Day 481: The opposite of a good cry

Sometimes I write about opposites, as a way to invite both sides, new perspectives, a wider view.

Yesterday, I wrote about a good cry, and a half pie.

I could write about the opposite of a half pie, I suppose, but the pie is gone. And what is the opposite of a half pie, anyway?  A whole pie?  No pie? A half cake?  Difficult to say.

So I turn my attention to a good cry. What is the opposite of that? A bad cry? No cry? A good laugh?  A bad laugh?  Again …. I don’t know.

A few more thoughts about opposites: I like to think about opposites, because

  1. I like to see the whole view, with all sides, especially before I make a decision and
  2. Opposites are not always clear, and I like to strive for clarity.

So why do I want to write about the opposite of a good cry, today?

Because I woke up not crying, but down. Then, when I went online, I went further down, again, without a cry.

I feel the need to define what I mean by “down,” right now.

Synonyms for “down,” from

downward, cascading, declining, depressed, descending, downgrade, downhill, dropping, falling, gravitating, inferior, precipitating, sagging, sinking, sliding, slipping, slumping


Yes, when I woke up this morning, I was feeling depressed, inferior, sagging, sinking, sliding, slipping and those other words for “down.” And when I went online, I went further downwards, fast.


These are my best guesses:

  • I need to make some decisions about work, very soon, and I feel ill-equipped — inferior, actually —  in the moment, to do so, in a good enough way.
  • I believe I’ve made a mistake or two, lately, which adds to my sagging, sinking, and so on.
  • In order to make a good enough decision, I need to reach out to people for some advice and (as I’ve written about before) it can be difficult for me to ask for help.
  • I’m afraid I might get conflicting advice, which, in the past, has caused me to slump, sag, and slide.
  • When I went online this morning, I saw the news about the 16-year-old girl in Connecticut who was killed yesterday because (allegedly) she turned somebody down for the prom.

The result is this, in the moment: I feel paralyzed, powerless, sad, upset, frozen, and hopeless.

And I am still not crying.

What can I do? What can any of us do?

Just this, I suppose:

  • Be aware of where you are.
  • Let people know.
  • Act, as best you can.
  • Forgive yourself and others, as best you can.

An image for today?

Just a beautiful girl:


Maren Sanchez.

Thanks to each and every one of you, for giving me a place where I can write about anything and (sometimes) cry.

Categories: Uncategorized | 51 Comments

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51 thoughts on “Day 481: The opposite of a good cry

  1. You should feel good about sharing the beautiful face of dear Maren Sanchez with us here, Ann. Even after her tragic death at the hands of a classmate, that beam of light deserves to show up on screens across the world in a moment of happiness. And you did that for me, today, Ann, as I bow my head to pay tribute to what surely was a lovely life lived. Thank you.

  2. Just know that your blog reader’s think you’re pretty flippin’ fabulous…and beyond capable of making good decisions. 🙂

    • See, I just made a mistake with an apostrophe! We all goof up all the time, but we’re still awesome. 🙂

    • Wow. I appreciate all of that, very much. Thank you, Nerd in the Brain, for sharing those exceedingly helpful thoughts in your brain, today.

  3. jottlings

    I think the opposite of half a pie is the other half.

  4. To follow up with my comment to your post yesterday, a good cry helps you focus on things that are important as strong emotions can make us ineffective. While you might be feeling down, you are clearly able to reflect and analyze a lot more today and that seems to be a good step towards not feeling down.

    Also there is no such thing as conflicting advice…it’s all information…and perspectives. You seem to be pretty intelligent so if you’re asking for advice that must mean the solution is far from clear. So different perspectives are essentially to make a good decision not a barrier. 🙂

    • This was an extremely helpful comment to me today, and I’ve already quoted it to others, especially this: “There is no such thing as conflicting advice … it’s all information … and perspectives.” Thank you, very much, for the information and wise perspectives you give me.

      • You are far too kind. After reading your thoughtful posts I feel like I’m at best telling you things you already know…you’ve just temporarily forgotten in the everyday chaos that sometimes clouds our minds. 🙂 But thank you! 🙂

      • I think that’s a great description of what happens to many of us: temporarily forgetting our wisdom in the “everyday chaos that sometimes clouds our minds”. Again, I find you eminently quotable! Thanks again.


    American media is a little like watching a car with unbalanced wheels try to stay on the road. More often than not, it’s in a ditch waiting for a tow truck. So while we wait here is something to read. 🙂

  6. I read about this. So sad. I just can’t understand people!

    • Thanks for the comment, Timothy. I am glad to say that, usually, I feel like I can attain some understanding of people, as complicated as they may be. Sometimes, though, especially in sad cases like this, I am at a loss.

  7. after crying
    i find there’s always
    a nice rainbow
    if i look
    in the right direction 🙂

  8. Hey Ann, I have no idea what kind of decision you need to make but here’s something that has worked for me and it kind of employs your love for opposites!

    I had been working at the same place for 20 years. The company had grown and changed. As if that wasn’t enough, a sort of coup was happening. For 3 years I went back and forth on whether I should stay or go. Finally I employed the following technique:
    1. I imagined what it would be like to stay. I sat quiet and let the feelings wash over me.
    2. I imagined what it would feel like to leave. Again I sat quiet and the feelings wash over me.

