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Forums / Depression / How to forgive yourself

Topic: How to forgive yourself

  1. Anzacspirit
    Anzacspirit avatar
    18 posts
    8 October 2021
    I’ve caused so much damage, I’m such a horrible person. I’ve started to self harm from time to time as punishment for what I did. I know I shouldn’t but i feel as if need to be punished. I look back on my life and I haven’t loved myself in a long time, not sure I ever have. So much hate, anger and disappointment in myself. Does anyone really ever get over depression or do they just push everything deep down and let it resurface every now and then. Sigh back to pretending I’m ok.
    1 person found this helpful
  2. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    5921 posts
    8 October 2021 in reply to Anzacspirit
    Hi Anzacspirit,

    We are sorry to hear that things have been so difficult lately and you feel like such a horrible person. We understand how hard things must be right now and would like to remind you that all life is important, including yours. It takes a lot of courage to reach out to our online community and we’re really glad that you have. Please know that you never have to go through this alone, and support is always here for you.

    If you would like to talk to someone, the Beyond Blue Support Service is available 24/7 by phone on 1300 22 4636 or on Webchat 1pm-12am AEST on our website: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport  One of our friendly counsellors will be able to talk through these feelings with you and can offer support, advice and referrals.

    We also strongly urge that in overwhelming moments you get in touch with our friends at Lifeline (13 11 14) or the Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467).

    We hope that you will find some comfort here on the forums. Please feel free to keep reaching out here on your thread whenever you feel up to it.
  3. Anzacspirit
    Anzacspirit avatar
    18 posts
    8 October 2021
    Wow great generic response really helps a lot
  4. smallwolf
    Community Champion
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    smallwolf avatar
    5755 posts
    9 October 2021 in reply to Anzacspirit

    hello. you said...

    I know I shouldn’t but i feel as if need to be punished.

    is this something that used to happen to you a lot? I criticize myself because others do not. And when I was younger there was this reminder doing wrong, being wrong etc. The internal argument can be hard to stop. Can you tell me more about the above statement?

  5. randomx
    randomx avatar
    2757 posts
    9 October 2021 in reply to smallwolf

    l too have huge regrets l can't let go of . It's been yrs and those things have changed my life and here l am now bc of them.

    l wish l knew the answer. Dad always said you don't waste your life worrying about things you can't control , not even regrets , they're done and unless you can undo them or, make something up to a person , what's done is done.

    l can't undo most of mine or change anything now . lf l had the chance to l could at least try to make some up to certain people , but l don't. And where it's left me at this stage in life is l suppose my punishment, l don't know.

    rx

  6. mmMekitty
    Valued Contributor
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    mmMekitty avatar
    926 posts
    9 October 2021 in reply to Anzacspirit

    Hello Anzacspirit,
    I don’t suppose you have asked yourself, how long do you wallow in your self-recrimination and guilt?
    May I suggest, at least, for you do that?
    You don’t have to write any answers here, don’t have to detail what you feel so badly about, nothing, as you see fit. I’m just asking you to take a step back, look as if from outside, wondering what you would say to anyone else.
    How long has you served your sentence so far? How many years?
    Who imposed this sentence upon you, it would seem, of an indefinite length?
    Why not do that?
    & set a date for when you get out on parole?
    I propose a formula: For each year you have already spent tormenting yourself, add a week from today.... If you have been in your own prison for 12 years, from today, add 12 weeks. That’s when your parole is due.
    On that day, look back to October 9th 2021, & ask if you have done anything terrible, I mean, permanently harmful, to anyone, including yourself? If “No”, be free, but still monitoring yourself and how you deal with people out in the world. I think a Parole like this might only be a year or two. What do you think?
    Personally, not even knowing your awful deed, I think you have done your time. I also think, you don’t agree. That’s why I offer this suggested course of action, a compromise, if you will.
    I think you are human and that’s what your Psychiatrist was trying to tell you back when you first began this thread.
    Myself, and everybody here, we are all human & we all make mistakes of different shapes and sizes, some having long-term impacts for all concerned, while some, we don’t even know we did, and most in between/
    We do the best with what we have. Maybe that wasn’t much, but today we have more to work with.
    I’d let you out right now, but it is not up to me. I don’t have the keys.
    *
    & by the way, I have been looking around the forums, and I don’t think Sophie_M sends universally generic responses, like a robot. She seems to be alerted by certain words and phrases we tend to use when in distress, and reminds us of the services available to us.
    mmMekitty

