When you swallow something that isn’t good for you, your body has a way of dealing with it. Say it is spoiled milk or meat. You may notice that it isn’t quite right when you eat it so you spit it out. Or, it may be mixed up with other things and you don’t figure out early enough that it is a bit off. Fortunately your body knows better and will end up getting that out of you pretty fast one way or another. Generally you will throw it up, and while the actual throwing up part never feels good, you invariably feel so much better once you have gotten it whatever was not right out of you.
Wouldn’t it be great if it were that easy with our feelings? When we take in something difficult to process, why do we in our society do our darnedest to not cry or yell? These are ways of getting out the difficult emotions. It is not a good idea to fake being happy all the time – that can cause even more problems. We need to experience all emotions, but we also need to know how to deal with the ones that overwhelm us.
It is OK to cry. It isn’t a sign of weakness. It doesn’t lessen our status as adults. It is OK to yell and scream sometimes. All the books on grief that I’ve read say that vigorously expressing your grief is healthy and helps you start to heal faster. Holding it in is exactly like holding in that spoiled milk or meat – you’ll just feel sicker.