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Living With Regret.


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#1 bokuba

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 10:21 PM

Hopefully some of you can help me with this, but, I have quite a few regrets that I live with everyday of my life.
I can't seem to get over a few things that I didn't do in my life and know that had I done them, things would be incredibly different in my life (no kidding?!...duhh, I know, I know)
What I'm TRYING to figure out is, how do I move on from things that I can't change. I know that acceptance is part of it and learning from it, but it's incredibly hard to do mentally.
I'm taking Zoloft at the moment, full dosage and while I think I'm a bit more calm and maybe not SO edgy, my mind (and I'm sure a lot of yours) is very strong and it seems to override any medication and good thoughts and it keeps dragging me back into the world of "regrets" and "coulda, shoulda, woulda".

It's a big part of what eats away at me daily and makes my mind spin in circles.

Hope this made sense.

#2 BetterOff

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 10:45 PM

Hello, your post makes perfect sense. But in return I ask you, what good does it do to dwell on what you shoulda woulda coulda done when you can go back in time and fix them. The answer is none. So your dwelling is in fact very harmful to your mental healthy and totally wasted effort. One of the things you must do is change your mindset immediately when these thoughts intrude. I do this, it was hard at first, but I found it easier as time went by that *today is the day you are living* and *dont go there!!! to my mind and switch thoughts* which practice this comes easier.
Right now admittedly I am in a bad spot, I cant dwell in the past at all, so I say to myself "stop it, and turn my thoughts to what I can do today to be productive and get some satisfaction out of". When we have mental issues like depression, dwelling and obsessing about past things is a mindset we have to avoid, in fact I dont even go into the future, I concentrate strickly on today! I have no idea what the future holds for me so why even go there either. I made my choices in life, I have no regrets, I cope with today and today only on small achivements and goals.
I hope this works for you and perhaps others will chime in with good advice on what they do to stop the past dwelling and obsessing, just remember to keep active, keep your thoughts occupied and dont go into the past, you can change it and its self harmeful to go there.
Good Luck and best wishes. And practice whenever your mind goes there to just say *stop* and switch to thinking of something more positive. It gets easier over time.
Information supplied on Depression Forums by members should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for medical advice from a health professional or doctor.

#3 Trace

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 03:21 AM

Hi bokuba

It is not an easy thing to face the past, accept the past and let it go, but it is an important part in moving forward. It is incredibly difficult to do alone and your best bet in letting the past go would be through therapy. Keeping a journal or a blog can help you reach personal revelations that can help you let go of the past.

Trace
Listen in deep silence. Be very still and open your mind.... Sink deep into the peace that waits for you beyond the frantic, riotous thoughts and sights and sounds of this insane world. - A course of miracles.

True beauty must come, must be grown, from within.... - Ralph W Trine.



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#4 allalone6

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 04:14 PM

i totally understand where you are coming from. This is exactly how i feel and I have to figure out a way to deal with it and move on.

its easier said than done, and i often find "non depressed" people get annoyed when you cant move on.

not sure what you are trying to move on from. but i also have a question in hopes someone will answer. How do you move on from something/someone, when you are faced with seeing them/being there everyday (work related). constant reminders dont help the healing process. Its hard to convince your mind "you dont have that friend anymore" when you are still sitting there so hurt and not understanding why.

depression just sucks, plain and simple.

Edited by allalone6, 24 February 2011 - 04:17 PM.


#5 Fender

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 04:30 PM

I know how you feel....

I'm in the same place myself......I'm still holding onto many things....And regretting a lot of my actions in the past....Even though I have an amzing wife and three beautiful children to focus on, I just can't let go of many things.....Some of it comes from my childhood hood where I lost my father at the age of 5.....All the great times I have with my kids keeps reminding me of the things I missed out on.I know it would have changed my direction in life....But then at the same time, if things were different then I possibly would not have the family I have today.....Some of it is my jealousy towards my wife's ex....He was her first......

My Psychologist suggested something for me.....Run it by your psyche first if you are seeing one.....It's an exercise called "flooding".....
She said that if we keep trying to block out these thoughts then we keep empowering them....Instead she tells me to "flood" my mind with them...That is, keep repeating the thought over and over and over again......As much as possible......It's hard at first emotionally...But eventually the constant repetition actually gives the thoughts little or no power because they lose their affect with such constant repetition...I have found it works....For a while, so I just have to keep working at it.....It's not easy but it's better than being crippled by these negative thoughts.....I hope I have been of some help....

Good luck!!!!!

#6 Tessatea

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 04:52 PM

Hey Bokuba,

We all know we can't change the past, I don't have to tell you that (another duh!), but could you maybe do those things or similar things in the future?