    2 people found this helpful
  7. Cazza87
    Cazza87 avatar
    5 posts
    9 October 2021 in reply to Anzacspirit
    I can relate to your feelings & im sorry you feel that way, but it’s not helpful to “beat yourself up” about past events. Somehow you need to forgive yourself so you can move forward. Hoping you are OK
  8. randomx
    randomx avatar
    2757 posts
    9 October 2021 in reply to mmMekitty

    Geez they're really good points kitty , thank you for those.

    l've certainly done my time that is for sure .

    1 person found this helpful
  9. Lost in space.
    Lost in space. avatar
    3 posts
    29 October 2021

    Hi there. Am a Vet myself. I like the simple life. Life was easy when young and looked after. Didnt pay much though. So it keft me with a structured life. But there lots of failures in this structure.
    So how do i deal with my mistakes, regrets, failings ad infinitem?

    Well there some in there which could be really disturbing if i let them. So i take them as they come. Hurtful to myself or others i analyse them. Look at the pain caused. Take the things out that are relative. Some of these can pop back into my head years later. But each and every win or fail is part of me who i am. I take the leftovers and plough them into the ground as manure. That way the non necessary bits are fruitful. The relative things I stack in my head. They teach me against future fails. I need those fails to grow. Also part of growing is learning not to make the same mistake twice! Thats bull! We all do it. Not much good kicking myself, done it so much it dont hurt no more. If i was to dwell on my life’s learning curve i would still be school. Older i get the more harder to stack because my fees in life were difficult. Should know better. If i were to punish myself? There i would stop. I dont have to forgive myself. I just have to learn the lesson. Plough the rest in.

    1 person found this helpful
  10. mmMekitty
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    926 posts
    30 October 2021 in reply to Lost in space.

    Thank you, Lost in space, & welcome to the forums.

    I like your outlook & your attitude. How you square things away as they come along. I also like that you know how we all make mistakes, the same mistakes, more than once. & you deal with that too.

    I hope you have a lot of fertilizer to grow on! 😺 I'm going to think of that whenever I am sorting through the stuff in my head.

    mmMekitty

  11. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
    12351 posts
    2 November 2021 in reply to mmMekitty

    Kitty

    thanks for your questions which raises some issues.
    I know I feel guilty for something from decades ago and can’t forgive myself as others can’t.

    anzac it is hard when you feel you have this overwhelming burden of guilt.

  12. Anzacspirit
    Anzacspirit avatar
    18 posts
    5 November 2021
    Forgiveness of yourself seems to me like you’re saying it’s ok what you did. What I did is never ok, no matter what the circumstances. This is why I’m struggling to forgive myself because what I did is not ok. I spoke to a friend the other night who was struggling and he revealed he did the same as me 20 years ago and he still hates himself for it. I asked if he had forgiven himself and he said he never could. How do people live with stuff like this? How do you just put it out of your mind?
    1 person found this helpful
  13. randomx
    randomx avatar
    2757 posts
    5 November 2021 in reply to Anzacspirit

    lt's the curse of being too empathetic isn't it , too gooda person , even if we did mess up.

    l'm known people that should be feeling these things about something they've done to me or others but you know what, yrs later l'd realized they don't even remember let alone feel guilty. lt's nothing for some people to just wander in in cause some shyt , do something or treat you or someone else some way and then just stroll of into life on their merry way.

    Just this last few days yet more l just wish l could have the chance to make it up to someone. For a better person than many deep down, l def' manage to mess up.

    rx

  14. Eitoman
    Eitoman avatar
    1 posts
    10 November 2021 in reply to Anzacspirit
    Really feels so sad you are self harming to punish yourself for past wrongs. I also have past wrongs and I am extremely dissapointed in myself and full of loathing for my stupid mistakes. I have started to self-harm when I think of how stupid and damaging I have been. Somedays I struggle to get out of bed in the morning because I don't want to wake up and feel the guilt, sadness, and stupidity - sleep a little longer and avoid "everything".

