I’ve often compared my recovery from post-traumatic stress disorder to caring for a deep and messy wound—one that keeps healing over, but with dirt and debris still trapped inside. Healing isn’t a linear process; you keep ripping the wound open, deliberately or not, and the deeper you can dig to clear out the junk, the closer to really being okay you get. Following this analogy, I’d say I’ve got a single, festering splinter of trauma tucked somewhere too deep to reach. I’ve put in a lot of hard, bloody, and painful work to heal, and I’ve given it lots of time. I don’t want to carry that shard of filthy wood around inside me forever. Forgiveness, for me, is not a first attempt or a complete solution: It’s something I’m willing to try because I deserve to be completely free.