My son started on a medication and one of the side effects is nightmares. I sure do not need medications for those and sometimes I do not even need to be asleep. During the day I can walk into the kitchen and completely forget why I am in there but boy in the darkness and the quiet I can remember every mistake I have ever made in the past 30 yrs. If only I had one of those erase buttons that I could just take out the bad stuff…come to think of it though if we are talking about mistakes…there would not be much left. That is something I have always struggled with…looking back and it is the worst possible thing to do. I am fully aware that I cannot change it…there is no rewind or re-do, but my mind still loves to torment me by visiting the worst places.
Thankfully I have gained more control over my thoughts, but I don’t think I will ever reach a point where my buddy will let me be…guilt. It is like a natural feeling that has just become part of who I am. Whether you suffer from depression, bipolar or anxiety, life can be one huge OOPS! It can be so difficult to not get fixated when we make a huge oops. When we say or do something we should not have or when we hurt those we love…sorry never seems to be enough for us. The person involved can forget the issue within minutes but we can spend weeks beating ourselves up about it. There is one thing I truly believe…when someone with a mental illness says sorry…they mean it with all their heart and soul.
If somebody else crucified us for mistakes like we do, we would be mortified, but we say those things to ourselves as a default. Guilt is poison, end of story! I always remind myself that I never do things in malice…my brain just happens to have some screwy neurons that make me say and do things that just may not be appropriate or understood. I think the biggest hurdle I had in reaching a state of recovery was forgiving myself…that is one huge sucker mountain, but for the sake of avoiding being eaten from the inside out, I had to. I was in many a bad places and what happened was out of my control and I have accepted that…most of the time anyways. If we do not learn to forgive ourselves, we end up on a hamster wheel..mistake…guilt…mistake…guilt.
I still sometimes get caught up but rather than a destructive guilt, it is more of a regret…it does not hurt so badly.I apologize but then I have to move on for my own mental health. I try to avoid self-destruction, which is exactly what guilt will do. I know that as I move forward, I always try to do better and there is the key…moving forward. Don’t look back there is nothing healthy for you there unless it is cherished memories. I know for me life is a roller coaster, but it keeps moving ahead. Each day I wake and start a new ride. When the nightmares come, I am fortunate in that I have prayer that I can turn to. I will put on my headphones with some music and focus on some peace as I fall asleep. Then I wake up and hit the ride again, but one thing I can say for sure…life sure never gets boring!