Today is not a good day for me.
I broke down. After so long of keeping my guard up and smiling through the pain, I cried.
But I guess this is a long time coming.
I’ve held everything in for too long, lying to myself that everything is alright and forcing the tears to stop. I’ve stopped crying for other people, for sad stories, for songs that touch me, for books and movies. I’ve stopped crying for myself. I guess I’ve just reached the point where I’ve started wondering if I had any tears left.
It’s the Chinese New Year (aka Lunar New Year) season, and since I’m Chinese, it means visiting relatives I barely know, talks about boyfriends and the future, deprecating jokes directed at you, and a lot of willpower to last through the day.
This year hasn’t been particularly good. I’m normally able to bear through the day, no matter how long it may seem, mostly because I, at least, recognise my relatives. But this year, instead of celebrating it in my hometown, my family decided to celebrate CNY in my dad’s hometown. Which is a completely different story because, aside from his immediate family and their children, I don’t know anyone.
And so, there were a lot of anxious waiting and guarded smiles. And today, I just felt so out of it from the long day I had yesterday. My depression was horrible, and I felt like I was just floating in and out and like I was watching a movie that is my life.
My relatives talked too long, drunk too much, forced me to drink even though I really didn’t want to, my anxiety stopping me from doing anything besides sit and smile and hold back my tears and try not to cry.
Then, I went to a bookstore, and saw Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth, a book that I’ve been waiting for ever since the announcement, but I wasn’t allowed to buy it. I know it seems trivial, but already having a bad day, I was just completely torn apart and I nearly burst into tears there and then in the bookstore. But it was alright. I kept my guard up, because I had to.
And then I came home, and I was forced into a situation where I had to speak in front of my family and relatives, and there were about 12 of us, and, already having such a mentally challenging and tiring day, I really didn’t want to and refused, but no one wanted to listen and, once again, I felt like crying.
But of course I didn’t. Because they wouldn’t understand.
After dinner was over, and everyone’s settled down, I turned on my computer to write, because that’s what I do, and put on my headphones and listened to my playlist of slow, calming music, and that was when I broke down.
My eye pooled with water and tears streamed down my cheeks, and I couldn’t stop it. I was in the living room, so I rushed to the bathroom to hide, and there, I just snapped. I cried and cried, my heart felt shattered, and I just felt so, so broken.
Everything was too much. There were too many people. It was too hot, but too cold. It was too bright, too loud. I couldn’t stand it.
I cried and cried, and felt myself fall apart, and my world crumble to pieces. And even now, as I’m typing this, I feel it.
I wiped my tears, blew my nose (because, you have to), put my mask back on, and walked out. I washed my face and hoped no one noticed my red eyes. But, of course, someone did. And they asked if I cried, but I denied it. Because they can’t know.
They wouldn’t understand.
And now, as I’m typing this, I seem neutral, tensed even, my face straight and serious, but really, I just want to break down and cry. I don’t want to keep staying strong. I hate keeping my guard up. I hate it. I hate the world. I hate myself.
But they wouldn’t understand.