    I read your comments and hear the same words I say to myself. The strange thing is that when I read your words it showed that inside you there is a better you. I mean, for a person to feel guilt and shame they must know what good and righteous are to identify improper actions. I shows that you are desirous of doing good - but mistakenly in your past it did not work out as planned. You have put the effort towards considering your actions and found that it was not what you really intended. Consideration is the key word - your guilt and shame are markers showing consideration for others; indicates you are a good and kind person.

    In writing this response to your post it has made me realize that it is our good nature that causes us to feel these things about our own actions. It means underneath it all is a good person that has made mistakes. This is a bit of a start in forgiving myself.
    1 person found this helpful
  15. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    5921 posts
    10 November 2021 in reply to Eitoman
    Hi Eitoman,

    Thank you for sharing this. It's a really brave and powerful message and we're glad you could reach out here, and feel understood within this community. We can hear you're dealing with some really difficult things, so please know that we're here for you.

    We are reaching out to you privately to check you're ok and let you know that the Beyond Blue counsellors are here for you, for any time you'd like to talk things through. We are available 24/7 by phone on 1300 22 4636, or on webchat (11am-midnight AEDT) here.

    Thanks again for sharing here. We hope you can be as kind to yourself as you have been in sharing such a thoughtful message with the community here.

    Kind regards, 

    Sophie M
    1 person found this helpful
  16. mmMekitty
    Valued Contributor
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    mmMekitty avatar
    926 posts
    10 November 2021 in reply to Eitoman

    Hello Anzacspirit, & Etoman, & everyone,

    What wonderful words Etoman has for anzacspirit - & anyone reading.

    I would like us all to read Etoman's words again, & take them into our hearts.s

    Why do we punish ourselves in ways we would not punish everyone else, if they had made exactly the same mistake? Why do we see humanity everywhere but within ourselves?

    If we can see our own humanity, we can, will & do have compassion.

    Any thoughts?

    mmMekity

  17. Anzacspirit
    Anzacspirit avatar
    18 posts
    11 November 2021 in reply to Eitoman
    Thanks for your response. I know I’m a good person who’s made some terrible decisions. Unfortunately I feel those decisions define me inside. I wish there was a way of wiping memories so I’m not haunted by the things I did. Knowing I have to live with this the rest of my life is the worst feeling.
  18. randomx
    randomx avatar
    2757 posts
    11 November 2021 in reply to Anzacspirit

    Yeah , know exactly what you mean.

    As l was saying l think it was in this one , it's amazing how most people seem to just strut off into life like nothings happened anyway, no conscience , nothing.

    rx

    1 person found this helpful
  19. Yorke/Yorke
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Yorke/Yorke avatar
    27 posts
    11 November 2021 in reply to Anzacspirit

    Sorry to hear these decisions are still troubling you. It sounds like a very persistent issue that's plagued you for a long time, which must make it all the more difficult.

    I was reading over this thread for the first time and MeKitty's response on the 9th of Oct really resonated with me. I really like the analogy about the prison sentence because its so true. We can beat ourselves up for so long over things we've done, or said, or even just thought about. Its that whole thing about being our own worst critic.

    The reason I liked the analogy is because I do agree that eventually, we do our time and it is fair to yourself to see that inner 'better person' that Eitoman mentioned. That's where all the potential is to move forward in the way you want to.

    Whether or not those harsh self-criticisms go away I wish you all the very best, some peace for yourself and a way to move forward even if they are still there.

  20. randomx
    randomx avatar
    2757 posts
    11 November 2021 in reply to Yorke/Yorke

    That is a really good way to look at these things , done your time.

    If only they could also tell us , ok you've done your time, now this is how you now switch that bs off and out of your head forever.

    rx

  21. mmMekitty
    Valued Contributor
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    mmMekitty avatar
    926 posts
    11 November 2021 in reply to randomx

    Hello everyone,

    My thinking is that since we put ourselves into our own prison, we also decide how long is enough.

    Pick some people you know & ask yourself, how long do you think they should spend in their own private prisons for mistakes they made. & it doesn't matter how long you think their sentence should be, because you don't have any control of their prisons.

    The only key to any cell door is the one to open your own. As I suggested, if you need, you can always put yourself on parole, then watch yourself very closely & see if you have earned your release.

