From the time we are born, we cry. The function of our crying changes as we get older and tends to be accompanied with page-long rants to our best friends, but still, we cry.

As babies, we cry in order to gain attention. Some people never grow out of this, but that’s not what I’m getting at. Babies cry because they want something. This varies between getting their dirty diaper changed to getting that shiny object off of the shelf, which you shouldn’t do, because that’s a knife and we all know there is only one reason an infant would want a knife: to support their underground fight club. Regardless, their crying is unemotional in most cases, they just want you to take care of them. This changes around the age of 10 months. I guess at that point they realize that the world is full of sorrow.

Adult tears fall into three categories: Basal tears, Reflex tears, and Emotional tears. Basal tears are just the ones that are omnipresent. They keep your eye from drying out, which is important but not very cool. Moving on. Reflex tears are in response to an external stimuli, like dust or the sting of your GOC’s (grandma of color) spicy cooking. Emotional tears are the ones you get when you watch those ads about how you shouldn’t drive drunk because your dog will keep waiting and waiting for you to come. And you never do. Does anyone even take the time to explain to your dog that they need to gather their things and move out so they can start a new life?

Those are emotional tears, and they are composed of different chemicals to serve a different purpose. When viewed under a microscope, emotional tears and reflex tears are different. Reflex tears are almost entirely composed of water (98%, to be exact), while emotional tears have chemicals like leucine-enkephalin, which is an endorphin that relieves pain and improves mood, and adrenocorticotropic hormones that are indicators of high-stress. So when people say they feel better after a good cry, it’s true. Crying is the body’s way of releasing the toxins that are emotions, which is why it can be harmful to hold it in for so long. It can lead to conditions like hypertension and heart disease. It’s like throwing more and more trash into landfills until the earth can’t take it anymore, thank god we don’t do that. It’s very harmful in the long run.

So now, you can feel less ashamed about crying endlessly because after all, you’re gonna outlive the people who opt to save face.

Diana Padilla

das Leben ist kein Ponyhof.

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