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On self-forgiveness

Thursday, March 08, 2012

It's always been easy for me to fall into the trap of beating myself up over mistakes or perceived failures.

This past week, I could certainly have had a field day on that front: while cleaning out a file folder, I discovered a written order from my family doctor dated *early 2009* for me to have a Fasting Blood Glucose Test.

At that point, I was deep in a depression, and self-care is the first thing that disintegrates when my brain chemistry is messed up. So I didn't get around to doing the test. Eventually it slipped my mind completely.

And then what with one thing and another, I haven't been back to see my family doc since then. I see a couple of specialists, including a GP psychotherapist every 2 weeks, so it's not as if I haven't had medical care. Just not an annual physical (or any other reason to see her).

When I looked at that requisition form and realized that if I'd done the test then, I'd probably have been diagnosed (at least with pre-diabetes) 3 years ago--and therefore would have been able to do something about it sooner, which could only have been a Good Thing--my knee-jerk reaction was to be mad at myself.

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Then I remembered hearing a profound quote on a TV talk show not long ago: "Forgiveness is giving up all hope of having a better past."

And it occurred to me that I could adapt it thusly: "SELF-forgiveness is giving up all hope of having DONE better in the past." I did what I did. In fact, I did what I could with the energy I had at the time, given the ghastly months-long depression I was in the middle of. I can't go back and undo it.

A far more productive use of my energy is to focus on what I can do differently *now* and in the future, and to set about doing it, one baby step at a time.

Or, in the words of another favourite quote: "Bloom where I'm planted."

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • CZARINA_TV
    Maybe the lesson here is to make a list or something so that when you come out of a depressive episode, you don't let things like this just slip away...
    3274 days ago
  • BEATLETOT
    I'm in love with that quote! Thanks for posting this!
    3275 days ago
  • RUTHXG
    Sounds wise to me! We can LEARN FROM our past failures, but no sense wallowing in regret & self-blame.

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    3275 days ago
  • YOOPERSNOWFLAKE
    I think that is one of the hardest things to do is to forgive oneself!
    3275 days ago
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