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Learning


malign

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Well, I feel like doing a retrospective of this year. It seems I've learned a thing or two, at least.

This time last year, I left home after an argument half-dressed and with only suicide or hospital as options. Obviously, I chose the latter. That didn't stop the suicidal thoughts, but in a way, it did stop the actions.

The next thing I learned (partly from other patients) is to let go. There is so much about other people that I will never be able to change. My old logic said that if I just talked to them reasonably, they would see the error of their ways and reduce the amount of hurt that they gave me. Now I see that that is not even a likely scenario.

A corollary of that realization is that my self-worth has to come from me. I already had fairly effective defenses, or I wouldn't have survived at all, but they weren't complete because I still needed input to maintain my self-image. I've begun working on ways to give myself that input.

For instance, I found an old sheet of papers that had been given to me during my hospital stay, describing a technique to give yourself the gift of happiness. Some of its basic tenets are that happiness is something you can have any time you want it (that you give yourself), and that unhappiness is not necessary for self-change (how earth-shattering that thought was when I first read it!) If you do this, it leads almost automatically to self-acceptance, without becoming complacency.

This last trip with my wife and her kids opened my eyes a bit, as well. I realized how much I force myself to take, and in exchange for how little. Basically, I've realized that I deserve better.

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