

    • Marie
      April 30, 2010 at 8:02 am (14 years ago)

      Haha, yeah I’m trying to stay away from that type of coping mechanism. 🙂 Gotta stay fit!


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