Living With Regrets
Throughout my entire life, I still have not come across someone who is living life without regrets. We’re all living with regrets.
Regret is such a strong word for some people, for others is just something to add to their “I don’t care” lists, but what people don’t understand is that regret can be anything from not speaking up about something, not applying to a university you wanted, not buying the whole wheat bread the doctor told you to, skipping a song on your playlist just because you weren’t in the mood; but deep inside you needed that message. That’s regret. Things we wished we could’ve done when we had the opportunity to do them, before time stepped in and ruined what may have been.
What Is It Like Living With Regrets
This may not be everyone’s experience with this topic, but for me, living with regret means:
- Staying up all night thinking of all the things that could’ve happen but didn’t because you were too afraid
- Having an everyday monologue of how you could’ve handled a certain situation if only you’d done what you needed to do
- Having occasional nightmares about said situations because you know your subconscious keeps track of everything
- Wishing you could turn back time and do everything all over again
- Feeling like a failure for letting something that may have changed your life, slip away from your hands
- Feeling constant stress about thinking that you may miss another one of these opportunities
- Feeling guilty for letting it go
- Getting jealous of the person that had the same opportunity and actually took advantage of it
- Feeling absolutely nothing, but regardless of that, still feeling anxious and overthinking every decision you’ve ever made
Is It Really That Serious?
For those of us who struggle with our mental health and deal with anxiety on a daily basis, knowing that we just let that opportunity fly, it’s a feeling that only makes our mental state worsen.
It’s extremely hard when depression is telling you that you didn’t need whatever it is that you’re regretting, while anxiety is begging and convincing you that you should’ve known better than to let that one in a lifetime opportunity pass. Something that you may never get…ever again.
Causes Of Regrets
There are so many things that go through an individual’s mind when they’re forced to make an uncalled, or anxiety-inducing decision.
In my case, my biggest reason to decline something and later on regret it for my whole life, is anxiety, stress, overthinking, and fear.
This may not be what other people experience. I’m sure some individuals end up regretting things due to anger, pride, and indecision.
While doing my research I found out that 72% of people feel regretful towards their ideal self rather than the person they currently are. Another 76% regret the actions they could’ve taken to become a better person and their ideal self.
What Do We Regret?
This can go from the smallest things to the bigger picture and more abroad situations.
Some of the most common can be:
- Relationships – Whether it was a failed relationship with a family member; someone who you trusted and betrayed you, or simply a romantic relationship that we either stayed in, or never got the chance to be with said person.
- Tattoos – This can go from the simple act of tattooing something in your body that you regret, or not tattooing something that you wanted, but instead you did something another person wanted.
- Careers – Now, this is one I can personally relate to. When I first started university, I went towards a path that I wasn’t sure I liked. All of that because other people told me they saw me as that specific type of person. I didn’t like what I was studying and it took me two and a half years to take action for myself and do what I wanted, not what everyone else wanted me to be.
- Politics – You have no idea the number of people I’ve seen that voted for a certain political party and ended up regretting it as soon as they started seeing said person’s true colors.
- Health – This is another one of the regretful things that I didn’t do for myself. I never cared about my health, so I wasn’t paying too much attention whenever I had red flags flying over me. I just let them come and then end up regretting not going to the doctor sooner. Something that I could’ve prevented from happening or said illness (diabetes) from getting worse, I just went straight ahead until there was no option for me to get better. From what I’ve learned, I still am learning…If you’re like me, please don’t wait so long if you see any red flags regarding your health, take action immediately.
- Purchases – Living in today’s society one is expected to be, and do so many things, thanks to our capitalist nation, it’s sometimes hard to decide what we should purchase and what we shouldn’t. Someone who is an impulsive shopper may spend too much money on something, and then having to go through a frustrating period of time due to not having money for necessities such as food, rent, medication, etc, can be extremely difficult.
- Opinions – We have all been there. We have all had that one uncomfortable moment where you want to express your thoughts so badly, but you’re too afraid for them to leave your mind, so you just shut them out. Even things that regard yourself, it’s a scary thing when someone makes certain comments about your life and you’re too afraid to say something or defend yourself. I’m still living with some of those regrets.
Aftermaths Of Regret
Living with regrets always leaves us with a bitter taste afterwards. It’s like you’re constantly living with a reminder of what you should’ve done, or said. It’s an empty feeling of hopelessness, of not being loud enough, or not being strong enough to control yourself or let those personal thoughts out of your system.
No matter how hard you try, it just doesn’t go away. I’ve learned to live with some of my regrets even though there are still bits and pieces remaining somewhere inside of me.
I still have those deep thoughts of what I could’ve said or done. For now, I’m just trying to live, based on what’s essential for me, not for anyone else. I’m starting to stand strong with my opinions and beliefs, which I’m extremely proud of. I’m finally being myself.
Have you been living with regrets? What are some regretful things that to this day, still bother you? I would love to hear from you in the comment section down below.