As I sit here this evening, once again reflecting on life, I realized that I finally feel like I am at the point in my life where I believe that I have forgiven myself. For most of my life, I carried around guilt and shame, decreasing my own worthiness. I succumbed to the idealization that I was a horrible person and had wronged so many in my life. I accepted blame that was not mine to own and I heaped loathing upon myself for wrongs I never did.
Getting to this point in my journey has not come easily and not without its setbacks. For the last twelve years I have struggled to push myself forward, despite the many times I felt myself stumble backwards. I had the idea that my recovery would be like a continuous linear increase as I moved from despair to any sort of peace. Much to my dismay, I would find myself making huge strides after attending whatever therapy program I could, but then experience a relapse in my depressive symptoms. In those times, I became despondent and suicidal and the self-loathing returned with a vengeance.
I’m grateful that I’ve had a number of consecutive months without experiencing any serious suicidal ideation. By serious I mean the thoughts that are accompanied by a plan. I don’t know that I will ever stop having the thoughts, but at least the planning has eased up. When I find myself considering what action I would take, that’s my cue to get into my psychiatrist immediately. I accept that I will have to remain ever-vigilant in my life long battle with depression, but I also accept that I can relish in the times that the clouds lift. It’s those times when I replenish my soul and build strength for the next episode.
Forgiveness begins with myself.