Last week during my therapy session, I started to talk about all the people in my past that I hurt, all the individuals that got whiplashed during my biggest fit of frustration towards my mental illness. I would cut people out so fast that the blink of an eye wasn’t fast enough. I felt constantly burdened by this idea of moving through life without accepting my faults and only accepting my accomplishments. After complaining for what felt like thirty straight minutes, I just paused and said what I’m sure my therapist was thinking the entire time “....why don’t I just apologize? I mean, what do I have to lose?” So, the direction was set and all I had to do was write out the list of people that I felt deserved a heartfelt apology from me and start the letters.
Of course, this was easier said than done because the more I peered onto their social media accounts, I became quickly convincing to myself that they wanted nothing to do with me. I remembered the falling out of each friendship and the brutal words that we shared or just no words at all; the silence hurt a lot more. But nonetheless, I decided to keep pursuing this decision of mine no matter if it made me feel uncomfortable or not.
There I was, writing out each letter to people I haven’t talked to in years. I was apologizing for things that they probably couldn’t remember as specific as I could, but I did decide to end each letter telling them that it’s not obligated at all to respond, but that I just wanted my apology to reach them. Honestly, that is all I wanted. I didn’t expect a single message nor was I really sitting over my computer waiting for one. I wanted my mind to stop circling around hurting these kind people and to come to a logical conclusion: an apology.
As each letter was sent, I sighed out a huge sigh of relief that what was meant to be said years ago was finally being said. Not saying it was super easy, it was actually one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Admitting up to your faults can be hard for some (especially me) and then on top of that apologizing about them years later can make you feel kind of stupid for bringing it up but it had a cleansing attribute to it.
Like I said, I didn’t expect a single message back from anyone I messaged, but I actually got a reply from each and every person. Each time I heard that ding, I would just smile because it would either be someone just now seeing my letter and letting me know how appreciative they were of the apology or an old friend asking striking up some conversation as if they never left.
Regardless in the end if I got one message back or no messages back, I would have still left this experience with my heart beaming from growing within myself and finding closure. I would say if you have one or a couple of people that deserve an apology from you then just do it. Nothing beats a sincere apology from an old friend who has honestly acknowledged that they did wrong in the past. People grow every day and holding grudges will only cause you more harm than good.
"Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”