Regret and Worry

There are times when I get frustrated with people.  Some of those times are when they tell me some moment in their lives that they regret.  Or sometimes it’s when they tell me about an upcoming whatzit that they really are super worried about.

When I hear them talk like that, I feel they are wasting such precious time and emotional energy.  They’re giving space and consideration to things that they can do nothing about.  It’s things that they have zero influence over, and still they fret and think and wear themselves down.

[To be clear, when I talk about worry, I mean looking forward to an event that they cannot (or even will not) do anything about.  If they are able to affect the outcome by their actions, then it’s no longer worry.  It then becomes concern and thoughtful proaction.  I’m cool with that.  We should all be the authors of our own destinies and despise the passive attitude of simply letting life happen to us.]

Regret is worry in the other direction.  (And vice-versa.)  Regret is the act of putting your mistakes in their own viewing gallery.  Sometimes you replay the scene, expecting a different outcome, and get disappointed when it always ends up the same. LIKE HISTORY TYPICALLY DOES.  Mistakes are great.  They’re what make us better now.  That person you were?  Young and stupid.  The person you are?  Smart and attractive.  Because you learned from your mistakes.  But those mistakes should still not be given the time and attention that Regret demands.  They should be filed away in a cabinet, forgotten until you need to refer to them, and then stuffed back into that fucking cabinet.

What makes me such an expert on this subject?  I would retort, “Why not me?”  Is there some kind of Harvard-educated ‘regret petit bourgeois’ that can lay a better claim as expert on this subject?  I’ve done my share of worrying and regretting.  I’ve come out of those moments feeling just as shitty as when I began, and I actively try to avoid doing it anymore.  Mostly I think I succeed.  And I think I’ve benefited from the emotional savings.

On the other hand, I do know that worry and regret can force themselves upon you without warning and without asking your permission.  I know that some people may have a much more difficult time with it than I have.  On that front, I don’t claim to be an expert at all, and would perhaps even suggest a counselor.  I would go so far as to say that knowing what regret and worry can do to your mental health is the first step in getting a handle on it.  And knowing that you can take control of your thoughts is another step.

I may go further on my mental health journey by trying meditation.  My mind goes about 500 miles per hour sometimes, so it might be good to do a routine slowing down session.  Whatcha think?  Any suggestions on how to start something like that?

6 thoughts on “Regret and Worry

  1. That is frustrating to hear about. I certainly know some “dark clouds” that complain more than they take action. It’s hard to be around, especially when it’s me. I do most of my worrying internally, but I tend to do something about it eventually. Usually not quick enough though.

    Medication can be a huge help to some and a hindrance to others. The only thing I suggest is starting the medication journey at a time you are less likely to need to be fully present. Most people need to try several different medications, some may have drastic side effects, before finding one the works for them or deciding that they can do something other than medicate.

    For me, ADD medications turned me into a zombie or I was dead asleep. With the first medication I could not stay awake for longer than a few hours at a time. With the second medication it felt time was floating by me as slow as a snail and I had a hard time emoting at all. I felt so distant I could not focus making the medication useless for me, but it helps a great many people. They have some new stimulant free ones I have yet to try, but as an adult with responsibilities and nobody to reply on but myself that is not a road I can travel down at this time.

    I will struggle with ADD all my life, but I have found organizational techniques that help. I have found that I am a visual person so I need to see my “to do list”. I need visually appealing environments to work in or else I will get frustrated quicker and sometimes even depressed. One just has to pay attention to ones self and learn what helps them medicated or not, ADD or depression, or something else.


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