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A Guide To Having An Emotional Breakdown Anywhere

By: Rachel Fogletto 

Perhaps your seasonal depression is kicking in, or you just found out your dog has cancer. Or maybe you’re just a big stupid empath and see a woman in a dish soap commercial with sadness in her eyes. Sometimes you need to cry and it’s usually when you also have shit to get done. Because this is such a frequent occurrence in my own life, I compiled a list of my best techniques for crying in public, because yes, you can really have it all.

Cubicle Crying

This is one of the easiest cries to manage, usually spawned by your recent past, like the time-for-couples-therapy level fight you had last night with your boyfriend/girlfriend. Unfortunately the cry-vacy of the cube is limited. For this I’d start with what I like to call your Basic Bawler Kit, which are just a couple items you always want to have around soak up an unexpected sob.

Tissues, because obviously. And eye drops. One, they’re just great for dry eye. And two, freshly applied eye drops always looks like a fresh cry. Have the tissues and eye drops visible on your desk. When Brad from Accounting unexpectedly pops over to ask you if you saw the email he sent 5 minutes ago that you couldn’t read through all of your tears, your opener is simply “Sorry, allergies!” while gesturing to the eye drops while frantically fanning your face. Brad will quickly be distracted, make a comment like “I know right, the pollen is crazy!” and go back to sending you more emails.

Crying on Public Transportation

image from kamomemushi

Sometimes you’re hit with bad news you can only get away from home. Maybe you just found out that you are in an “open” relationship as a result of getting what you thought was just a routine STI screening. A good amount of crying is definitely in order, and necessary to get out of your system before “opening up” to your partner. Crying on public transit is easy as long as you know one very important distinction: Always subway, never bus. The subway is filled with wildcards. It’s underground. It’s less safe even though it’s more crowded.

More things can go wrong. People generally don’t want to engage. So even if someone does notice you crying on the subway, they will avoid getting trapped into any kind of interaction with you at all costs. Seriously, don’t even try to hide it. You’re safer crying on the subway than you are carrying pepper spray. You’re way more visible on the bus.

The crazy lady who sees ghosts in people’s souls rides the bus because she knows she can get away with trapping people into conversations.

If you cry on the bus, she will talk to you, and bring attention your emotional breakdown. So if you gotta cry on the way home, do it in a place where no one wants to be involved.

Crying While Walking

It’s not an article about crying if there’s no Claire Danes.

Ongoing issues like PMS, anxiety or depression disorders, or even just, you know, the state of society, can be overwhelming at times. These thoughts tend to hit you when doing something you think will be nice and peaceful, like walking. Cue the conversation you had with your mom about how she was writing her will, followed by how everyone you love is going to die.

I hope you’re not wearing mascara.

If it’s daylight, sunglasses are your obvious choice. Nighttime takes a bit more skill, depending on where you’re going and how much makeup you’re wearing. This is where get into Expert Level crying. Use your motion to your advantage by catching your tears on your finger before it has the chance to roll down your cheek and cause streaking, and swiftly fling them into the sewer grate. You can get that cry out and feel ironic at the same time.

Exception: If you’re crying while walking home late at night in the city, don’t try to hide it at all. This works for any gender, but if you’re a woman especially, NO ONE wants to deal with a sobbing broad power-walking home around the time the bars let out.

(If you’re a dude most will assume you’re about to open gunfire on anyone around you, and get out of your way.) This is really liberating and one of the only times I would actually recommend embracing the crazy as you openly weep in the streets. That guy who would have commented on your ass will DEFINITELY think twice once he sees the lady-lamentation all over your face. You’re a total loose cannon which is a high-risk buzzkill. Think of it like in Super Mario when you get the stars that make you invincible, except the stars are magical tears. Use it to your advantage, but go the hell home before it wears off.

Crying at a Party

You didn’t get your dream job, or you just got fired from it. You got rejected from a comedy festival and you’re questioning whether you were ever funny at all. You’re trying to escape the feeling of existential dread so you go out.

Everything is going fine until it’s cry-time and you’re 4 beers in a conversation with someone who is not an enemy, but would definitely go home and masturbate to the memory of you crying if they happen to witness it.

Crying at a Bar

This is an emergency move only. Like when the super activist guy you’ve been seeing for 3 months calls you out on your privilege and you realize you’ll never be woke enough for him. You also can’t believe he’d yell at you and risk you not blowing him later. Oh shit, he’s right. You are actually terrible.

Remember, control is key. Crying is a lot like shitting.

We’d all rather do it in the privacy of our own home, and sometimes holding it in isn’t an option. If you’ve gotten yourself into a volatile emotional situation, you’re going to have the explosive diarrhea of tears happen in one of the worst places to cry (or shit), which is at a bar. This is the mother of all things terrible, and if you can avoid it, do your best to hold it in until you can get to the bathroom. Much like a fart, you might think you can let a little out no big deal, but you do NOT want to risk it.

If you’ve been drinking a lot, it’s going to be hard to come back from a bar bathroom stall sob. You need to get out of the bar altogether, and you don’t have a lot of time. Even as an expert in public crying, I highly recommend aborting whatever you’re doing if you’re crying in bar. Nothing is worse than tears a bar, which is why babies are not allowed in them. Don’t be a bar baby. Just get in a cab and re-activate Tinder. Next time you see that guy at an anti-Trump rally you won’t even remember what the big deal was.

If you can navigate crying in these situations, you can cry literally anywhere without being noticed or hardly be noticed at all. Experiencing sadness should never be a reason to miss work, parties, Tinder dates, etc. Hopefully this guide will empower you to tame your tears and focus on the things that really matter when you just don’t have the time to cry.

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