The Day I Learned to Forgive Myself

venice beach

Do you remember the day you learned to forgive yourself, to accept yourself?

I do. It was today.

As I sat on my psychiatrist’s couch attempting to suppress my sneezes from a nasty sinus infection, I rattled off my usual litany of random questions. She is a wise and brilliant woman (I look forward to our sessions, is that weird? I promise it’s not just because she holds a prescription pad…) who knows and understands me well after the four and a half years I’ve been seeing her, so I trust her insights implicitly.

While discussing the smaller episodes I tend to think are setting me back further, she used the phrase “in recovery,” and it changed everything.

As much as I preach—and do believe—that there shouldn’t be stigma in taking psych meds, in dealing with mental illness, I realized today I didn’t apply those same standards to myself.

I’m crazy, I’m weak, what is this woman thinking about me when I walk out, am I crazier than her other patients? Why do I need so much medication just to get through life? 

Walking up Lexington back to the subway, I finally internalized this: depression is a real condition, and my doctor is treating me for it and treating me as such. It’s something I’ve dealt with since before my mom got sick. I’ve had a shitty past few years, but I am healing and recovering, bit by bit.

As I wrote in my Women’s Health article, I’ve heard depression described as emotional cancer—it may go into remission but never go away. Even if I relapse—which I certainly have since being hospitalized—that doesn’t erase the progress I have made.

And today, I can recognize: I have made a shit ton of progress from the woman I was a year ago, nine months ago when I was hospitalized, even the woman I was arriving in LA three months ago.

Was there a moment you can point to when you learned to forgive yourself?

3 comments on “The Day I Learned to Forgive Myself

  1. Allie

    I love reading this because YES! You really do need to be compassionate with yourself and so, so often we preach that to others but don’t allow it for ourselves. I had so much guilt surrounding my mom’s death because I was a 17 year-old girl full of hormones, rebellion and desperately seeking independence when she died. I didn’t realize I was acting like any other 17 year-old because my mom died in the midst of all that, and I felt horrible about myself for years. Then, at a high school reunion I saw a video of myself. It was at a graduation party just four months after my mom died and I was STUNNED at how strong that girl looked to me and how harshly I had criticized her for so many years. In that moment, I forgave myself and I’ve been a different person since. I hope this same kind of peace for you my friend! I got nothin’ but love for you…

  2. katie

    thank you so much for sharing your journey. I cannot wait to hear the podcast and really cannot wait to buy a book written by you! (someday maybe?!)

  3. Alexis

    So. much. yes. It is really crazy how hard us women are on ourselves. The day I decided to forgive myself for “not being good enough” and just let myself be good enough was during a Thanksgiving 10k this year. I trained 6 weeks with that specific race, and in the last week I blew it. I was travelling, didn’t fuel my body optimally, and missed a few key workouts in the week leading up to the race. As I struggled through the 10k, I kept blaming myself for not preparing properly. And then it hit me: I’m still getting out there, being active, and doing something good for my body. The reason I signed up for that race in the first place was just to get out and burn some calories before eating turkey. I might have missed my PR, but the race was still a success. I wrote about that race in-depth at


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