The fear of wanting and needing.

I got a message today from someone telling me they struggle with something I do; overcoming the problem of wanting/needing to cry, and not being able to. Wanting/needing a hug, but not being able to accept one. I was asked if I found any ‘solutions’ to write about it.

I gave it some thought. I know reasons for the above problem. I have some idea of which of those possible reasons are my reasons, but there is still a massive difference between knowing those two things, and finding a ‘solution’.

When the person messaged me, straight away I knew I could write about it and so I was sat thinking “if I can write about it, if I know it all, why does that not help me?” and “if it doesn’t help me, then what is the point in writing about it, because how will it help anyone else?”.

I don’t have any magical solutions, pre-warning.

What triggered this message from the person was that today, when I needed a hug the most, and was offered one by a nurse, I couldn’t allow myself to say ‘yes’, and all I can really give you is why I THINK that was the case.

It was a combination of things. It was fear that if I took that hug, I would fall apart and never stop crying, and mostly a fear that this nurse didn’t really mean it. That she was hoping I would say ‘no’ and that if I said ‘yes’ she would be, I don’t even know what I thought she would be. Angry? Annoyed? I thought she would think bad of me. I really think that’s the bottom line in my case.

I am sure though, that there are other reasons for other people and you’ve got to try and ask yourself what your reasons are. I can’t give you those answers, though I will happily listen to you and help you work them out.

Here’s the hardest part. I know the reasons, so how do I overcome them?

For me, I guess it would be to take the risk. Take the hug. To not worry what she is thinking. To not fear the consequences. To be ok with the fact that I might cry my eyes out and that is ok, and also to not think I know what the other person is thinking or feeling. (Something that ironically my psychiatrist told me I need to stop doing last week!)

And, being quite frank, whatever your reasons for fearing taking a hug, for fearing wanting and needing to cry are, the only solution is to take that risk and allow yourself. See what happens. Keep trying. Baby steps. And to do that you need to, which is hard, remember in those moments that deep down you want to cry. That deep down you know it’s ok.

To the anonymous person who messaged me – in those moments, remember that you messaged me, and that must mean it’s something you want to change, and that you can take that risk.

It’s only in taking risks, that we grow.


One thought on “The fear of wanting and needing.

  1. With crying, that used to be a problem for me, accessing tears. I found that it was doubly hard because I had a lot of muscle tension that bound my feelings and prevented me from relaxing enough to cry. But as I got in contact with other people more, and started talking more, I gradually became able to cry occasionally more often. Also, I find that sad movies can be very helpful in helping one reach sadness, because it’s sometimes easier and safer to identify with the experiences of characters in these movies than to think about oneself or talk with another person.

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