I try to remind myself that yesterday is done. It’s gone. I can’t go back and do anything over.

I tell myself that the decisions I’ve made have led me to this point, for better or for worse. Those decisions are made and done. When made, they seemed right. It’s too late to regret them because they’re done. That’s it.

I’ve said that life is too short for regrets. I’ve tried to keep them out. I’ve caulked the corners, sealed myself off to the very possibility of regret, and yet, there it is. They made it through anyway, no matter how hard I tried to keep them out, there are the regrets, unscathed and triumphant.

I know what’s done is done. I know that. I know I can’t go back.

But I want to.

I want a do-over. I want to go back, and do it again, different this time. I want to try a different path, just to see if it ends at a different point. I want to change my mind. I want to try harder, I want to be better and I want, more than anything, to try what’s behind curtain number two.

I don’t know if it would make a difference. I don’t know if it would change anything. But that’s just it – I don’t know. What if it would have? What if I’d gone? Packed the boxes, me, the kitties, the dogs, and gone too? What if it changed everything?

I know it’s not healthy to dwell on what might have been. There’s a logical part of me that can step away from the emotional response and evaluate the situation. I know that playing that game, the What If game, doesn’t get me fucking anywhere, but that doesn’t mean I can stop myself from playing it. I hear the logic – what’s done is done – I get it, but I can’t stop looking behind me, wondering if a simple but big choice could have saved the whole damn thing.

So I sit with the regret. I wonder if I have enough to pull us out and up on my own. I play the game, going back and forth, weighing the options: the could have beens, the would have beens, the what ifs.

It gets me nowhere, I know. But I can’t stop. Once the regret gets in, it’s hard to shake.

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13 thoughts on “Regrets.

  1. We’re human. We have regret. Even if we intellectually know we shouldn’t, it’s normal. Thing is to not let yourself dwell there and get to a dark place because of it.

    Even if you could go back and do things differently, that doesn’t necessarily mean a different result (or a good one) would happen. You know all those movies where people go back in time and they change 1 little thing and they ALTER THE COURSE OF HISTORY. So I mean, that’s dangerous so good thing you didn’t do that.

  2. The shoulda, coulda, wouldas. Totally understandable, normal and I can relate 100%. We all go through it; I think maybe it’s part of the slow and painful process towards acceptance (maybe?) and even then you’ll still have those moments. Here for you. Thinking of you. Big hugs.

  3. Thinking of you, Terra, & sending so much love. I wish I could provide some valuable, as-yet-unheard wisdom about the uselessness of regrets, but… well, looking back & wondering happens to be my specialty, too, & I know how hard it can be – how impossible it can be – to just stop it, to look forward, to move forward.

    My Dave once wrote a song – he had a terrible voice but he was good with words, for a 17-year-old – that included the line, “Regret, you’ll find, at best is a waste of your time.” It’s no great insight, but I think of it sometimes, in times like these, & try to hear it in his voice & in the tune he made for it, & it helps, a little. Regret, you’ll find, at best is a waste of your time – so don’t let yourself sit in it too long, OK?


  4. I’m sorry you are going through this, but I hope soon you will realize you are only damaging yourself. No one else. You have the power to put a stop to it too. I believe things happen for a reason, maybe you are trying so hard to fit a triangle in a circle. It shouldn’t be this hard. Let go. Let yourself go. You didn’t do anything wrong, I am sure and you could have not changed the outcome. Please try to stop torturing yourself, please. You are only hurting yourself. That is what it boils down to, right? Give yourself a break. It’s over.

  5. I’m so sorry that you are going through this, but regret is really not helpful. It takes two people in a relationship. There is nothing you can do about the past. We all have regrets, but the only reason to think about what happened is to learn from it. Not think “what if.”

  6. Ash

    Sweetheart, there are many things in my life, many decisions I made, actions I took, that I came to regret later. But what I know to be true is this: we all do the best we can at any given moment in time, make the best choices, the best decisions, based on our knowledge of the situation, past experience, expectations, and our emotional and mental state ***at that time***. In hindsight, we may see where we blundered… where we were blinded by love, paralyzed into inaction by fear, or simply complacent and so lost something dear. We may see how our actions hurt other people in ways we didn’t realize at the time, ways that weren’t intended, but that happened nonetheless.
    What we have to remember is that whatever it was we did, whatever choice, action, or decision, made sense to us at that moment… of all the forking future paths, it seemed the correct one – the best one – to take, and so we did. Now we can only forgive our past selves for taking us down our current path, and continue looking for the best possible way forward, because there is no going back. Forgiveness is key.
    And, forgiveness of others is also key, because we have to remember that they, too, are fumbling their way down the rocky path of Life, making the best choices they are able to… in that moment. We might think their choices are stupid and obviously wrong, but they are doing the best they can, with their own knowledge & experience and in their own mental & emotional state – something we will never fathom.
    So, please try to forgive yourself – you did the very best you could, and I know damn well you keep on doing the very best you can. Eyes forward, and search the path ahead…
    Much Love, always.

  7. Hugs, lady. It’s not so much that what is done is done, that’s a bit harsh, but rather have faith that the decisions you made were for a reason and will work itself out. Maybe you don’t see that reason today but have faith that it will be show up. Try to look to the future rather than the past. Try to believe in yourself and have faith that you did the right thing. You never know what would have been and that game is an evil dangerous bastard that just takes you down the rabbit hole. You can’t change the past, you can only learn from it. If I had regrets about everything I’ve done, I would never get out of bed. hugs

  8. San

    There will always be ‘what ifs’… that’s part of life. I definitely go down that path way too frequently, but what’s done is done. We can’t take back decisions we made in the past. Maybe you can find comfort in the thought that actively making a decision is better than not making a decision, or worse, let others make decisions for you.
    There will always be a fork in the road and we need to chose…. sometimes those decisions are small and insignificant, sometimes they have more impact on our lives.
    I am thinking of you.

  9. Regrets are so tough. It’s easy to look back and see the choices we could have made. Things are more clear when they are in the past, aren’t they? I always try to tell myself that everything happens for a reason. It’s annoying when you’re in the moment still, but in my experience it all makes sense eventually. Maybe it takes longer than we want, you know? But I truly believe we make choices for a reason. Hugs to you xo

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