I think that regret is the hardest thing to accept in life. I know for myself I have many. I think why did I do this or that, the latest in my regret pile is the loss of my cat Sir Alexander Fox and being that it was my fault, makes it harder to accept. Why didn’t I take him to the vet sooner, if only I had done that he would still be alive. These thoughts plague my mind. Or the regret over my mother, who died last year. Even though she was not quite herself, most times, why didn’t I spend more time with her? Perhaps it was selfishness or maybe self-preservation, I really don’t know to this day. It was hard seeing my mother go downhill, she who was always so strong. But the more I talk with people, the more I realize that we are a society steeped in regrets.
Why didn’t I buy that house, why didn’t I listen to my child, I would have realized she or he was in trouble, what was I doing with my time, why did I put my money in that stock are some of the statements I hear from people?
The horrible truth, unfortunately, is that we cannot go back. The good news, however, is that we can move forward and not make the same mistakes. I think we should live each day so that when we do look back we do not feel that we missed opportunities or failed our children, spouses or friends. Let’s try and really think about the things we do and what consequences they will have in the future, before we make them.
We also have to realize, in looking back, at what made us make that particular arrangement at that time, remember hindsight is 20/20. Maybe we were at a different place, different people and that decision was the best we could make at that particular moment. Maybe then, we didn’t have the choices we have at our disposal now.
Still, mistakes happen, we are only human, and they are very much a part of life. So, the next time you look back with regret, think ahead instead. Think of all the good decisions you still have time for, and do the best you can. That is all anyone can hope to do.

Posted in Dealing with loved ones with mental illness, Regrets and tagged .

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