I am realizing more and more how much I doubt myself. I put my foot in my mouth and jump to conclusions too. I participate in gossip and live in fear. These are just the not-so-great things I noticed I did today. Each time I noticed what I was doing, I sort of laughed at myself and said,
"Well, that's better than I used to do."
And so I gave myself grace.
Grace is the knowledge that while I will try to do better at living, I acknowledge that I am imperfect and that is how it should be for nobody is perfect.
Grace is life-changing and life-affirming. It enables one to start over instead of staying stagnant.
This brings me to something I mentioned during The Respect Institute workshop I recently attended:
I am not recovered.
Because of sickness, I, unfortunately, missed out on the debate that followed that comment the next day, but when I returned I explained myself. I am not fully recovered and I never will be. However, I am in recovery.
I believe part of being in recovery involves giving myself grace and that means recognizing that I will never be fully recovered. I just don't think that science has developed a pill yet that totally cures mental illness - the messiness of mental illness I will have to deal with forever. I may be in recovery from borderline personality disorder, but I will always have some of the traits. The same for the eating disorder. I will probably always cycle through periods of depression and intense anxiety, as so any person would who has to deal with the intricacies of life. Depression and anxiety are my lot in life, but that does not mean that I am always suffering - I am actually really doing pretty well. Recovery, to me, means admitting I have troubles and yet still continuing to face life on life's terms. It means making mistakes and not beating myself up over them. It means giving myself grace.
I will never be fully recovered because I will always be fully human and humans make mistakes and get sick. Being in recovery means that I use these times as a way to learn and grow instead of as a way to die. I think anyone that would say that they are fully recovered from anything is fooling themselves into thinking they are better than they really are.
I am not recovered, but I am in recovery. I am grateful that I have the grace to appreciate this. May you find that grace too.
Social Skills for Autonomous People - The Power of "I Can't"
It helps a lot to be confident in your ability to judge what you can and can’t do. Sometimes you have to say no over and over.