I am not good at forgiveness. I never have been. I have gotten better as I have gotten older but it’s still something that takes too long for me to get to sometimes.

Sometimes I think it’s just the defiant part of me that doesn’t ever want to do anything good for me. I know some of it is because I am an emotional recaller.

Meaning when I talk about or think about things that have happened no matter how long ago I feel all the emotions ( ALL of them) as if the situation happened ten minutes ago.

The rebuild of all those bad feelings just makes me not want to forgive all over again and I find myself back at square one trying to work through all the things I thought I had already worked through.

This is why my “act like you don’t exist” game is strong as fuck. I will block and delete you from my life without thinking twice.

The one person I struggle to forgive the most is myself. It hasn’t always been that way. When I was in active addiction and not addressing any of my mental health issues I was the only person I ever forgave.

Turns out that wasn’t forgiveness; just excuses.

There is a list longer than I am tall of terrible things I have done and said over the years and while those who were on the receiving end of most of those things have forgiven me and moved on with life I have not.

Those things still linger in the back of my mind, toying with me on my low days.

I have spent my life listening to people tell me how forgiveness is for me not for the other person. How carrying all that hurt and anger is bad for me, blah, blah blah. As dismissive as I sound I actually do get it and I tell that exact thing to other people when they are struggling to do so and come to me for advice.

I have experienced forgiveness both being forgiven and forgiving another and each time it has given me a sense of relief and understanding that until that moment I forgot was the outcome of forgiveness.

I have worked very hard over the last few years to let go of some serious anger and disgust and with each one of those people I have worked so hard to forgive I have found myself feeling lighter a little more at peace.

When I get to myself I can’t find a forgiving bone in my body.

There is so much that I hold onto that the people who have actually suffered from my behavior have long since forgiven (maybe not forgotten but absolutely forgiven) that on my really bad days, they damn near eat me alive.

It’s like my own little arsenal I use against myself to remind myself how and why I will never be good enough.

In those moments I often find myself reaching out to those on the other end of whatever deed has hold of my mind and being ever so gently reminded that the only person left who needs to forgive me is me.

Going through the growing list of changes I have made since then helps me detach from the hold be I never fully let go. It’s a work in progress and while I continue to learn to forgive those who have wronged me I work towards one day forgiving myself.

“Forgiving yourself, believing in yourself and choosing to love yourself are the best gifts one could receive.”

― Brittany Burgunder