Most of my life I never had any feelings of regret. All that had happened, all I had done had lead to where and who I was. How could I regret any of my decisions when they gave me 3 beautiful children? Lack of regrets didn’t mean I was happy, it just meant that I understood that I wouldn’t have my children.
In the years since my last marriage broke down, as I have been on my own and learning more about myself, small doubts and some big regrets have crept into my mind. Over choices I made, opportunities lost leading to a barrage of “What if?” questions.
Some of the regrets are about things that would not have impacted on having my children – those are the most difficult ones I am trying to cope with. I feel a lot of shame and embarrassment over some of the things I have done. While I know I cannot change my past, I still struggle to accept those decisions.
Depression. I face this demon on a daily basis and it highlights and intensifies all the negative thoughts of my past. It tries to make me think I would not be alone if I had made different choices. That I would be loved and happy. It causes my already low spirits to plummet and I find tears streaming from my eyes without any warning at times.
Music can have a huge impact on my moods. Often the songs from my past that I love the most are the ones that bring back so much pain. Maybe it is a form of self-harm or perhaps I am just trying to face those demons but I cannot resist listening to them. They take me back to my younger self and all the emotions I felt at the time. Some are just general but others take me to a specific event (those are the hardest).
I realise now that I had depression even back then – in my teens. I lacked confidence, was very naive and gullible. I felt no direction and lacked any focus other than to escape my own self. My actions were spontaneous, rash and reckless. Had I known then just how free I really was, I cannot imagine where I would have taken myself in life.
But I know all this reminiscing is pointless. It serves no purpose other than to cause me pain and regret. I hate the idea of regret. I’d prefer to take responsibility for my actions. I made those decisions after all – no one else did.
But what if there is a point to this emotional self flogging? What if it is necessary in order to move forward in my life? Could the fact I have never forgiven myself for mistakes be a part of the cause of my depression? What if it can lead to me gaining confidence and eventually being able to feel strong and able to face more of the obstacles life throws at me?
What are your thoughts? Does any of this ring true for you? Have you been through a similar process? If so, how did it turn out for you? I’d really like to know!