Fender: its true whenever we resist thoughts, they get bigger and badder...shoving them under the surface doesn't work. Because they want to be heard and acknowledged just like we do! ;-)

Tess

#7 sgcray

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 12:01 AM

I understand how you feel, because I am going through the same. I wake up each morning, dreading the day ahead because of choices I made in the past. And I just cant seem to get over them. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, with a bad memory of someone saying something that makes sense now. And I wonder why I didnt pay attention then.

I am wondering too how you get over the things in the past, when their effects are plaguing your present. And I have read it too many times about accepting and moving forward. But I have tried accepting it, maybe have accepted it, but moving forward is not happening. Because choices made in the past have made my present horrible. So, how does one work from there. My only recourse is not staying awake, or getting lost in tv or computer games.

Hope you find better luck.

#8 jjane83

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 04:32 PM

REALLY!!?? Seriously??!! I thought it was just me! Thank you all for making me feel better about that!

#9 SySt3M

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 02:56 PM

Holy crap I just relive bad situations over and over in my mind. My life is one big coulda, shoulda, woulda. The past is a crappy place to live, but sometimes is really easy to go back to.
"It's not that I'm afraid of death, but afraid of the thought of my people laid to rest; They saying there is 6 million ways of death but not even one way to fade the stress."
-TECH N9NE

#10 bokuba

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 11:36 PM

For some weird reason, it's comforting to know we're not the only ones that go through this. I'm not sure how this helps us, but it makes us feel a bit better in some twisted way doesn't it? (me anyway).
I suppose it's for the simple reason that you don't think "why me" and think more along the lines of "someone else is going through this, if they can, so can I"? (perhaps?)
Even with meds, it's AMAZING how powerful the mind is and how it can override anything it wants to. Now if only it could override this "regret" stuff and help me (and the rest of you) to move on.

If only it were that simple. lol

#11 littlestar

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 02:11 AM

I think many of us have some too. I have too. I have not get thru yet, i guess. But I keep telling myself, yes I missed a lot.
So do I want to miss out more by keep going back? no. Also, I changed, I don't think I want to go back to do it anymore; and that I have new realization I think.
However, everyone is different, as long as it works for that individual.

Now I am trying to think of how to go forward, without being pull back by different issues.
God, help me.

#12 Kalla

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 08:58 PM

Regret and bad decisions haunt me too, and I think these issues affect many of us with depression. It's important to remember though that we are all human and that we make mistakes. Sometimes we make the same mistake over and over again. The point is to learn from these mistakes and to put steps in order to prevent them from happening again...to move forward in a more positive direction. We need to face what we've done head on and try to find some sort of closure and acceptance, which is a different process for everyone.

I regret bad friendships, dysfunctional relationships, poor choices in jobs or college majors, and being so passive in my day-to-day life. Lots of things I wish I was better at, places and opportunities I wish I went to or pursued...but I can't change any of that because it is all in the past. And why spend that emotional enegry beating myself up about things I cannot change? All I can do is live another day, to move forward towards my goals and dreams, and be the best person I can be :icon12: What else can I possibly do?

All the best to you ♥

"Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light."


#13 rustee

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 07:06 AM

wow.... glad i'm not the only one. i wont go into it but i can pin point the exact moment, the exact thing i said to someone that messed up my life 11 years ago. we parted ways, they moved (literallly) to the other side of the world and that was that. i've thought abought that literally everyday since. cried about it some days too.

about this time last year i had chance to.... not fix it exactly but i could have apologised to that person for what i did. but because that moment came out of the blue ( i was driving and i saw them waiting to crossed the road) i didnt have time to react and guess what- i regret that too. what if i'd turned the car around etc... BUT, heres the but, i've started to move on. yeah, i still think what if? but it doesnt bother me so much now. it's like... that was then. now's hard enough without all that added crap from the past to deal with aswell.

i believe everything happens for a reason- granted thats kinda hard to believe when i'm curled up in my bed a 4pm crying my eyes out because i'm so depressed but.... i just do.

i think we're going through this ilness to come out of it stronger people.

not sure if any of this helped but....

stay strong!

russ.

