I recently discovered there was a name for things I have experienced all my life (and that I was not so unusual nor alone) from some viral articles. I am a Highly Sensitive Person. I’ve learned to love this about myself but that doesn’t make it any easier to live with. And then let’s add clinical anxiety on top.
So I have emotions. A lot of them and at high intensities. I feel too much all the time. When you look back at a difficult young adulthood, much of my behavior and experiences and hardships can be explained by the above. I couldn’t control it sometimes. I felt so much that it would spill out, or I had to find a way to let it out. My coping mechanisms were bad to say the least.
It’s better now. I’ve learned to handle my personality and it all comes down to the fact that I have learned to let go.
First, I have learned to be kind to myself. There is nothing wrong with whatever feelings you are having. Let me say that again: there is nothing wrong with having emotions. Now, when I have a knee-jerk reaction, no matter how silly or petty or over-the-top, I let myself have it. I let myself feel the first thing that my body told me to feel for a couple of hours or even a day. Maybe I text my husband, or my best friend, or my mom and bitch, or yell, or cry about what happened. And then I let it go.
I stop talking about it. I distract myself with a hobby or a daily activity and eventually I stop thinking about it. I move on. I forgive. Because we are all human. We all do silly, petty, passive aggressive things. We all hurt each other. And we are all going through things that no one else can ever understand.
Letting go has vastly improved my anxiety, and my friendships, and my empathy towards others.
Now that I’ve said this, let me just clarify that there are things which I have not gotten over and don’t intend on doing so. There are things that don’t deserve to be dropped. Like actual betrayal. Like physical and/or emotional abuse. You are allowed to hold on to those things. You are allowed to hold them against people. Just try to do it in the healthiest way possible. Try not to burn down any houses.