Your body only wants to protect you

Antibodies are a hallmark of the adaptive immune system. Put simply, they’re blood proteins forced into cardiopulmonary circulation in response to a cascade of molecular signals that scream, “there’s an invader here!” They’re made specifically to target and neutralize pathogens by flagging them for destruction by other, more violent immune cells.

Yet, antibodies are not limited to existing in blood. Tears also contain antibodies.

Suddenly, I can’t help but go down the word association rabbit hole.

Immunity. Resistance. Protection. Exemption. Freedom. Unaffected. Healed.

Aside from crying being a physiological manifestation of the deeply psychological, could it be the body’s natural way of trying to treat itself by the only way it knows how? Inside all of our bodies lives a healer: a sort of system in place whose only job, is to treat and fix and mend. If our immune system could step out of the bounds of our skin, what would it look like? I’d like to think it would be different for everyone, since ways of recovering from person to person are not standardized, linear, or transferrable.

What’s to be suggested then by immune disorders—ones in which that create an antibody excess or deficiency? What is your body trying to communicate to you by continually producing antibodies for something that doesn’t exist? Or by producing no means of protection via antibodies, is your body surrendering itself without consent of the owner?

What’s more curious is that antibodies are not produced all the time; their production is triggered by the entrance of disease agents. Does this suggest that the presence of tear-engaging emotion is a foreign substance that needs to be disarmed? Tears of joy exist, along with tears of relief, but I think the strong association that exists between feelings of sadness and tears is no coincidence.

No one wants to be sad, just like no one wants to be ill. It is an emotion that is regularly avoided and pushed aside, because it’s one that takes away from the breadth of day to day life. Sadness creeps in like clouds and mist that grey out vibrancy and constantly exercise the dimmer on the light switch. It’s a parasite that grows stronger at your expense. It keeps you from operating at 100%. If there were a medicine at the store that was branded as a fast cure for swallowing negativity, it would surely fly off the shelves. Taken together, all of these considerations paint a pretty good picture of sadness as a sickness.

If the body’s natural state is one of strength and poise, it makes sense to want to exterminate anything that could possibly be construed as weakness. Immunity quite literally means “the lack of susceptibility, especially to something unwelcome or harmful.” The body strives to constantly rise above by building walls upon walls of protection, in efforts to be a beacon fortress. A fortress that doesn’t comprehend what it means to be a victim. A fortress that knows no vulnerability.

If I am one that believes in the truth of emotion, am I the immune system’s archangel? I see beauty in fragility and delicacy. Feelings are not hideous, they’re gorgeous and the most misunderstood forms of strength. When the time arrives to face actuality, maybe the immune system is only trying to soften the blow by making it harder to see through the tears.

 

(Image credit: Google images)

ansenkow

Self-regarded as the female counterpart of Amory Blaine (iykyk), Annelise is a dual-degree student in LSA and SMTD pursuing Dance and Microbiology, while on a pre-medical track.

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