I must be addicted to regret. Addicted to guilt. Remorse. Fantasizing in the present about some future based on actions never taken in the past. There’s no other explanation other than addiction. I must be getting something out of it. What?! I don’t know! There needs to be some twisted reward mechanism in place, no? Why else would I keep doing it? Instigating situations that promote future dissatisfaction through present inaction. And it’s that inaction which I get the most regret of all. I regret inaction more than I do the actions I’ve taken, rarer though they are.
I’m usually stopped dead in my tracks by an over-active imagination that kicks in if my gut instinct isn’t followed almost immediately after the initial tug. Friends of mine are quite vocal about it often being better to apologize than to ask for permission. I suppose that has merit. But I can’t imagine that tactic lasting too long with certain people. Then again taking risks requires no permission, just impetus, recoiled potential waiting to spring into actuality, and is sometimes the more attractive trait.
I was in a dysfunctional relationship over a patient period of two years. I stuck around that long due to inaction. I found it easier to ignore and mind-less the behavior and let-it-go (as an enabling co-dependent would do). As for the healthiest relationship I have ever had my non-action prevented reevaluating plans needing wise reassessment. Instead, I kept on the path, scared and scarred from other relationships where I permitted myself to stray “off the path” for the sake of my keen interest in another.
I failed to recognize where I was at the time and found myself reacting to regrets from past relationships affecting my present relationship adversely, which undoubtedly affected its future. A future where my regret is that I let-it-go in the past.
It then occurred to me. The dysfunctional relationship had nothing to hope for, nothing to really build on. I couldn’t rate it. It felt hopeless and a big mistake from the get-go, I was just too stubborn to let-it-go. It was what it was for as long as it was. And it went as long as I did. My regret was not getting out sooner as I stayed longer than I should have.
As a result, my mental outlook hangs onto some rhetorical prejudice about relationships and needing to bail out early; to leave before everyone’s time and energy is wasted. So then the flip side happens. I’m in the most healthy place mentally and emotionally speaking. That type of energy brings about a relationship that is worth having. Worth building upon. But I’m still prejudiced from past experience to bail early before everyone time and energy is wasted. And I react and behave to that affect and end. I don’t reevaluate what’s happening. I just remember what happened when reevaluations got me in the past.
And because it’s a healthy relationship that is sacrificed, it’s that passing moment that spoiled great potential, recoiled and ready, but blocked and restrained and tripped over, just to watch time go by. Those healthy moments need to be taken hold of and never let-go, not in a controlling manner but more akin to holding something close to one’s heart.
So given what is lost, I wonder why I am addicted to the feeling of remorse. It seems that in either case I put myself in a situation that promotes such a feeling. That squeezing in the chest, up the back of the throat. A somewhat sickening feeling. It is though completely different than holding a love close to the heart. It’s the disheartening feeling that this particular person is lost from me forever. I suppose that sensation of brutal remorse is due to “love” if anything. It’s a different feeling that I had when I finally got out of the dysfunctional relationship. Much different. That was a feeling of relief. That I could breath again. This is almost like I want to embrace holding my breath.
I could try to ignore it and move forward. Many friends often suggest just that. Belated love express all too little too late after all attempts to ignore and distract myself from this feeling; now I have no choice. I need to go through it. I didn’t express it in time and now, without distractions, I’m left with the reality of my decisions and current circumstance.
There is no return to last save option in life, like in a game. Each present moment needs requires meditation.
I don’t know what the ‘answer’ would be. But the healthiest choice, seems to me, is to work toward a return to healthy living, and at least be there, rather than reveling in a feeling that is more associated with inaction in the moment than anything else.
“I’d rather be sorry than safe.”
To that end I should take the risk, perhaps too late. Wish I reevaluated. Wish I stayed. Wish I listened to her most of all.
Thank you for reading.