Thursday, April 5, 2012

Something I Wish I Could Forget/Something I Regret

I have encountered numerous discussions about this topic and I always come to the same conclusion.  The issue is organizing my thoughts.  Every life story, including my own, is powerful. Circumstances or actions that people consider regretful are often learning experiences, which form those stories.  All 24 years of my life have affected who I am today. Of course there are times I wish I had made different decisions or that there was an alternative outcome at the end of my actions, but those changes would likely alter the person that I am today and I am not okay with that.  Hindsight is 20/20 though.  Looking back I have more information, more experience, more wisdom, so different actions/thoughts make sense.

In high school I suffered with severe depression and the spring of my senior year I attempted to take my own life (blog post for another time).  I spent two days in intensive care and two days in a mental health unit.  I encountered various people including other patients, therapists, doctors, nurses, etc. The first boy I met upon entering the mental unit was a cutter (self-injury) and both his forearms were covered in scabs.  Individuals from 14 to 84 years old were in the unit.  I begged my parents not to leave me there.  It was one of the few times I saw my dad have watery eyes.  My time there seemed so trivial.  My boyfriend at the time called me at the hospital to end our relationship.  We made rice krispie bars and colored..  I remember trying to tell my psychiatrist what he wanted to hear so I'd be able to go home.  Looking back I believe I honestly had no idea what I was doing, even though at the time I thought I had everything under control.  I was stuck in this all-consuming, drowning, draining mental illness.

With that, I make the assumption some people would want to change that difficult part of their life, at least they wouldn't attempt to take their own life.  I know my family would prefer it was not part of their memory and I wish that I hadn't put them through it.  I know it was a difficult experience for my siblings.  For me though it was the start of recovery.  I know it was a cry for help and I'm so incredibly thankful that it was unsuccessful.  It was the start of understanding the importance of expressing my feelings instead of bottling them up.  Without this experience I wouldn't be able to communicate with my husband as well as I do, which would put a strain on our marriage.  I appreciate life so much more because of this experience and it also put a soft spot in my heart for teenagers experiencing similar issues.  I have had the privilege of working with a handful of students who have similar stories as my own.  This was also the start of understanding that perfection is not an attribute a human can achieve.  I started to let go of getting perfect grades, being the perfect daughter and "fixing" others.  I stress this was only a starting point.  I'm still working on letting go.

More insignificant occurrences in my life do cause me to look back and say that I wish they had happened differently, but then I have to ask myself at what cost?  I forgot a friend's birthday last year, I kissed more boys than I wish I had in high school and forgot a few friends on my wedding invite list.  Sure not my shining moments, but they made me appreciate my friends, my family and my husband.  They make me understand the importance of saying I'm sorry.  They make me appreciate God's promises and God's plan for my life.  I know He's looking out for me.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. - John 10:10               

Lastly... if we forgot our mistakes and our accomplishments wouldn't we just be shells of people?  Wouldn't we continually repeat the same mistakes? 

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