These days, I look back at my high school years with regret. I think about what my life was like before and the fact that I didn’t take the time to count my blessings.
I spent a lot of time not treating the people around me the best I could because I was too busy feeling sorry for myself. I was fortunate in so many ways, and I chose to focus on the things that upset me. I made the people around me unhappy because I was so negative.
I blamed it all on anxiety. I felt helpless and fell victim to what I was feeling. And while I did have anxiety disorder, I didn’t really try to fight it, and I sure as hell didn’t take responsibility for my actions.
I hate myself for that. I still haven’t forgiven myself for treating my loved ones with disrespect from time to time. I haven’t forgotten that I let myself be consistently unhappy, despite how blessed I was. Since then, the things that I’ve been through have shaped me, but before that, I had no respect for myself or my life. To some extent, I wanted to be unhappy. I was comfortable being sad and didn’t know how to come out of it. I never imagined what was coming for me and how it would change everything in a positive way.
It’s hard to look back and see myself that way. I still blame myself for everything that happened. I was immature. Myself and the people around me deserved better. I cut out people because of my insecurities and limited myself from relationships that I should have let myself have. My life would been so enhanced by that, and I would be completely different from where I am today.
In the same sense, I have hindered myself from accomplishments that I could have had. I had panic attacks behind the block when I was about to dive into the pool and I was never the same athlete. My anxiety prevented from me reaching my full potential because I was too weak to really fight for myself.
Even though all of those things are valid, I have come to the point where I’ve realized I need to forgive myself. It’s frustrating that I wasted so much time, but I’ve learned a lot from it. There’s really no way to move on without acknowledging what happened and trying to let it go. If my life had gone in a different direction then, who knows what would be happening now?
At the end of the day, I was fighting something. Things from my childhood surfaced everyday and it was very difficult for me to move past it. My anxiety flooded my judgement. I wanted to work through it without medication, so it was harder than it could’ve been.
That’s completely valid. That’s the truth. But that’s the only part that is valid. I could have fought. I could have pushed. Instead of that, I let myself be ruined by the situation in front of me. That’s the worst thing anyone could do.
Lately, I have spent a lot of time wanting to go back and change what happened. But there’s no way to do that. There’s no point in wishing for something that’s impossible, and the journey that got me here is what was supposed to be.
It takes work every day to try to let it go. It sounds stupid, but it takes a lot work to forgive myself. To me, forgiving other people is even more difficult than forgiving myself because I went through it. I made the mistakes and I understand why and exactly how they were made. I was aware of the situation and exactly how it turned out. I had wanted misery, and I got it. At that time, it was somehow the fault of anyone or anything else.
When you disappoint yourself, recognize your mistakes and see what you learn from them. That’s the benefit of mistakes. They always teach you something, whether you realize it or not. You may not see it in that moment, but it’s more true than anything. Forgive yourself because your mistakes are in the past. You are better for them. You are wiser for them. You are stronger for them.