#14 starzz

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 07:23 AM

WOW!!!!! how comforting...... going through exactly this right now.
The woulda, coulda, shoulda, what if's....... it hurts my brain no end.. but just cant stop it!!!!
I 2 remeber the exact day, the thigs that where said and the decisions that were made to make me feel this way.. boy does it hurt
all the things i shoula sould... or more the case i shouldnt have said... thing i did.. and shouldnt have done
The wishing that clocks would turn back or i had a rewind, pause and delete button ... wouldnt live be good if that was the case ;)
And i do.... well..... sometimes belive that things in life happen for a reason.... just now im not sure WHY .
My dad told me "life is like a book.... a chapter closes and another begins"
I wish i could believe that or follow that as just now im re-reading the same chapters over and over.... hope one day i'll be able to read the next chapter and my happy ending :)




wow.... glad i'm not the only one. i wont go into it but i can pin point the exact moment, the exact thing i said to someone that messed up my life 11 years ago. we parted ways, they moved (literallly) to the other side of the world and that was that. i've thought abought that literally everyday since. cried about it some days too.

about this time last year i had chance to.... not fix it exactly but i could have apologised to that person for what i did. but because that moment came out of the blue ( i was driving and i saw them waiting to crossed the road) i didnt have time to react and guess what- i regret that too. what if i'd turned the car around etc... BUT, heres the but, i've started to move on. yeah, i still think what if? but it doesnt bother me so much now. it's like... that was then. now's hard enough without all that added crap from the past to deal with aswell.

i believe everything happens for a reason- granted thats kinda hard to believe when i'm curled up in my bed a 4pm crying my eyes out because i'm so depressed but.... i just do.

i think we're going through this ilness to come out of it stronger people.

not sure if any of this helped but....

stay strong!

russ.



#15 jjane83

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 03:52 PM

I have found the blogging thing really works. It has helped me write down my thoughts and let others know how i feel without being interrupted. Here are some of the things I have posted...PLEASE don't be offended, by any of the following...I just try to find humor in our situation...and posted these which I have heard from family and friends

I almost forgot...these are some things you should NEVER say to a person with depression. Honestly, probably because we have heard it all before.

Since I can't show inflection in my typing just know I am typing with a smile on my face and laughing. Because, when I am not down, I have to either laugh or cry and I choose laughter. Here we go...

1. Snap out of it already (trust me we would if we could)...you might get slapped.

2. Think happy thoughts or think of all of the good things going on in your life. (Do you think we haven't thought of that one yet? If it were that easy, therapists would have far fewer patients.)

3. Your depression is making me depressed. (Then go away...we depressed usually want to be alone anyway!) Remember I am smiling while I type this but am serious too.

4. There are a lot of people worse off than you. (No really ?!) :)

5. Have you been praying/reading the Bible? (Have you? I have God on Speed Dial.)

6. Happiness is a choice. (If life were that easy, I would probably choose to be a millionaire as well.)

7. It's all in your head. (no s*** ?!)

I'll add more as they come to me...if you know of some please send them my way.






#16 kirkwuk

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 05:15 PM

Hopefully some of you can help me with this, but, I have quite a few regrets that I live with everyday of my life.
I can't seem to get over a few things that I didn't do in my life and know that had I done them, things would be incredibly different in my life (no kidding?!...duhh, I know, I know)
What I'm TRYING to figure out is, how do I move on from things that I can't change. I know that acceptance is part of it and learning from it, but it's incredibly hard to do mentally.
I'm taking Zoloft at the moment, full dosage and while I think I'm a bit more calm and maybe not SO edgy, my mind (and I'm sure a lot of yours) is very strong and it seems to override any medication and good thoughts and it keeps dragging me back into the world of "regrets" and "coulda, shoulda, woulda".

It's a big part of what eats away at me daily and makes my mind spin in circles.

Hope this made sense.


Have you thought about therapy, this can benefit this kind of situation. CBT is really good for things like this.

Basically your anxiety is taking over, and giving you what I call irrational thoughts, and giving unnecessary work on your brain that can only lead to depression.

Whilst you can never change the past, there is EVERY REASON to believe you can move on from your regrets. I've been alive only 28 years but I've seen people get over the worst things imaginable - they carry on living and their mind does not stop them from achieving anything they wish. You can and should work hard on "getting over" your regrets, accept they happened, and move on from that. Harder said than done I know. But you are not alone.
Beating depression since 2007

#17 Lazyboy

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 07:46 PM

I hope what I'm going to say will not make me a wiseass in your eyes :)
Ok, here goes.

First, what has helped me is getting **good therapy**! A good therapist will take you from here to there, step by step, with all other factors (your meds, your family, etc.) in mind.

Having said that, I do have many regrets, I recognize them, but I don't dwell on them. Past is past, it's done. But, regrets can be a good thing. Use them to motivate yourself. If you didn't finish college and now you're not making enough money, maybe explore some night or online classes.. If you were never a popular person (and I wanna be,) then maybe you could join some club and work on being friendly. There are not good examples I know.. but I hope you get the gist.

