Thursday, 11 February 2016

Forgiving Myself

I was going to write this morning about starting the new drug regimen for my FTD and depression. But I won't. It doesn't really matter. I've started it, and we will have to wait a few days to see if it makes a difference. What really matters is that I have a plan, an action to take control of my life once again, a chance to get past the psychological effects of this disease. At least this can be treated.

Instead, I want to talk about forgiveness. I am perhaps the hardest person I know when it comes to forgiving myself, and one of the easiest I know when it comes to forgiving others. Self-forgiveness takes so much time, and so much effort for me. I think, at the heart of it, is this base sense within myself that I am not worthy of forgiveness, that every error I make, every stumble in my life, is enormous, stupid, foolish, and so many other self-destroying terms.

I can recall errors from many years past and still feel the shame, the self-condemnation associated with them. I can still feel the powerful self-loathing, often over something so small, so simple, that other people will have long since forgotten the event. In spite of years going by, I can recall some event where I clearly embarrassed myself, or clearly hurt someone else, and feel myself judging myself and finding myself wanting, failed, damaged, or just plain stupid. I should have known better.

The thing is, I suspect I have made no more, nor fewer, mistakes than anyone else around me. I am most likely just sort of average when it comes to my life failings. Certainly there are those who have done better; certainly there are those who have done worse. In this area, I try very hard not to compare; it never comes out good for me. I have to just know that I am mostly a fairly ordinary person from this perspective, that I make mistakes as does everyone else.

All I really have to learn is how to forgive myself, just as I forgive others. I seem to be able to let go of others trespasses in life, now all I need to do is let go of my own. This "growing up" stuff never stops. Even at age 60 I am still working through things in my life. Having ALS just makes it a bit more complicated, a bit more challenging.


  1. And ALS affords more time to think about everything. People reading your blog would say you're a thinker and wouldn't sidestep owning up to an anything. Even if we all make mistakes and step out of line once in a while, some don't even think twice and don't notice if someone feels slighted. I think the way we arrange our brain throughout the day reflects on how our body heals. So no need for dwelling, it's counterproductive. Anything that builds the mind, builds the body.

  2. What is the plan? To get past the psychological effects?