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How to forgive yourself

Community Member
How do you forgive yourself when the voice in your head constantly brings up the things you’ve done. If I can’t beat this it will consume me and that will be it. The only advice my psych has given me is that I’m not a bad person, I just made a mistake, a bad one at that but I need to forgive myself and move on. It sounds so easy , everything I’ve done just replays. I hate what I did, it’s not me. Others have forgiven me but I just can’t let go. I don’t know how to let go. I want to be free of this darkness that is shadowing me.
69 Replies 69

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Anzacspirit

I am so proud of you for reaching out for some support, some comfort and some conversation around what I can hear is tearing you up inside. You know you are not a bad person and that you have made a mistake, we all do it, and yes, if it was so easy to accept and to stand up and move on well there would be half as many people suffering today. However this does not get to win, to consume you, to dictate the rest of your life and hold you prisoner, to live in the dark and to see no hope.

You mention a really great point, it isn't you, it should not define who you are and it doesn't, and sometimes the fact that others have forgiven makes it even harder...the noise in your head that "how can you forgive me when I can not even forgive me?". This is not who you are, you made a mistake, but it does not define you.

I agree with the statement that nothing, and I really do mean nothing is ever a mistake if you have learnt from it, I can hear you are truly remorseful for what you did, that you do want to move on, so I can assume from that that you did LEARN from that incident, that the lesson was learnt. I hear you say "well I don't need to kill someone to know it is wrong"...indeed....however, mostly we know this lesson to be true and don't need to fill it to have learnt.

Forgiveness is very hard, and self forgiveness even more so. How would you feel about writing a letter to yourself, apologizing for what you have done, not for the act but the way you are now treating yourself. That you have been forgiven by other parties and now it is time to accept the apology for you.

Sitting with the guilt and shame is also another tool, you can acknowledge that these feelings are coming, allow yourself to feel like that and put a time on it, sit with it for 1 minute or 2 minutes then allow yourself to move forward, by doing something nice for you, something you enjoy and something that does give you joy.

I think another part of the process is acknowledging why you did this mistake and taking measures to ensure you don't ever repeat it. There is safety in knowledge and power to gain from knowing you will not be doing this again. This might be really hard to admit the root cause as to why, but perhaps some raw and honest writing can help you with this, you don't even have to show anyone.

I wish you peace and progress Anzacspirit, it is time now for you to breathe and to receive love, and to be allowed to.

Huge hugs


Community Member


this feeling you can't evade, I know it well. For me, the self hatred only built further because I was forgiven. It's been a decade for me, I carry it, and am reminded of it all the time. I decided to quit trying to let it go, it doesn't stop the guilt, and I am guessing you can't forgive yourself either. So I stopped trying, there will be no self forgiveness, no denying its memory, I have to own what i did, I have to accept that was me, for that one moment when my brain acted against my beleifs and that I will have to accept the pain never stops.

But what does happen, is the emotional charge disipates, the memory is less forceful now, it is more regret than anger I drect to myself. Taken from hating myself to ashamed, to now regretful of my actions. When it comes in your mind, tell yourself yeh i do regret that in my life, and I know I will never repeat it.

It takes time, the emotinal charge to the memory will fade, the memory wont ever dissapear sorry to say. So just accept that part and try move from hate to regret. It wil make it easier on you going forward.

Thank you, sounds like our path has been similar. Your words mean a lot

What was your mistake?

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hey Anzacspirit

How are you feeling today? I hope the support here is helping and that you can think about how you do deserve peace and how you do deserve love...from yourself.

I see that haknukekk111 has joined us too so welcome to you and I look forward to finding out about your story too. I think the joy of the forum is that you can share as much or as little as you feel comfortable, that you can deal with the parts you need to and perhaps leave some of the finer detail for your privacy.

I guess I am saying no pressure to share the mistake Anzacspirit, this is your thread and we are here to support you so share as you feel comfortable.

Huge hugs


Hi Sarah,

im feeling pretty good, I think these words from the other member hit the spot with me “there will be no self forgiveness, no denying its memory, I have to own what i did, I have to accept that was me, for that one moment when my brain acted against my beleifs and that I will have to accept the pain never stops.”

honestly I don’t think I can forgive myself but I have owned up to what I did and I’ll never allow it to happen again. In a way this has actually given me closure and a way of dealing with the down days.

Thanks for staying in contact I appreciate it

All the best for you finding a way forward Anzacspirit, it's human nature to want to escape pain, but sometimes its unavoidable. Its not the most pleasant road, but at least you can start moving forward.

Remember that a fleeting impulse may cause wrongs to occur, but the stong ones won't back away from their responsibility to make it right after.

You will be okay.

I struggle with the same thing. I hurt myself though, not others.
This is very hard for me to talk about and deal with.
I am glad you have shared here and sought help, and i'm sure your posts can help others. we all have so much in common really, pain is so universal. Many people, I think have things they struggle to integrate and deal with.
I'm glad you're on your journey with it. That's really amazing,

Hello Anzacspirit

I am so very happy for you that you have found comfort in the words of what missingpuzzlepiece has shared. It is such a great mind shift for you and although you will not get totally peace, it is some peace at this time and that is really fantastic.

I think what you have said is so very true, acceptance of what you did, knowing you made a mistake and having that knowledge and understanding is a really great step forward.

Even if you can make "friends" with the event, the pain and live with it, but live with it productively so it doesn't impact your daily life with overwhelming emotion and sadness and guilt.

I feel so happy that you have found support here, that this community have provided you with some tools to manage this situation and you can take a really big step forward.

Hope to chat some more to you and know how you are going.

Huge hugs

Sarah xx