  22. Mk2692
    Community Champion
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    97 posts
    12 November 2021 in reply to Anzacspirit

    Hi Anzacspirit,

    Welcome to the forums and thanks for reaching out here. I’m sorry to hear that you are struggling with your past. I’m not sure if you have talked to a professional about it such as a psychologist. If not then I would contact your GP for a referral to a psychologist. They can help you with any resolved issues you have and the feelings that you are feeling. It sounds like you are hurting deeply because of the things you’ve done in the past and you haven’t forgiven yourself for them. Reality is, past is past, it can only be a place of reference and not presence. It sounds like you are not the same person and you are very cautious about hurting people. You will always feel guilty because you haven’t forgiven yourself. We all make mistakes and sometimes it is hard to look past what we have done and the people we hurt, but we learn from the past and become better. You need to be kind to yourself, because everyone has made a mistake. The best thing about mistakes is that you can learn from them, become a better person and hopefully not repeat them. It sounds like you have a beautiful family that loves you and I’m sure they would love you no matter what happens. They would love for you to forgive yourself and be happy. Don’t be too hard on yourself, you deserve a second chance.


    1 person found this helpful
  23. Anzacspirit
    Anzacspirit avatar
    18 posts
    22 November 2021 in reply to randomx
    You’ve hit the nail on the head, I’m completely shattered about what I’ve done yet I know others who’ve done the same who show no remorse and give pathetic reasons as to why they did it, basically trying to justify things. I’m resigned to the fact I’ve made mistakes that I’ll never make again but will have to live with what I’ve done forever.
  24. randomx
    randomx avatar
    2757 posts
    23 November 2021 in reply to Anzacspirit

    Hi op.

    Sorry about your internal torment, l know it all too well. But yeah , it is mind boggling that you can see other people just walk away from doing similar , not a second thought. Wish l was one of them tbh , personally l don't think life rewards those of us that care too much , yet seems to look after those , even fall into their lap.

    Atm and very serious, just the latest though, l just wish my daughter would come home so that l could explain and apologize, and give her a hug. She's struggling a lot atm and unfortunately with my own pressures l lost it a bit and made all that worse. She's been over her mums a wk now .

    l'd like to wish pasts were pasts , and l don't mess up these days, older, wiser, controlled, doesn't seem to happen though.

    rx

  25. LC80
    LC80 avatar
    23 posts
    24 November 2021 in reply to Anzacspirit
    We seem to be in the same boat. I am ex Army too, not that it makes a difference. I have been estranged from my family for over ten years now, and I live with knowing that a couple of my daughters would be happier if I was dead. I can't repair the damage I have caused to my family, I can't turn back time and I am guilty as charged for my behaviour. I have had counselling over the years but although I do understand the "why" of my past behaviour, it is a heavy burden to carry. I don't think I can ever forgive myself. I am currently suffering with a severe spinal issue, I am in constant debilitating pain and wonder if this is just natures payback. I feel as though I am burden on my wife, who has stood by me and supported me throughout our 33 year marriage. Deep down I wish my life would just fade away one night and I know I am too weak to hasten it, so here I am. Living between a rock and a hard place. Just know you are not Robinson Crusoe and as vets we need to support each other as best we can.
  26. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    5921 posts
    24 November 2021 in reply to LC80
    Hi LC80,

    We hear that you’re really struggling right now and it must be incredibly hard to deal with all of this alongside physical health issues. We're here for you and want you to know that with the right treatment and support, things can improve. It sounds like you’ve battled similar thoughts and feelings in the past, and we admire your strength while you continue to push forward.

    You’re always welcome to reach out to our lovely counsellors, on 1300 22 4636, or via our webchat or email here. It can make a real difference having someone to talk to especially in moments of distress. There’s also the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) who provide free and confidential, nation-wide counselling and support for war and service-related mental health conditions, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression: http://www.vvcs.gov.au/

    We'd also welcome you to start your own thread on this to help members best support you. It is so brave of you for sharing your story here and we would like to ensure that you are best supported within our online community.

    We’re sure we’ll hear back from the community at some point here, but if it takes some time for members to spot do feel free to start a new thread. In the meantime, there’s also some really good advice here on self-care for survivors of trauma, from the Blue Knot Foundation here: Survivors Self Care.

    Thank you again for your courage and strength in sharing your story. We hope it brings you some comfort to hear from others on this thread.

    Kind regards,

    Sophie M

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