    In this particular case, the number 1 scenario resulted in a panic attack of sorts and the number 2 scenario felt like a ton of weight had been taken off my shoulder. Guess I what I chose? 😉

    Diana xo

  9. Amazing post – thank you so much!

  10. Sounds like you woke up in a tough spot! I hope the day gets better for you. It helps me to think of 10 things I’m grateful for, and a little sunshine always helps. Vitamin D is your buddy : ). Take care!

  11. Sometimes it’s overwhelming to be so overwhelmed.
    Sometimes it’s scary to be so scared…
    But it’s always awesome to be so awesome!
    Buck up little buckaroo!
    R.I.P Dear Maren,
    You are free now and no longer need fear.

  12. Very thoughtful and thought-out …Appreciated by this blogger !

  13. I can empathise. At breakfast today I read the newspaper and saw the faces of some of the mothers… I have just erased my description of the news that depressed me, because you don’t need that. Only, like you, this weighed on me and coloured my reactions all day. After getting many things done in a spiritless way, I finally settled to an hour or so of weeding and a robin came to join me. He flew in so close each time that I found myself ducking and laughing.

  14. So sorry that you have woken up a bit glum and I hope that you are able to work through your decisions soon.
    It was terrible about that young girl. It puts things into perspective.

  15. I don’t know what I did. I was 3/4ths of the way through writing something and it was evaporated by some kind of blogging anti-matter. I’m sorry, because I might be all juiced out now.
    What was I saying? That to feel down, despairing, descending, slipping, is so very human. I think it’s how we are human, actually, how we reach into ourselves for the impossible. Impossible is what we build with.
    But that I hope that you know that even when you are down, descending, you are never inferior. If you think that, it would be so unkind to the rest of us. You are a light, a genuine candle of gentle wonder, and if you forget that, then you are really forgetting that all of us who read your posts and laugh with you and cry with you and go off in all the directions you send us, are really people, people who have families and things to do and who choose to be with you because in various ways, we love you.
    Ours is an internet friendship. I value it, but the truly crappy thing is that I can’t just show up at your door with blueberries or cheesecake or a copy of Feynman’s Surely You’re Joking…. I am helpless, really to do anything for you at all.
    But I want to say this… I have been to a down place, maybe not your down place, but somewhere dark and scratchy and out of reach. I hope you are not going there. I hope that you are going to feel yourself again once your pneumonia is gone, because pneumonia steals your spirit as well as your air and your strength. But if you are, I hope that you remember that just as you have been lighting candles for us, we light candles for you, each in our own way. From your responses to your readers’ posts I think you see that. But please do count us in. We’re not just stats. We are real. Our affection for you is real. Whatever happens with your job, whatever choices you make about work or anything else, we are a community you have built. You have drawn us in from the ether. And here we are.
    We are here for you, Ann.

    • How can I forget that you are there for me, when you write such moving, articulate, and inspiring comments? And how can pneumonia steal my spirit when you breathe such hopeful thoughts into the ether that we share? Thank you for your precious words, as always.

    • I just re-read this amazing gift of a comment and must take issue with this: “I am helpless, really to do anything for you at all.” Untrue, false, wrong, absolutely not, no offense, my dear. You, like the rest of us, have powers beyond your imagining. Specifically, you do so much for me, always. And again, so sorry to disagree, but you DO show up at my door.

      I think I am just saying back to you what you are telling me. Ain’t it cool?

  16. That may have been a bit incoherent. I am not sure that I can even do coherent anymore. But I hope you know what I was going for.

  17. A good laugh and a good cry is good medicine, it can clear the air like a good storm. The opposite is the emotional paralysis that comes from keeping it all inside. eMOTIONS are meant to move!

  18. Pingback: Day 482: Who cares? | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  19. I love: “Be aware of where you are.” For me, that would be both literally and metaphorically. Thanks for the reminder – and glad you’re feeling better today.

  20. Ann, hugs to you. Things get us down when we feel powerless … and especially when we aren’t feeling well. For me, I feel burdened like this when I am resisting something. What is it you are resisting …. just acknowledge to for today….
    Val x

  21. amusez798387

    Hi Ann! I am still trying to learn my way around the blogg-osphere. My first time. I am thinking of you lovingly and thankfully for all you are and have taught me and so many others.

    Love, Mary

  22. Pingback: Day 485: My Nemeses | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  23. Hi Ann,

    My philosopher son told me that according to Nietzsche, there are no opposites but only different levels or degrees of principally the same thing i.e. the “basic element”:
    “…. there is no antithesis whatever, except in the usual exaggerations of popular or metaphysical comprehension,[20] and that an error of the reason is at the bottom of such contradiction. According to its explanation, there is, strictly speaking, neither unselfish conduct, nor a wholly disinterested point of view. Both are simply sublimations in which the basic element seems almost evaporated and betrays its presence only to the keenest observation…”

    I think this is a totally interesting approach because it means (if I understood it halfway correctly…) that even when I’m completely down, for instance, my good feeling (which should be the default state or “basic element”) is only seemingly gone…

    Wow, it’s 2 a.m.! I wanted to dig into the subject a bit more but my thoughts got stuck and I have to go get some sleep… Wish you a great weekend dear Ann. Heila

    • Wow, is right! Thank you (and your son) for this amazing comment, dear Heila. Selfishly/unselfishly (with varying degrees of the basic element), I am very glad you wrote this.

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