Monday, 9 October 2017

No More Regrets

Well howdy doody and how are you? Can you believe I said 'howdy doody'? I don't even know what it means! Never mind.

I am  here to talk about regrets. I have blogged about this before and came up with a whole list which you can read here.

The thing is, I re-read the list and thought about it some more. Because I love to over think things. And I began to wonder.  The root cause at the crux of some of these regrets is my ongoing battle with anxiety.

The question I'm asking myself is this: is anxiety something you regret? I mean, if you have an anxiety disorder it's not really your fault, though it is your responsibility. Fault/blame and responsibility are two different things to my mind. You can't be blamed for struggling with such a thing, but you are responsible for managing it.

Considering that my anxiety is clearly linked to the fact that I'm autistic and that is to do with the way my  brain is wired, saying I regret certain things where anxiety is at play is almost like regretting my entire existence.

I guess I'm not making much sense. Bear with me. I mean, looking at that old list I made a lot decisions based on fear and not being able to manage negative emotions. But at the time, I didn't understand that. Perhaps I didn't have the maturity or the knowledge. I mean, I didn't even know that I'm autistic until I was 40!

And even when I knew that I had an anxiety disorder, I didn't really accept it truly and properly. When anxiety in the form of panic attacks first tapped me on the shoulder many years ago, I thought of it as something more like a broken arm or a virus. Eventually it would clear off and that would be the end of it. But as anyone who struggles with this beast knows, it simply doesn't work that way.

It's only through accepting it about yourself and taking responsibility for managing it can you move forward and live a decent life. And honestly, looking back on it, I wasn't even given adequate treatment at first. It was only through my own perseverance that I kept going and trying things. Nobody ever even suggested that I see some one or pursue any help. It's almost like you're not taken seriously with these things if you're a woman... Especially one like me who has been a stay at home parent for many years. Anyway, I was trying to make a point but as usual I am rambling!

I'm just wondering about the futility of regretting things in life when you're an autistic human who has an anxiety disorder. I can say that I regret anxiety taking over my life, but at the same time, I was never given the correct tools to address it.  Somehow it seems that I've had to be very resourceful in trying to help myself and come to terms with it.

I've had six years to digest my diagnonsense and it still seems like there are often things I have to figure out and try to come to terms with.

I'm not organised. I am not a happy bubbly type. I don't know how to put it into words without sounding really negative. I am not really the person who would ever take off and go trekking by myself or do big gutsy brave things. I am not loud or opinionated or ballsy. And while I admire people who are, I can only be myself.  I am stuck being myself. A lot of times I think I should be things like confident and positive and I'm just not.

It's like if some people work out something they want to do they seem to know exactly what to do and the steps to take and then sustain it. I'm not like that. I can do certain things at times for periods of time, but not sustain it long-term. I can do one thing really well for a while. I can't do all the things.

Having anxiety and being autistic and introverted and all those things takes up a great deal of energy. I am who I am. And it is what it is.

It sounds odd, but I've realised I have to forgive myself for a lot of my perceived regrets or mistakes I made.

Ultimately I have wonderful parents, Mickey Blue Eyes and the boys and a small circle of family and friends who care about me and mean the world to me. And I want to concentrate on that. I did make some good decisions in life. Not that I want to bang on about cancer all the time, but having a brush with it certainly makes you realise you don't want to waste energy on a bunch of regrets.

But I do regret the 'howdy doody' thing. That was pretty dumb.

What about you?

What is your attitude towards regrets? 


  1. Lol re the howdy doody regret. I often joke that I don't have the focus required to regret things & I think that's partially true. Sometimes some of the things I've charged off & done that people tell me they think I'm brave about, I consider reckless, misguided & unthinking. I don't regret the outcomes, but I sometimes wonder whether it's my way of running away from something by running towards something else. Yeah, makes no sense, I know.

  2. LOL, I do regret the Howdy Doody thing.
    My attitude towards regret: My fear is the regret of NOT having done something. Anything else is just a lesson in life.
    Thanks for sharing this post and letting us inside Ness.

  3. This is very interesting and complex. I may be back to change my response once I've contemplated it longer. I think for now, my off the cuff response is regret can be also viewed as comfortable with your mistakes. You could have done better (or without anxiety) but you are content with the outcome none the less. I think without anxiety, we all make mistakes or choices that mean we miss out on experience but we are not mauled by that loss, we are happy enough with the path we took instead....I don't think it's lacking reflection, it's contentedness in imperfection.

  4. What's wrong with a good doody? :)

    I don't think being outgoing is the be all to end all. It's just one way of being.

  5. Oh I don't think anxiety (or depression etc) is something you should / could regret. Perhaps you can regret not seeking help or something but to me regret is kind of pointless anyway. It's too late if it's something we've done or not done. What we can do though is learn from it and change our approach to the future!

    1. I agree, Deborah! You've explained it perfectly for me.

      SSG xxx

  6. Howdy doody to you :) I think you DO need to forgive yourself - you haven't made any mistakes, you're living your life in a way that makes you happy with the information you have at the time. You can't regret what you don't know. And you can't regret being yourself, when you're so wonderful. x x

  7. Oh my goodness Ness, so many bloggers (and I am one) love you and your writing. You always make me think and smile and then I get a little sad that you can be so hard on yourself. I think, for someone who has lived her life without a diagnosis that now makes sense you have struggled in a world not make for people who need some tender care. You need to be the one who gives yourself this. Give yourself some compassion. If you want to go further with how this can happen, check out self and the work of Dr Kristen Neff. You can take an on-line quiz too. She has had to manage her life (now) around her autistic son. I would suggest you might find her work, real life experiences and research compelling! Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek 39/52. Next week: Letter to My 20 year old Self.

  8. I loved that Brene Brown quote - I like to think I have regrets, but don't let them bind me and keep me from doing what I want and should in the present. Does that make sense?

  9. Haha I say "howdy doody" and it used to amuse my workmates no end, that and the fact that I would say goodbye at the end of the day by saying "Ciao-dy bye bye!"