Why Can't You Just Get Over It?
Being bipolar can oftentimes be accompanied by other mental disorders. How can a girl be so lucky? For instance, I was diagnosed with PTSD when I was in high school. It was the first time a therapist pointed out that when I explained my past that I closed my eyes and was actively reliving it. I did this unconsciously, not realizing it was actually a disorder that many, many people live with. It was not only uncomfortable to talk about my past, it was terrifying. Mentally I was transferring myself to feel the abuse and neglect all over again. I wasn't just talking about my pain, I was feeling it. I wasn't just remembering a painful memory, I was feeling a painful memory. I was displaying symptoms of PTSD and it would haunt me for the rest of my life. I'm 32 years old, and it still haunts me to this day.
I remember distinctly that this particular therapist prescribed a book called Coming to Our Senses by Jon Kabat-Zinn. It's about the art of mindfulness and truly learning how to live life in the moment. At the time I was too young to truly understand the meaning, but when I got older I picked it up and decided to read it. It truly transformed the way I thought about every moment. For someone with the ability to mentally and emotionally transfer to painful moments so easily, it was very important to stay in the present. Even though the book and concepts helped, I still had a hard time just letting go.
Whenever someone experiences trauma it impacts every part of them. It can have a physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental impact. The body itself responds to trauma and the brain/body can permanently be changed due to it. I think people highly underestimate the aftershocks of trauma. Of course the symptoms of trauma can be treated...therapies, medications, meditation, there is a plethora of things a person can do to help overcome and prosper after all sorts of traumas. I have personally been on a trauma unit and heard the many stories of many different kinds and levels of trauma. Sometimes it is absolutely amazing to think about what a human being can live through. It can seem impossible to move on from some things, like how can a person overcome that? But it is possible, no matter how difficult it may seem. I truly believe that.
Personally I am at a point in my life where I have become so tired of firmly grasping to the pain of my past that I am too exhausted to haul it around any longer. My psychiatrist suggested EMDR therapy which I have just started. EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It has helped people with PTSD for many years. It involves rapid eye movement and the parts of the brain that processes thought/memories. I won't go into every part of the therapy but I am hopeful it will help me get out of my past.
I'm angry at still having to deal with these feelings as an adult. It was not my fault, the trauma, but I am the one that is stuck dealing with it every freaking day of my life. It's not fair. So when people say things like, "you're going to have to just get over it", or "why can't she just let this stuff go" just remember that PTSD is not something that can be easily overcome. Some people can disconnect from their pain easier than others, but some of us have to fight to break away from pain that is grasping to our minds like moss on a tree. Sometimes I wish people could enter my brain for just a little while to see what it's like. Hopefully, after the new therapy I am trying I will be able to disconnect from the pain, fear, heartache and anxiety that has been planted in my mind. I will more than likely post my experiences with EMDR so stay tuned!