All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…

Six regrets from 2013

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Regret

One of the (many) erroneous life lessons my abuser tried to ‘teach me’ was that we are never – under any circumstances – allowed to have regrets. To her, they were a sign of weakness, an indicator of our fallibility; but this is the very reason I like having regrets; for they are the things that allow us to look back on our life, learn where we went wrong and grow as a result.

In essence, they are what make us human.

Every year, around this time, my mind begins searching back through the previous twelve months for all the mistakes and regrets I’ve made. Not because I’m a masochist who wants to dwell on such failures, but because it allows me the opportunity to grow and become someone better in the year ahead.

So, at the half way point in the Twelve Days of Christmas Blog Challenge, here are my six biggest regrets of 2013:

6. Not pushing myself harder when it came to exercising…

In the middle of 2013 I joined a gym for the first time in over seven years, and for the first couple of months that I was a member, I was a regular sight on the treadmills, weight machines and exercise bikes. However, as time pushed on, and I became more and more aware of my grotesque physical appearance, I allowed the body dysmorphia to win and refused to attend the gym. But as the year draws to an end – and I realise the monumental mistake that I made – I am hopeful that the New Year will see me able to push these negative thoughts from my mind and return to the gym on a regular basis.

5. Not putting myself out there in emails, social networking sites and blog comments…

As I have written extensively of in the past – including in a post specifically about it – my social anxiety extends beyond the real world into the cyber realm. When it comes to making myself heard in emails, blog comments or social networking sites, the gremlins spark up and inform me, in no uncertain terms, that I’m an effing failure that no-one in their right mind would want to have any contact with. Unfortunately, given their persistence, they usually win and I remain silent. However, as we approach a New Year, I am determined to give these pesky critters the spanking they deserve; I will not remain silent for another twelve months. I won’t!

4. Not going to the beach during my holiday to Melbourne…

Living, as I do, in the middle of the Australian bush, getting to the ocean is a little difficult for me. So when I travelled to Melbourne in November I fully intended to take some time to head down to the beach and bask on the glorious soft sand with my feet in the cool, Southern ocean. Alas, both time and energy impeded the realization of this goal. So, if I find myself back in Melbourne this year, I will definitely be seeking to make amends for this regret.

3. Not seizing the opportunities I had to cross item (1) from my bucket list…

Looking back, and with all honesty, I had three very good chances throughout 2013 to eliminate this item from my list. And on all three occasions the only thing that prevented me from doing so was money. Not mental health, not anxiety, not lack of confidence…money. As we progress into the New Year, I am more determined than ever to not let anything get between me and the achievement of this goal!

2. Not talking to anyone at the World Hearing Voices Congress…

Okay, so I did talk to some people, namely the rest of the Gateway Community Health contingent. But I didn’t talk to anyone new, despite their being several people I would have loved to talk to in more detail about their voice hearing experiences. With the congress taking place in Greece next year, it’s highly unlikely I will have the opportunity to attend, so I’m at a loss as to how to make up for this mistake; but I’m hoping to find a way, even if it means sending random emails to some of the speakers!

1. Not asking the woman I fancied out on a date…

Every year there is always one woman who steals my heart, one woman who takes control of my mind, one woman whom I lust after with scant regard to personal humility…and 2013 was no exception. I won’t give any names, I won’t even give clues to their identity, but being in her presence filled me with the sort of happiness that wouldn’t look out-of-place in chick-lit. She was intelligent, funny, engaging and compassionate on a level that is rare in today’s fast paced society. She was also completely and utterly out of my league; the sort of woman who would only be interested in a guy like me if I were the last human being on Earth.So, as with every year, I didn’t act on my feelings…and I’m getting tired of it! Next year I hope to at least ask if they’d like to have coffee and/or dinner with me, even if it means a completely humiliating shoot-down!

~◊~

Previous installments of the Twelve Days of Christmas Blog Challenge:

| Day One | Day Two | Day Three |
| Day Four | Day Five |

~◊~

Other wonderful bloggers participating in the Twelve Days of Christmas Blog Challenge:

| Marci, Mental Health and More | Many of Us |
| Looking for Lucy |

If I’ve missed you from the above list, please let me know in the comments field below and I’ll add you as soon as humanly possibly so everyone can read your magnificent responses! :)

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3 thoughts on “Six regrets from 2013

  1. I’ve been following your blog and Twitter posts for about a year. I’m just as ill as you are and am still recovering from a nervous breakdown I had in October of 2012. You have responded to my comments before, but you speak up to me as though I am better than you. I’m not. I’m the same. I’m older and have had a different life than you, but the schizophrenia, depression and anxiety have rendered me disabled from ever working again. I admire you and what you do to keep going and want to do something to help people like us as well. I enjoy your posts and feel a kinship with you. Keep it up and be grateful Christmas is over for another year.

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    • Thank you for your kind comment! :)

      For a long time I’ve felt inferior to pretty much everyone, in fact a large part of my social anxiety comes from thinking everyone is superior to me, a belief that was strengthed by my abuser as she created an inferiority complex within me so that she could retain control over me and the relationship. This feeling of inferiority is something that effects both my online writing (such as how I’ve responded comments) and my real-life relationships, as I feel inferior to all the people who attend the support groups I go to. I’m just not sure how to tackle it, so if anyone has any tips and/or advice, they would be most welcome!

      Like many, I am eternally grateful that Christmas is over for another year, and am looking forward to facing the challenges 2014 has to offer! :)

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  2. Addy- start with one person who you feel less intimidated by. Maybe someone in one of your groups or someone who comments on your blog (like me). You don’t have much trouble expressing yourself here, so maybe the lack of physical contact is an advantage to you. By the way, it was Robert Carlyle who pointed me to your blog. Thought you might want to know.

    My therapist helped me redefine what it means to be useful. I was feeling pretty useless on disability. I’m doing much better now about this and my depression is lifting. For me, feeling useful is about helping somebody else. You are helping me and many others. If you can connect with just one person and not feel too inferior because you keep up the contact, I would be happy to be that person. I like to chat privately on Facebook.

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