Let it go, one more time.

It’s the beginning of February. New month, new motto. This year’s theme is “Keep moving forward” and I doubled up, making it the theme for January as well. February, however, is about channelling my inner Elsa.

I always feel good when I make a semi-current reference, like the aforementioned nod to Frozen. It lets me pretend I’m not solidly middle-aged, though ignoring the eye wrinkles is getting more challenging. And why does my brain keep mentioning crêpe?

At least my music game is fire. I’m still in the know. I’m still current. I even know about open-ended punctuation in texts. I know about ‘sick.’

That last one may be gone.

I can’t believe I waited so long to see “Frozen.” It’s just wonderful.

When I was eleven, I promised myself I’d listen to current music and pay attention to pop culture forever. It seemed to me that people got old when they got locked into a time and mindset. The trick to keeping your brain young is to keep it busy and in the present.

That means not bashing everything new and different. I run up against this one with my mother and have for most of my adult life. It becomes truer the older she gets.

She’s a big believer in the one true way. In most things, but especially in language. She took a degree in English literature. An Honours one – she loves Chaucer. The rapid evolution that is the current state of the English language – to her mind, a devolution – distresses her no end. Unfortunately, she can’t leave changes she disagrees with as “fine for other people but I’m going to stick with what I know.”

A shocking number of people fail to live and let live. It’s not our fault. We obviously know best.

I’m officially a foster parent. It’s something I always wanted to do. It didn’t work out in the past for various timing reasons, but I’m doing it now.

And now feels right. I was in distress and struggling for much of my adult life, for all that I successfully hid it for large chunks of time. The additional stress and change to my world that fostering entails would’ve been a bad idea. I’m different now. I’m significantly into my recovery from my eating disorder. I’m working my mental illnesses. I’ve got a team.

I was expecting things to be challenging. I didn’t expect to get tossed into my past.

I hate being triggered.  

It’s a strange thing we do now, creating families with siblings who have different parents. Often, multiple times. It creates problems if/when the adults go their separate ways and rip the children apart from each other, keeping “theirs” and separating from those left behind.

It doesn’t always happen. Some people’s families just grow. That didn’t happen for us, and I was the one who called off the visits. The abuse by my ex was continuing and it was severe. I thought withdrawal was the only option.

If I’d been then the person I am now, I would’ve done much differently. This is one of the truths of life and at times it can be tragic. Future you is often more prepared for the challenges of the past.

But you only know what you know. You can only do what you’re capable of doing at any given moment. You can’t be something you’re not or react in a way that’s beyond your experience. Comparisons are odious but looking backwards is also dire, since you look (and judge) with current eyes.

This month is about letting it go. I’m going to keep my eyes up. Obsessing about what’s done and dusted is a pointless feature of my anxiety and if I keep at it, I spin things up into panic attacks, as I did this past week.

Unless one has a time machine. Then you can look back, as fixing’s an option.

If you have one, let me know.

It’s been a while since I’ve had the full meal deal from the panic menu – I’d forgotten what a misery panic attacks are, especially since I no longer have the nice white pills to pop under the tongue. I don’t recommend them, to be honest. Zero stars.

Aside from those, however, I feel better these days. Mostly. Stronger. More cohesive. Most of the time. When I don’t feel like I need to scratch my brain.

But the trajectory feels like things are angling up. I even feel better physically. Depression makes me feel a little insubstantial.

It’s a strange thing, to live in a body that feels fragile. And even then, life must go on. Work must get done, both the recovery kind and the kind that pays the rent. The past needs to be put to bed.

The changes one makes during recovery require persistent effort. You have to work the changes you’ve made all the time. You keep moving forward, even if it’s no longer January.

It’s only by moving forward that I’m able to let go of what no longer serves.

That last one can be a challenge – we like to hold tight, especially to the toxic stuff.

Learn to let go.

Take it a step at a time. Baby steps, so you don’t quit.  

What they say about trees is also true about recovery. Yesterday was the best time, but today is good too.

18 thoughts on “Let it go, one more time.

  1. Frozen is a great movie—and the soundtrack is fab!!

    I am NOT hip in any respect, but I do know some current pop culture references—I consider that a win.

    Congrats on being a foster mom—I hope it helps heal to your own inner child some while also greatly benefiting your wards!

    Panic attacks are the WORST. I was convinced I was having a heart attack and actively dying when I experienced my first one. Definitely zero stars.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is – it works very well for car karaoke.

      Thank you. I feel really good about it, at least today. Whoever designed the human emotional experience to resemble a roller coaster needs to be fired.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel this strongly as someone who worries over past “mistakes.” (Quotations because I don’t think anything is a mistake anymore) 

    I once read a quote that said something to the effect of approaching life as if you had just arrived on the planet. As if there was no such thing as yesterday. It feels similar to mindfulness, but it helps me a lot because I have ADHD. So I act as if this is my first day here. A lot.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautifully written, I love this. You’re right you can only do the best you can in the moment. We are not the same people that we used to be. The person I find hardest to forgive is always myself, self compassion towards my old self is always a struggle. But yes in the absence of a time machine all we can do is try to let go of the past and look to the future. Hope the Anxiety leaves you in peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you.

      Isn’t it funny how hard we are on ourselves? So mean at times.

      Thank you. I’m finding that the anxiety is levelling out. I always do well on full-moons (😉 but also true)

      Liked by 1 person

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