Forgiveness: an essential part of mental illness recovery
Firstly, I must apologise for the gap in posts recently; I am devoted to writing about mental health/well-being and illness, but have had to prioritise my focus in the last few weeks, hence the blog has been a bit neglected.
The main reason is that I have been spending a lot of time supporting others in crisis who desperately need support.
I know exactly what it's like to be constantly on a knife-edge in indescribable pain, and I also know how lacking the help and support is when you reach out for it. This means I end up speaking to people at all times of the day and night to reassure them and, in many cases, desperately trying to persuade them to STAY.
In between all of this I have to remain well myself, so I am having to be careful because it can be quite exhausting hearing people in brutal agony and suffering all the time, and it also takes me back to when I was in hell too.
However, I also know how important it is to have someone who really understands in your corner, so will continue to do everything I can, it just means that I may not be blogging quite so regularly from now on.
Today, I thought I would share a few thoughts on forgiveness which plays such an essential part in the recovery process, and is one that I have been working through recently. In fact, I wrote something about forgiveness on the 'Dying to Stay Alive!' Facebook Page on Wednesday.
So many of us (in fact I believe all) with mental illness have deep trauma residing within us. If we were to dig deep enough we would find this trauma festering at the roots of the illness.
There are a number of processes which can help at this stage of the recovery process. I will reveal all at a later date but for now here's a word on forgiveness.
Not forgiving only puts the cage up around you
When we resist forgiveness we bury it and try to suppress it which isn't easy. This creates a conflict within and leaves the individual with emotions such as anger and frustration. The cage goes up around us and we never feel free.
Forgiveness breaks the shackles and frees us, so we must learn how to do it in order to move on.
It is not easy to forgive if your life has been severely affected by hurt and pain coming from the cruel actions of others.
The way I have come to understand and apply forgiveness is that we can forgive people but we do not necessarily have to trust them again. That is the deal that makes the most sense to me.
Always Forgive, but know that you do not necessarily have to trust, and you have the choice about whether or not to let this person/people back into your life again.
Life lessons: everyone is on their own individual journey. Each one incomparable to the next. We cannot enter each other’s minds to see this, but each has his own subjective reality that no one else can ever know.
Be considerate. Be kind. Be respectful. Be tolerant. Think before you speak. Stay calm. Make allowances. Be empathic. Be compassionate. Breathe. Take time out. Get into nature.
Ask for the SERENITY to accept what you cannot change, the COURAGE to change the things you can, and the WISDOM to know the difference.
Thanks for reading,
Speak to you soon,