It was granted to me to carry away from my prison years on my bent back, which nearly broke beneath its load, this essential experience: how a human being becomes evil and how good. In the intoxication of youthful successes I had felt myself to be infallible, and I was therefore cruel. In the surfeit of power I was a murderer and an oppressor. In my most evil moments I was convinced that I was doing good, and I was well supplied with systematic arguments. It was only when I lay there on rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either—but right through every human heart—and through all human hearts.... That is why I turn back to the years of my imprisonment and say, sometimes to the astonishment of those about me: “Bless you, prison!” I...have served enough time there. I nourished my soul there, and I say without hesitation: “Bless you, prison, for having been in my life!” (The Gulag Archipelago: 1918-1956, Vol. 2, 615-617)As he read, I thought about all of the things I have learned over the past year. I felt grateful for the eating disorder and all that recovery is teaching me. I felt grateful for all of the wonderful people I met because of the eating disorder. I thought about Larry, and when Paul read the last line, in my mind, I actually said, "Bless you Larry for having been in my life."
I don't think he ever meant to hurt me. I believe he was doing the best he could. That doesn't mean that I think what he did was okay - it just means I have compassion for him. I also am grateful for all that I have learned, and I truly feel grateful for all of the experiences.
When he finished, Paul turned to me and said, "Maybe one day, you'll be able to say, 'Bless you..." And he stopped. Then he started again, "Bless you... shit... for coming into my life."
I am grateful for all of the shit. I am grateful for all that I've learned. And there is still no better way to say it. Tonight, in my prayers, I will thank God for the shit.