If there is one thing I am absolutely horribly terrible at, it is letting go. I feel justified in having a problem with it, mind — besides the bipolar, my life has been anything but settled. For their own reasons, my parents moved us frequently; I attended nine different schools between the age of 5 and 18. While I did fairly well being the new girl to a point, one does reach an age where the kids in an elementary school are especially exclusive of anyone they didn’t know from Kindergarten onward!
To further aggravate this, my parents were not particularly helpful in my need to talk things out. They would either ignore me, or crack jokes to change the subject, and all in all leave me feeling like my feelings were unimportant, invalid (which made moving here and having a family that did care about my emotions rather awkward to get used to!). I hasten to add that I am not attempting to play blame games, but the fact of the matter is that even now, I get treated like I’m ‘being mean’ for having things I need, NEED to hash out. When nobody around me would let me talk about my feelings, they layered upon other hurts and sleights poisoning my soul. Which, to be fair… that is probably normal for nearly everyone.
Now, one thing I’ve come to understand since my bipolar diagnosis is that the brutality of emotions and feelings are very normal for those of us labouring under that mental ball and chain. To cope, I am nearly immune to processing catastrophic change. For instance, even after four years in the Air Force, I’d look down at my uniform, have a minor panic attack as I declared, ‘Holy £$%^, I’m in the Air Force!’ Having had to stuff the lesser things, what can you expect? It was a way to get by… not a good way, but undiagnosed and untreated, we do whatever we can to keep our bipolar brains from killing us.
But all in all, it is -not- good or healthy for letting go of things. There are any number of suggestions and guides available in a Google search, and I totally think it’s a good and healthy thing to do. So what’s the hang-up? Overthinking it, perfectionism, having to actually try to tackle emotions and wounds through the filter of time (which adds quite a negative pall), having to learn how to do it after years of not being permitted to… it’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of hard work. I do think it worthwhile, but I know that it’s not going to happen overnight. And yeah, I’ve made small progress and tried hard to forgive myself, and will continue to do so… as long as I can remember that one cannot undo 30 years in only a year or two.