Hello. I'm Mike, and I am a veteran and a filmmaker. I am working on a documentary about crying. It should strike you as something odd of a veteran to make a film about a topic that is so emotional and, I thought so too. It has almost stopped me from working on the project for fear of being ridiculed.
The idea came to during a Meetup.com group meeting which I would attend every Thursday. The group was a mixture of entrepreneurs who worked alone, like me. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, I was unable to work - and still am not able - so I wanted to take the chance to work on a passion project.
I sat down with these ladies one morning at a coffee shop and brought this up for discussion. After many great questions, I thought about Thanksgiving 2016; I was sitting on my mother's couch where between a football game a tv commercial was shown. An ad from Apple came on showing Frankie, a characterization of Frankenstein who records a music box tune and then wanders into a town center during the Christmas season. He starts to sing and has troubles with his voice and just from being nervous. People laugh. A little girl helps him. I feel the tightness in my throat, I try holding it in, and then I cry.
Holy hell, this is a lot of emotion, AND it's the first time I marked that I notice it, this extreme opposite of no feeling. I've spoken with my therapist about it, and I described it as like a pendulum swinging from one extreme to the other - a monumental shift of avoiding my emotions to experiencing them now in what feels like full force.
The why is what piqued my interest; why do we do it? What function does it serve and is it needed? Can it be culturally accepted? Are there holistic medicine practices that use it? Are there negative health benefits? Can we induce it when we need a release?
I've been part of the warrior culture, and I have been to a place where I feared for my life; this is not something I am used to. What I am accustomed to, is avoiding my emotions and trying to be stoic. Crying hasn't been a part of my life for the last almost two decades. The question is: Why now?