Sometimes you will say or do things in your life that, for whatever reason, you consider to be the right thing to say or do. And then later down the road, you realize how very wrong you were. There are several things you can do at this point. You can accept blame instead of making excuses. You can ask for forgiveness. You can try your best to change in every way possible into someone wiser and more aware of reality so that you never make those same mistakes again. You can live and learn and try to grow from it, instead of collapsing under the consequences. You will find people along the way that love you, that stand by you, that understand, or at least try to. You will also lose a lot of people in your life, because no matter how sorry you are, you can’t undo your past, and they will never let you forget it. This part will hurt more than you can imagine, but you have to remember: their judgment of you says more about their character than it does about yours.
The point is, time does not stop for your broken heart. You can’t move backward, and you can’t stay still. You have to move forward. Otherwise, you aren’t living. You are just dying in slow motion.
I have been dying in slow motion for eight years. I have even tried to speed up the process a few times. But I am still breathing. Still hurting, still dying, but my heart is still beating and I still have a few brain cells left. And I realize I can’t keep doing this to myself. I can’t keep hovering over things done, things said, things that can never, ever be repaired. I have to move on. I don’t know how to do this. Therapists have not been able to tell me how to do this. Friends haven’t. Enemies haven’t. No one can tell me how to do this. I have to learn it on my own. But I think, finally, I am ready to do that. Because I can’t live like this anymore. I can’t keep telling people I am sorry when they will never care enough to listen. I can’t keep wishing I was dead just for fear that I will have to remember how to live. To live after such an awful loss, where do you begin? This isn’t a jigsaw puzzle that can be pieced back together.
I think the first step is to realize what I still have and what I have gained. To spin around in the could-have-beens, should-have-beens, is to relive the same hell over and over and over again. Up until this point I felt too guilty to let go. I felt like I deserved to never get over this, to never move forward. As if holding myself prisoner would somehow prove to the ones I hurt how much I loved them, how much I want the best for them. Instead, it has consumed me to such a point that no one wants to be around me, including my children. I continue to hurt them by not moving on, by lingering in the pain and being unable to reach out to them because I am so bogged down in the mire of memory. This has to stop before I sever what little relationship I still have with them.
I have always been a forgiving person. There have been a few people who have significantly damaged me in my lifetime, but I let go. I moved on. I didn’t hold a grudge or dwell on hatred for them. Why haven’t I shown myself the same grace? So this is me, right now, forgiving myself. And I can’t lie and say there is a huge rush of relief in it. Perhaps it is not a thorough forgiveness. But it is a start. And if I can choose to forgive myself a little more each day, maybe one day soon I can feel the motion of living again. Everyone I love deserves for me to try.