All I'm saying is see things as they are. Accept them but my no means stop there! There are things you could do today that, may be not fix the past, but make the future better.

My dad always says "Look at things dynamically." By that he means things change all the time. Tomorrow might bring bad things, but there are always possibilities of good things. You might win the lotto tomorrow :)

And like some people above said, sometimes it's a good idea to dwell on these regrets a little. Once in a while I let them come .. and I would just sit there and cry and pity myself. Then I feel much better, like clearing the air.

I want to stress that I'm not a happy-happy person. I'm not even at my best at the moment. I do have so many regrets in my life, same as all of you. The way I look at things comes from sessions and sessions of therapy.

Hope this helps in some way. Because I know the feeling.. I've been there and sometimes I'm still there...
== Normal Is Just Statistics ==

#18 Buriedinthepast

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 07:57 PM

There's comfort in knowing that while our individual circumstances may be different, that we can somewhat relate to each other and what we're feeling. I'm going through almost exactly the same thing: obsessing (would have, should have, etc) and the thoughts are pretty ravaging. For me, the hard thing to get over is that my memories (before I made regretful decisions) are still so fresh and vivid it's almost like I can't believe that time has passed that quickly and how I let things slip away like that.

Edited by Buriedinthepast, 09 March 2011 - 08:01 PM.


#19 bokuba

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 06:01 PM

There's comfort in knowing that while our individual circumstances may be different, that we can somewhat relate to each other and what we're feeling. I'm going through almost exactly the same thing: obsessing (would have, should have, etc) and the thoughts are pretty ravaging. For me, the hard thing to get over is that my memories (before I made regretful decisions) are still so fresh and vivid it's almost like I can't believe that time has passed that quickly and how I let things slip away like that.


Yep, exactly, couldn't have said it better. It feels so fresh, but most things are years ago. Really wish I could get over it, but apparently I have one stubborn mind.

#20 Red_penny

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 04:24 AM

Hello, didn't read the replies so hopefully I'm not too repetitive, but really wanted to respond as I face this exact same issue. I may not have any terribly useful advice, but I can show you that you are not alone.

First and foremost, hindsight is 20/20. There so many things I would differently if I knew back then what I know now. There is no way we can know what would have happened if we had done something differently - maybe we think our lives would be better, but there is a good chance something bad could have happened too. Try not to think about what should've, could've, would've happened and turn your head to the future and keep it moving.

But I myself constantly think about things I should have done differently or opportunities I feel like I missed, and my boyfriend and my mom always put me in place by saying "it's done, you can't change it, stop thinking about it, move on". And although I will still feel regretful, I can logically understand that the time has passed and I can't go back... sometimes I beat myself up, even to the point where I call myself a failure, a loser, stupid, etc.

Maybe you should think about the opportunities you did seize. And even when you have regrets about something in the past, you need to realize we ALL have regrets. Maybe you feel like your regrets are a lot bigger than the regrets of others, but I guarantee you it is part of being human to have regrets. And it's such a stereotype to say mistakes are good because we learn from them, well I say, not necessarily true. I have made the same mistakes and had the same regrets from the same behaviours and situation (over and over again). I can tell you one thing, it has definitely helped me realize some things about myself that I need to work on - and some personality traits that make me do the things I do.

Sure, we may have missed 'opportunities' (or what we perceived as opportunities)... but life is short, and extremely long. Opportunities exposes themselves to us all the time. It's important not to dwell on the past too much, because by doing that, you are more likely to miss future opportunities because you're so regretful about the past. For example, I missed a job interview because I was too nervous last week. I've beaten myself up over it and keep wondering what if I would have gotten the job? I guess the point is I'll never know if I would have even gotten the job. I made an unfortunate error by not going to it, but I'm thinking that missed opportunity might have opened me up to a new opportunity. Life is weird the way it works.

Living in the past is so painful. I look back at some of the things I did and cringe, and my mind is boggled as to why I chose to do things I did, or why I let opportunities slip out of my hand... and then I realize, it's very easy to feel like this after everything has happened. Just remember this, you did the best with what you knew at the time... and there is no shame in having regrets or regretting the past. It doesn't come easy, but we have to begin to accept our past and our faults innate to being human. My past haunts me everyday and definitely contributes to my self-esteem.

I LIVE in the past a lot of the time. So many times I said to myself "if only I could go back to such and such day and do this differently"... well, like it or lump it, it's done, it's over... and we need to stop beating ourselves up and learn to accept what's done is done, and the only thing we can change is the future.




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