Emotions were high. Lauren Marks had a big decision to make. She needed to choose between two surgeons, both equally skilled, to perform brain surgery. The job they would do would not only determine whether she’d be back at square one with treating her aphasia, but whether she lived or died. She finally allowed herself to cry about the situation on a call with her doctor.

We’re back to talking about our current online book club selection, Lauren Marks’ book, A Stitch of Time.

It’s Alright to Cry

Lauren called her doctor, seeking information about both surgeons. The weight of the decision weighed down on her during the conversation. She found herself crying on page 203:

It was the first time I had allowed myself to cry since I found out about the craniotomy, and I started to weep. I didn’t want to be too emotional in front of my family because it might bring out their own hysterics. But the confusion, the distress — it all became salt water. My heaves made the phone slick with tears.

Lauren worried her family would become even more overwhelmed by the situation if they saw her break down, so she saved her tears for her doctor.

Sharing Your Emotions

While it’s tempting to save family and friends from the big emotions, expressing that vulnerability can help them understand your needs. Lauren’s parents were left without an understanding of how much the decision was weighing on their daughter. Therefore, her actions the next day seemed strange and impulsive.

The day after the surgery was decided and scheduled, Lauren left her parents on a walk and joined a reverend and his informal discussion group for breakfast. She once again mentioned how easy it was to speak with these people who weren’t emotionally invested in her well-being. She fell into conversation with a nun on page 210:

I didn’t know what it was about her that made her easy to talk to. Perhaps it was her weathered look that reminded me that she had endured all manner of things already, a face that looked like it had a talent for keeping confidences.

Like the cry with her doctor, this conversation with the nun brought Lauren some peace before she surgery. While no one could promise her that everything would be okay, these small emotional moments served as a release valve, letting out some of the big feelings building up in her heart.

Do you release your emotions about aphasia, or do you keep them bottled up inside?

Image: Tom Pumford via Unsplash via Creative Commons license