Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been different, it’s accepting the past for what it is, and using this moment and this time to move forward.” – Oprah Winfrey
We always hear people say “forgive and forget”, but is it that simple, can we really accept our past for what it’s been and to move forward in our life. It isn’t simple, it’s hard and for some impossible. I admit that forgiving during my life has been hard, there are many things that I still leave open, like a red sore because I can neither resolve or forgive, too scared to come face to face with the issues that continue to affect me.
Since starting my writing I have started to realise that the past really doesn’t matter when the present, and the future are reaching a level of happiness and recovery that I haven’t felt in many years. I have come to terms with my past, realising that without my past I wouldn’t be who I am today, it could’ve been better, less traumatic, filled with less hurt, but at the end of the day I wouldn’t be me, and I certainly wouldn’t be so strong, and now resilient. So yes, I have accepted my past for what it has been, and in doing this I can move forward as the person I have become.
Even though I am still to forgive and forget some of the circumstances and events from my past, because of how deep they have hurt me, I have reached a point where I can come to terms with and allowed myself to be at peace with what has happened. I need to focus on who I am, so that I can recover from depression, because by dwelling on it, reliving it, holding a grudge, is just as unhealthy as the events themselves. In doing this I haven’t forgotten, I have accepted these circumstances for what they are.
I know I have moved forward when I have started my road to recovery, when the intense emotions are not present every day, when that Black Dog has gone for its walk, each time the walks have been longer before his return. I know I am moving forward when I can write about my past, and talk about it without feeling bitter, but most of all I can talk about my experiences with depression, I can share, and I am no longer secretive or ashamed of my depression and the lengths of life it has taken me.
I know I have accepted depression when I can openly talk about my attempts at suicide, my time as a cutter, and the intense emotions that have nearly taken my life. I can accept that I have a Psychiatrist, that I have attended group and individual therapy, that I have undergone Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT), and that I have been a voluntary, and non-voluntary in-patient of psychiatric wards and hospitals for lengthy stays.
My acceptance of all this, that has culminated to become who I am, has allowed me to write about these circumstances, events, and emotions that by telling my story I can help others, like me, to live with their depression. I am proud to be a advocate against stigma, and a living example for others to follow.