Your Rainforest Mind

Support for the Excessively Curious, Creative, Smart & Sensitive

When Crying Is The Right Answer — High Sensitivity, Despair, Overwhelm, And Strawberry Rhubarb Pie


photo courtesy of Anthony Tran, Unsplash

Some days it is just too much. Some days it is all too sad. Some days your optimism gets crushed and left to rot under the sofa. Some days you wonder about human nature and if greed, rage, hatred, and fear are written somewhere in the genetic code. Some days you realize you came to the wrong planet.

Some days you have macaroni and cheese for dinner and strawberry rhubarb pie for dessert. And breakfast. Some days you need to tell the world Happy Motherf*ckers Day. Some days you fall off the cliff, collapse into a heap, and are grateful for nothing. Some days your pile of cool books to read just depresses you. Some days your playlist is out of tune. Some days your cozy chenille emotional support animal sweater makes you sweat. Some days you think maybe you should have chosen a husband, two and a half kids, and a picket fence. Some days humans’ vast neediness is terrifying. Some days you can not tolerate another person unwilling to examine their own ignorance. 

Some days you notice the guilt you feel for your despair when your life is full of privilege and you have a great job, can afford to pay your bills, and can buy strawberry rhubarb pie whenever you want, so you are probably contributing in a big way to the problems yourself. And, in this moment, you. do. not. care.

You just need to cry.

And cry some more. 

Join me.

We will have a crying party. 

I’ll bring the pie.


To my blogEEs: Can you tell what I am feeling right now? I am glad that I can share it with you. Sometimes crying, giving up, grieving and falling apart is a way to find your path, your next steps, your creativity, and your spiritual guidance. And sometimes, it’s just crying. Sending you much love and appreciation for your willingness to feel and to deepen your self-understanding and your purpose here on this planet, even if it’s not the planet you thought you were coming to. Let us know how you are doing. And for those of you who are struggling with Mother’s Day because your mother was inadequate or depressed or abusive or alcoholic or sadistic or neglectful or not there, this is my favorite mothering song. Much love to you all.

Author: Paula Prober

I'm a psychotherapist and consultant in private practice in Eugene, Oregon. I specialize in counseling gifted adults and consulting with parents of gifted children. The label "gifted" is often controversial and confusing. I use the metaphor of the rainforest to describe this population. Like the rainforest, these individuals are quite complex, highly sensitive, intense, multi-layered, and misunderstood. They're also curious, idealistic, highly intelligent, creative, perfectionistic, and they love learning. I've been an adjunct instructor at the University of Oregon and a guest presenter at Oregon State University and Pacific University. I've written articles on giftedness for the Eugene Register-Guard, the Psychotherapy Networker, and Advanced Development Journal. My first book, Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth, was released in June 2016 by GHF Press and is available on Amazon or at your independent bookstore. My second book, Journey Into Your Rainforest Mind: A Field Guide for Gifted Adults and Teens, Book Lovers, Overthinkers, Geeks, Sensitives, Brainiacs, Intuitives, Procrastinators, and Perfectionists, was released in June 2019.

36 thoughts on “When Crying Is The Right Answer — High Sensitivity, Despair, Overwhelm, And Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

  1. I need a big cry. And some pie.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you Paula. I really needed this ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My rhubarb is taking off; I can bring the pie. You bring the tissues.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s like you can see into my soul. Not to bring politics into it but this is how I feel about America right now. Though I’m an Australian expat living in Germany. And yet what is going on in America both with the pandemic and Trump, nothing has me more unglued! I know RFMs will get why I feel so impacted by Trump, America and what is happening there. Then there’s my own sanity of dealing with the crisis here and raising AND homeschooling a RFM child. Only the raising is debatable and what homeschooling… thank you for making me feel normal…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do try to avoid specific political references here, catbadel, so will be monitoring comments for that. But sometimes I know it’s hard not to acknowledge the particularly disturbing situation here in N. America.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh by all means. I don’t intend on entering into a debate with anyone. Happy for you to delete the comment 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Paula,
    Just having a very “off” kind of day today, felt like crying even after one of my invigorating daily power walks. Came down to be isolated in my basement to open my emails and there you were 👍🏻. I just told myself yesterday that if Incould stop the earth, I’d get off on Mars or perhaps Venus. Sometimes I think maybe I should’ve been a career, goal-driven woman as this marriage thing is tough.
    Thanks for giving the green light to let it all out! Peace.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Paula
    I am so grateful for your post. Always helps to know one has company.
    I have been fighting off tears for several days. I feel so over whelmed with my own personal stressors and the global crisis which also is questionable is very tart cherry on top of my blueberry pie.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I want my strawberry-rhubarb pie without the strawberries. Why ruin good rhubarb with strawberries?

    But, seriously, tears are in evidence far more often here than is usual for me. I mean, my god, over 81,000 people are DEAD. The numbers don’t even make sense any more. But the stories. The stories hit me every time.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sending you love and Kleenex. Baking at my house has included brownies, banana bread and fruit danishes. Apple pie is coming soon. 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Trying not to dissolve completely, self isolating with a man who has a cognitive impairment. Trying to be kind, because that works…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. My mantra these days: it’s OK not to be OK. We’re living through significant history. I also have to remind myself that it’s OK to be happy, during those moments when joy pokes up.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Paula, you are lovely and wonderful. You make me feel like it’s ok to be imperfect and also intense and also incredibly creative but also messy. You make me feel like it’s ok to not want kids. And you make me feel like giftedness is a gift more than anything. Hang in there! You’re doing so much for the world.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. With cream cheese crust.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Love this, Paula. Such hard times for all of us. And I see your nod to the guilt so many of us privileged experience when we feel so down about what is going on. And the rage over ignorance (I could go on about that…). I really like your “Some days” cadence – reminds me of the old “These Day” song from Jackson Browne – those of us of a certain age remember that ;). Thanks for another great article.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. This is so true. I set the bar so high for myself, and still I make so little difference in the World. I am so angry, and sad, and frustrated, and helpless that I am unable to enjoy the good things in my life. And then, I am angry about not being able to enjoy life! And I am lonely, because no one shares my burden. But I am a Mom of a wonderful daughter, my miracle, and she gives me so much hope for the future. Because of her, I don’t give up on myself. I parent her the way I wanted to be parented. I love and hold her the way I wanted to be held. And in those moments of clarity, I know my place in the World.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Not sure why we’ve been so conditioned to try to fight tears. It finally dawned on me this week that crying is NEEDED when things are as sad and as stressful and as complicated as we deal with the massive grief of this world wide catastrophe. Tears help us get rid of cortisol, the stress hormone that can do us damage. I’ve begun celebrating when I’m able to cry–even the kind of crying that involves screaming (well, I live alone, so that’s easier, though I worry sometimes that the neighbors could hear), because it literally helps! Our bodies were built to be able to cry! Also to have rhubarb pie–just bought 2 frozen pie crusts so I don’t have to make the crusts–plenty of rhubarb in my back yard.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I guess what works for me is music (and crying, at times, of course), but I’ll definitely have to try that pie. 😋

    Anyway: I know how you feel. All the best Paula! Stay safe, healthy and happy! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. In the beginning of this corona crisis, actually even before, I have been crying. Unstoppable. First I thought it was over losing my work, my future options, living without money and no idea what to do possibly instead of what I do now. But now I think I must have felt the big changes that keep coming in waves. About our freedom. And how travel – my oxygen – will be so overregulated. We are not out of the woods yet. I am sure I will have another wave of tears.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Sending love to you, unschooling NL. ❤


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