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Kadedra A. Duffus

Illustration by Morgan Daniels

Illustration by Morgan Daniels

I used to hate crying. I thought it made me look weak and childish. So, I bottled. I carried within me fountains of tears I wouldn’t release because I was so afraid of being vulnerable. I was afraid that my tears would show others the state of my soul. I was afraid that my tears would tell me the truth. The truth I was too afraid of facing. But, a little over a year ago, I gave up on the idea of bottling my emotions. I gave up on the lie that hiding my tears meant covering up my flaws. I gave up on the notion that vulnerability was weakness. I am the woman who cries when I see strangers crying. I weep at movies, music, poetry, random words thrown together, affirmations, confirmations… you name it (yes, you can say that with your Shirley Caesar voice). I pour my soul over coffee in Starbucks and I cry. I don’t care. Crying is healthy.


I’m an advocate of self-care and self-love. Over the past year I’ve learned the importance of loving myself and taking care of the body, mind and soul I call home. Crying, for me, is a part of my self-care regime and a way that I remind myself to love who I am, where I am and where I’ve been. I wish I could say that my life has been painted with gold and drenched in honey. But, it hasn’t. Life happens. It happens to all of us, but even then, your mind needs your honesty. Your soul needs your truth. It is okay to cry. It is okay to feel. Release yourself, you don’t have to fight yourself anymore. Your vulnerability is not weakness- it is strength. Your tears water your soul, don’t fight your own growth.

If I hadn’t cried myself weary that day in June 2015, I wouldn’t be where I am now. Just releasing all the weight I was carrying for all the years I was at war with who I was, what I had been through and who did what to me, changed everything. Life didn’t suddenly change but, I sure felt better and I had a clearer perspective. My vision was clearing up, I opened myself to myself. That’s it. Crying reminded me that I am human too. That I feel like everyone else- maybe more than others. It reminded me that I couldn’t keep on faking it ‘till I made it. I had to be honest. I had to make a decision to take care of myself. To love me. All of me. So, I cried. I wept for days, weeks, months even. Honestly, it is okay to cry. Don’t be your own prisoner. Release yourself.

Cry. You are not weak, you are being watered.