I can feel them coming in the night: A warm force within my closed eyelids. Each and every time, I hope they will subside before the pressure is high enough to release them into my sleepless night. I am terrified of what will happen otherwise.
So often in the past two years, a single drop would lead to hours of crying. A silent sob, barely recognizable through unsteady and pressed breathing might build up to an open cry with soft moaning which may then escalate into a panic attack, depending on which images and thoughts well up in the outpouring. It would leave me empty, embarrassed, and exhausted, a mere shadow of my former selves. With each of these crying sessions, I would sink deeper into the darkness, awakening the ghosts of older wounds that would accompany the recent ones on their way to the surface of my eye.
So when I feel them coming, I try to suppress the transgression with breathing techniques, a softening of the face muscles, an adjustment of my posture to make more space for the wet disaster lingering on my eyeballs. I turn to discipline to force the immanent loss of control back into the realm of the unconscious. If I succeed, sleep may find me again.
Tonight, it’s just two tears on my pillow.