Forgiving ourselves

Old 09-17-2009, 05:27 AM
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Forgiving ourselves

Was writing this post to put on the great on started about "What annoys your the most about adiction". Then I thought maybe a new thread was a better choice. One of the very wise people on that thread talked about being the most annoyed with herself and that really caused me to "flare up again". I too am (yes still am) angry with myself for putting up with all that I did. MY choices to support someone or tolerate I guess, someone with a drug/alchohol problem HAVE cost me a ton financially, emotionally and physically. The real work, as we all know is in forgiving ourselves and accepting our situations or choices.

Although I am spending quite a bit of time with my counselor on this one... I am still struggling big time with it. More ideas on how to let go and to forgive me... please.

I find myself angry not so much at the addict any more, but at me for making "dumb" choices. I feel like I must be unable to make good decisions, since I didn't make many during the last 25+ years. I know that every day is a new day... but this cloud is definitely following me. I feel almost paralyzed or unwilling to take actions to "fix" or help myself. I know that sitting here and not doing anything won't change anything, but I feel helpless.... guess I am having a slide back again today.

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Old 09-17-2009, 05:31 AM
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aka Glenna :)
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I can relate. I was completely p**sed at myself yesterday. I realized I was Charlie Brown, knowing that Lucy was going to yank that football away, but running to kick it anyway thinking that this time would be different. But Lucy will ALWAYS yank it away, it's in her nature. How many times do we have to be shown the exact same thing in different ways before we learn not to take that run across the grass?
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Old 09-17-2009, 05:38 AM
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Its human nature to learn and act accordingly.
I have full faith that one day, if we keep working, we will learn to not take off running.
We'll know Lucy's intent, and don't even have to tell her we know.
We can avoid all the embarassment and anger.

Thanks for starting this thread. Its great to vent...but its also wonderful to give ourselves a big, warm hug. To really love and appreciate us, and forgive ourselves.
I think Melody Beattie said it best when she talked about that "we did the best we could with what we had/knew at the time".

That's what I always remind myself before I start beating myself up over the past.
I am sending positive and loving thoughts to each of you today.
May this Thurs. be uplifting.
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Old 09-17-2009, 06:06 AM
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I have gone from remorse to regret in forgiving myself for wasting so much of my life in self-inflicted insanity. I did what I did, usually with good intentions and I made mistakes, many mistakes.

I cannot change one moment of the past, but I can be a living amend to all who know me, many of whom were shortchanged on their relationship with me while I was totally focused on my son's addiction. And I can make amends to myself by living each day well, squeezing as much joy out of it as I can and sharing my light with those who have lost theirs.

Learning from our mistakes and growing means moving from the problem into the solution, and recovery is the solution I live by today.

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Old 09-17-2009, 06:43 AM
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To thine own self be true.
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25 years? You started this journey 25 years ago and you're still beating yourself up for actually LIVING your life, for actually being a PERSON. How old were you 25 years ago that you would have had back then, the knowledge you have now?

EVERYONE learns at their own pace and I can GUARANTEE you that pace is SLOW for everyone. Some people choose to NEVER make progress.

Change is hard and change is slow but hopefully by the time we get to the end of our road, we will have done the best we could do and will be able to look back and say, "Yes, I lived and I learned."

There is and never was anything about you that needed to be Fixed. You are not broken, there is nothing wrong with you. You are a perfectly imperfect human being.

Look forward, hon, don't look back. There's nothing back there for you. The lessons have already been learned haven't they?
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Old 09-17-2009, 10:47 AM
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I'm doing Cognitive Behavior Therapy to help me forgive myself.... I love my therapist!

At first, she had me write down positive affirmations about myself. She also had me write down what my inner critic says... and actually prove to her by examples how my inner critic was correct. Meaning over the following week.. I'd have to give examples. It was interesting what really happened that week - in the end I was able to put lots of my inner critic's words to sleep - cause they were just that.... WORDS.

As for the affirmations... I don't read them everyday and her latest instruction is that I do... don't just go to them when I'm in crisis mode- but start my day off reading them. So, I have written them out and they are on my bed side table so that I reach and grab them first thing upon waking and quickly read through them.

What are your personal affirmations?
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Old 09-17-2009, 10:48 AM
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Forgiving myself has been relatively easy when it's preceded by 'right' action. It's my reward for doing the next right thing. It's when I don't take action that I get stuck in self flagellation.
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Old 09-17-2009, 07:55 PM
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Thanks Imallright for starting this thread. I had no idea that the forgiveness stage even existed until I began reading it... I guess that means I have a ways to go
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Old 09-18-2009, 12:49 AM
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This is a great post,

I think forgiving ourselves is a huge step, it is honesty within. I know that I made my share of poor choices, some that I am not to proud of myself for. Just the same as an addict would do, I placed the blame else where expect on myself. Excepting my wrong doings was not easy, because I didn't what to face the remorse or guilt. Deep down though, it was lingering in there, but admitting to it was another story. I only started to come out of the closet when I was faced with a simular situation and my desision was the opposite of the past.

I know that I am only human, we make mistakes and I don't have to live the rest of my life in regret. I have today and tomorrow to make better choices, ones that I don't have to feel shame and guilt about. I know in the future that I will again make some wrong choices, but it will be from what I thought was the right thing to do, not out of revenge.

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Old 09-18-2009, 05:09 AM
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Thank you all... I think the couple things that struck me most are:

I may have made "bad" choices, but I did it with the best way I could at the time. Also, the way to become stronger and wiser is to learn from the decisions I make.... good and bad.

The other piece is that I have the ability to make new choices and to move forward. I can shape my future, I can't re-shape my past. I am going to stick with these mantras for awhile...."let it go" and "keep moving forward".
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Old 09-18-2009, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by imallright View Post
I am going to stick with these mantras for awhile...."let it go" and "keep moving forward".
another mantra that helps me when I'm stuck and can't seem to move "STOP making excuses, and just do it!"
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