Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Living with Regret

Regret is something that everyone lives with. It can be the simple things we regret, like eating that extra cookie at lunch, to the big things, like having not revised enough for an exam. Parents and friends teach us to let go of that regret, to stop holding on to something you can't change, to forget the big regrets that when thought about can eat away at us. But what if, like me, you can't forget about that regret? What if you carry the burden on your shoulders, until the crushing weight is just too much to bare?

A few days ago I found myself lying awake in bed thinking about all the major things in life that I regret. I mean, I've had some horrible break ups, to the point where I'm actually ashamed at who I was and how I reacted,where the regret wells up inside me and produces tears. Even the one break up that I thought was healthy, where we were friends, good friends, has ended up turning sour. And it was this regret, this feeling that if I had behaved differently, acted differently, then maybe I wouldn't be lying in bed now, crying my eyes out at something I couldn't change.

I'm the type of person when if something doesn't turn out right, if someone gets hurt or is unhappy, I blame myself. I always have, and its a contributor of my social anxiety and depression. Always trying to make things turn out perfect is unsustainable, and not being able to cope with the regret is a huge part of this.

My boyfriend is always telling me that I need to try and forget my regrets, the little things such as giving up ballet when I was 6, to the big things, such as not pushing my anxieities during my first term at Uni leaving me with little friends. It is not so much that I regret my life, there are plenty of things that I wouldn't change, that I don't wish I could go back and repeat, that I don't regret. But more and more, as I am left with my own thoughts and worries, I find myself travelling my well trodden path to regret.

I feel in part that I am writing this post in an attempts to make me stop regretting my life, as if typing and seeing the words in front of me will make me change my ways. I also feel as if I am writing this post for all the things, all the actions, and to all the people that I regret.

So, to all the hobbies I quit, to six year old me quitting ballet, thirteen year old me quitting the cello and eigtheen year old me quitting Chinese, I am sorry. But at the time you were miserable in ballet, had so much stage fright that you were afraid to play to your own cello teacher, and stressed so much about Uni work that extra Chinese lessons were just not plausible. They just weren't right for you at the time, now you are picking up ballet again, and you can always learn a language or an instrument in later life. Just stop regretting them!!

And to all my human interactions I regret, to that first boyfriend who broke my heart, who I acted so crazy to whilst desperately trying to cope with my depression, that they no longer wanted to associate with me, I'm sorry. I was hurt, I was very sick, and I've spent years regretting it, but now I'm going to stop, whats in the past is in the past. To my friends who I have treated badly, especially during the worst year of my illness, I've regreted you having to see me like that and how I behaved every day, even if for the most part I couldn't help it. But instead of regretting you, I will move on, and actively try to improve these relationships.

To all the things I didn't try, to all the socieities I didn't join, to all the people I was afraid to talk to, and to all the times I desperately wanted to go out, to party with my friends or watch a movie but was too anxious too, I am sorry. Yes perhaps this fear of socialising has impacted on your life to such an extent that you barely go out, that at Uni you have little friends, that even your own mother is concerned about your lack of social life, but there is no point wishing you could go back to the start of Uni, to the start of sixth form, there just isn't. So stop living in regret, and actively change it, go out, try to socialise, and talk to people!!

And finally to my most recent break up, and my best friend, I regret everything that transpired with us, from attempting to be your friend, to breaking your heart all over again, to now, where you aren't allowed to be my friend. This regret is a little raw and fresh to bare, but over time, like the rest of my regrets, I'll find myself writing a letter to myself, and moving on.

If everyone were to hold onto their regrets, no one would live, no one would try new things or actively seize the day. We would sit at home, curled up in fluffy socks and animal themed pyjamas (maybe that is just me, but you get the idea) and wallow in our losses, our regrets, and our grief over them. But instead, as I have seen, life moves on, people actively take the reins over their life, they learn from their regrets and mould themselves into the person they want to be, someone their friends, family and most importantly themselves can be proud of. So I encourage everyone out there burdened with regret to join me in this journey, it'll be tough, but hopefully we'll all come out of it lighter, happier and with a new sense of freedom.


  1. I think we all have to accept our regrets to move past them. It takes time but I think we need to take from them what we can, learn from the mistakes we have made so that the past doesn't repeat itself with other situations. Easier said then done, but like everything, it takes time but as you say we will all come out of it feeling happier and with a new sense of freedom xx

    Ioanna |

    1. Yeh, its definitely easier said then done,but if things aren't going well then it isn't the end yet, I know when I get there I will be so much happier H xx

  2. Beautiful post. So lovingly written.
    Don't forget that these regrets and trials shape you, and you are the person you are today because of them.

    Alessia |

    1. Thank you, and that is so true, I don't think anyone would be the person they are today without mistakes, regrets and working hard to move on from them H xx

  3. It’s such a great post! Thank you for sharing this!
    By the way, I’m in love with your blog!

    Diana Cloudlet

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