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Obsessed With Regret


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#1 faintlyfalling

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 12:47 AM

I'm a 53 yr old man. I have social anxiety and I suspect I'm dysthymic. When I'm feeling depressed, I could give a **** about being social, so right now that's on a back burner.

I'm angry and resentful that my mental issues had a negative impact on my development; in school, at work, socially, and in that place where it all intersects. And then I'm full of regret and angry at myself for not having done more to help myself when I was younger. It seems futile to even try now. I always thought I had time. Where did it go?

There's a long, unimportant list of poor choices I made. Terrible career and relationship choices. I made choices that seemed right, mostly for other people, at the time, fully intending to do things for myself later. Later came and went, and now I'm middle aged and poor and undesirable and feeling pretty much over. I tended to do the right thing and no good deed goes unpunished. And yes I know how pathetic that sounds. My truth is pretty ******* pathetic.

There's so much I regret. I'm clear headed enough to know that I can't turn back the clock. I know that. And yet.....

When I think of regret I think that maybe I can learn something from the mistakes I've made. That learning something would give some meaning to the mistakes, give them a purpose and make them more toilerable. But to what end can I put the things I've learned? If I ever think about starting a family again.....well no, wait, if I ever start on a career path again, I'll.....oh, yeah, that's comical too, isn't it. So maybe with my new respect for trying to maqke my life work for me I can write down my wishes for the nursing home I'd like to live in to help guide my kids' choice, provided it's medicaid funded. FML.

I need to keep the wolves from the bank and the IRS at bay and at the same time find some way to redeem myself. I'm not confident I can do either. I'm about convinced I can't do both.

Edited by faintlyfalling, 21 April 2011 - 12:50 AM.


#2 Trace

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 04:14 AM

Hi faintlyfalling

Regret is an awful thing and as you already know, you can not change the past. Your suggestions are not comical at all. Age is but a number, for every day that goes past, it is a chance to start over, have a new beginning. No one is ever to old to have dreams, goals and ambitions. You are still young and there is so much you could do. Do you have any passions, what interests you?

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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#3 Ahzuri

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 09:34 AM

I'm a 53 yr old man. I have social anxiety and I suspect I'm dysthymic. When I'm feeling depressed, I could give a **** about being social, so right now that's on a back burner.

I'm angry and resentful that my mental issues had a negative impact on my development; in school, at work, socially, and in that place where it all intersects. And then I'm full of regret and angry at myself for not having done more to help myself when I was younger. It seems futile to even try now. I always thought I had time. Where did it go?

There's a long, unimportant list of poor choices I made. Terrible career and relationship choices. I made choices that seemed right, mostly for other people, at the time, fully intending to do things for myself later. Later came and went, and now I'm middle aged and poor and undesirable and feeling pretty much over. I tended to do the right thing and no good deed goes unpunished. And yes I know how pathetic that sounds. My truth is pretty ******* pathetic.

There's so much I regret. I'm clear headed enough to know that I can't turn back the clock. I know that. And yet.....

When I think of regret I think that maybe I can learn something from the mistakes I've made. That learning something would give some meaning to the mistakes, give them a purpose and make them more toilerable. But to what end can I put the things I've learned? If I ever think about starting a family again.....well no, wait, if I ever start on a career path again, I'll.....oh, yeah, that's comical too, isn't it. So maybe with my new respect for trying to maqke my life work for me I can write down my wishes for the nursing home I'd like to live in to help guide my kids' choice, provided it's medicaid funded. FML.

I need to keep the wolves from the bank and the IRS at bay and at the same time find some way to redeem myself. I'm not confident I can do either. I'm about convinced I can't do both.


Regret is a terrible thing to live with. I'm only 25 and it is one of the worst things about my depression. Its like I get a dump truck of regret every single day of my life. The only thing I've been able to try is to live in the present and tell myself that those choices are done and over with, that there is nothing I can do to take them back or change them. If my regret centered on a person I tried to talk to them to get some sort of closure in the situation if I could, there are some people who I can't talk to about these things (don't know where they are, they hate me, I hate them ect) but those I could I did. Today is a new day, today I can do things that I will not regret, today I will live my life to the fullest. I still have some really bad days in regards to regret but its worked a little and any help is good help.

#4 faintlyfalling

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 10:13 AM

Thanks Trace and Ahzuri. I know there is truth in what you say, and I know that arguing or countering those true sentiments is a symptom more than a coherent thought, but this is where I am.

I feel trapped. I can't change the past. Past decisions leave me exhausted emotionally and physically, and now I have to get a second job, which won't help the exhaustion. The need for a second job is a consequence of past decisions. Working 2 jobs and providing most of the emotional and logistical support for two teen aged daughters (ex can't be bothered) all of which is high priority stuff, leaves not time and none of "me" left to do anything practical about my situation, like going to school. At my age that's not a solution anyway. It's not real to think that in a couple of years a 55 year old man will get a job worth having. The paltry one I now have is my best chance to survive financially, as slim as that chance seems.

So I try to cope. I focus on the positive things in my life, and there are some. I have 3 kids I dearly love. My role as there parent is very important to me. That's why the threat to that role that my present stuff presents is so frightening.

I have an SO I love. Not so sure how she feels about me right now. I'll see less of her and be less available when I'm with her as this progresses.

All this prompts me to look backward. I know that's not healthy, but simply distracting myself leaves the issues back there, ready to mess with me in an hour or a day or week. It seems to me there is a way to reach some peace with the past, but it so thoroughly ****s with my present that I can't get there. I believe that you can make the past a more integrated part of your life by learning from it, or by making current choices that honor it. My biggest mistakes were made so long ago, though, and I don't know how to apply any of those lessons to now. Like I hinted at, I'd manage my early life differently given the chance, even with how socially withdrawn and depressed as I tended to be. I'd work with what I had and try to make the most of it, rather than deferring everything to some future that never came. Those choices are all long gone.

It's like I learned how to drive just when my sight failed to the point that I couldn't drive any more (speaking metaphorically, eyes are fine). What good is knowing how to drive to someone whose driving days are done?

Then there's trying to find some outlet for the regret, a channeling it into some positive activity. I'm talking about something like counseling people with substance abuse problems as a means of making ammends for the damage your substance abuse did (again, an example but not my issue). So I try to help my kids avoid some of the mistakes I made. People don't really learn so much from someone else's mistakes though, so my 30 yr old son is busy making his own. I can't get through to him.

And when I think of channeling my regret into some outreach effort, I just get incredibly sad. This little boy in me looks at those ideas like a neglected kid whose parent has stood him up, again, on some special day. "What about me?" the little guy whimpers. When can I just take care of myself, or maybe more to the point, when will someone take care of me. And then that little boy becomes a surly adolescent wh gets disgusted with all this and says he doesn't want any ******* help anyway, so **** you.

I have to go now. My daughter is sick and I need to check on her before I go to work where it's piling up. But I'll be there til 8 so I'll have time to apply on line for a couple of jobs that look aweful, but hey, who am I to be choosy?

Edited by faintlyfalling, 21 April 2011 - 10:16 AM.





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