Have you held onto resentment towards someone in your life (yourself included)? How has that made you feel? What has it cost you? What would happen if you realized that forgiving isn’t for the other person…it’s for you? Has it been hard for your to forgive in the past–why do you think that is? What would it look like if you forgave? Do you know how to forgive? If you don’t, would you be comfortable asking for help from The Universe/God/your soul/etc.? How would your life look if you forgave and let go of any resentment and grudges? Do you ever get angry with yourself for not doing what you “should”? What would it look like if you were kind to yourself when you make mistakes and let go any resentment? What are you going to do to forgive a little today? What is your forgiveness plan?
This is going to be deep. Very deep.
In the last few posts on here, I’ve addressed some of my unhealthy habits and my relationship with food. I’ve talked about my cycle with yo-yo dieting.
This goes so much deeper than food, however.
I’ve struggled with depression since I was seven years old, and for the past 3 years or so, I’ve been convinced I have Borderline Personality Disorder, and recently I have realized that I probably have Attention Deficit Disorder as well. I’ve been on mood stabilizing medication twice.
I am also a recovering cutter (clean since December 2010). I started in September 2007 near the beginning of my Junior year of high school, though I had self-injury tendencies from the time I was 12. (I would snap rubber bands on my wrist or wrap hair bands around my wrists and cut off circulation to my hands). I spent 2008 relapsing constantly, but I did go from July 29, 2008 to September 25, 2010 before I relapsed again.
In December 2010, I wrote in my blog on HoneyLissaBee.com:
In seventh grade, I took the bus to and from school most days (which was actually a good thing- I was the last one to leave in the morning, and that made it possible for me to come down with a sudden upset stomach before having to leave). In sixth grade, however, I was given a ride.
One of my most vivid memories of middle school (that didn’t involve me feeling humiliated in any way), was waiting for my mom to pick me up from school. I would wait inside the building and look out the door for our van. All of the dirty looks, hateful comments, screaming, yelling- they were still heavy in my heart and mind. I didn’t go on and on about how much I hated my classmates (although, would you blame me if I did?)
I just sang:
When peace like a river
attendeth my way
when sorrows like sea billows roll.
Whatever my lot,
Thou hast taught me to say
“It is well, it is well
with my soul.
Before the idea that we might be moving to New Jersey came about, my prayer journals weren’t filled with prayers to get me out of my situation. I asked God for help dealing with it. On many occasions, instead of saying that I was hurt and mad at the boy who screamed in my face (almost daily) about how I was ugly, I asked for forgiveness for thinking bad things about him as he screamed at me. From the age of four or five (possibly earlier) until then, I had such a strong faith. I trusted that God would take me through whatever happened. Instead of using my trials as an excuse to push God away, I turned to Him for comfort.
I was the kind of person who retaliated and then felt guilty. When I fought back and kicked the girl who pushed me away from my locker, I felt bad for doing it- even though it was the first time I ever stood up for myself. (By the way, the girl ended up grabbing me by the hair, swinging me around, and slamming my head into the locker. She broke my glasses and gave me a black eye in the process).
In addition to the depression caused by bullying throughout school, I also have emotionally abusive parents. My father has always criticized me for not being perfect (like he supposedly is), and my mom follows in those footsteps. In addition, my mom was always one to criticize my weight- even though she’s about 30 pounds heavier than I am.
In 2008, after relapsing again, my youth pastor told my parents that I was cutting (without my consent), and I was forced into counseling. During my first session, the counselor criticized me and examined every mark on my wrist (most of which were bug bites) under a light.
After that, she decided that she wanted to spend more time dealing with my father and not me (I had no complaints whatsoever). Not too long after that, my dad threw that in my face. I was still having some struggles, and he was upset that he was going to counseling for me and that I wasn’t “fixed.”
But, to be perfectly honest, it’s not my parents who I hold grudges against. It’s not the kids at school who screamed at me and called me “stupid” and “ugly” on a daily basis. I hold a grudge against myself.
When I was 13, I moved away from the kids who bullied me every day- though there was an incident in eighth grade where I was cornered in the locker room (followed by a girl saying she didn’t care if she made me feel like less of a person). At some point, I became responsible for my own food. It didn’t matter what kind of habits I had been pressured into in the past. It was all on my shoulders.
And I kept overeating. I kept buying junk food and giving up on healthy eating plans.
And it’s not like I hate myself because of it, but I don’t trust myself. I’ve let myself down so many times that I’m afraid to try to eat healthy again because I’m afraid I’ll fail. I’ve been considering going low-carb (South Beach) for a few weeks to try to break my food addiction and get to a point where I’m satisfied by a bite of dessert on occasion- rather than needing multiple desserts every other day. However, I am deathly afraid that I’ll just fall off the wagon and go on a two-week sugar binge- after one day on the plan.
I’m afraid that I’ll repeat the cycle again.
I don’t hate myself when I look in the mirror. I’m disappointed in myself, but I do not hate myself. But when I look in the mirror, I know I can do better. I remember what it was like to be thinner and healthier, and I know I’m not at my best where I am right now.
But I think forgiving myself for my past failures might be the first step.
I heard one that “unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” There is a bit of irony in that. Essentially, there are two people in me. There’s the fit, healthy Lissa and the fat Lissa, and because I’ve been unable to forgive Fat Lissa, I’ve been continuing with unhealthy habits. I’m eating foods with high fructose corn syrup, MSG, hydrogenated oils, nitrates, nitrites, artificial colors.
Well, it’s not exactly cyanide, but I’m sure most nutritionists would consider those chemicals a slow acting poison.
And the only person that poison is going to kill is the healthy Lissa. Fat Lissa is just going to get bigger and stronger.