NHBPM – Health Moment Regrets

Welcome. This post is part of the WEGO Health National Health Blog Post Month (NHBPM) challenge for November, 2012.

I don’t really subscribe to having regrets. For me, the life event has to be extremely serious to have regrets. Even then, our choices are defined by who we are and the circumstances. When we look back at what we call regrets we have to remember such things as:

  • did we have all the information we needed to make a decision,
  • were we emotionally/mentally mature to make a decision,
  • did we have the resources available to us (e.g. financial, family support) so that we could make a decision.

Thinkexist.com has the following meaning and definition for regret:

  1. (v.) Pain of mind on account of something done or experienced in the past, with a wish that it had been different; a looking back with dissatisfaction or with longing; grief; sorrow; especially, a mourning on account of the loss of some joy, advantage, or satisfaction.
  2. (v. t.) To experience regret on account of; to lose or miss with a sense of regret; to feel sorrow or dissatisfaction on account of (the happening or the loss of something); as, to regret an error; to regret lost opportunities or friends.
  3. (v.) Dislike; aversion.

I think having regrets is something that mentally and emotionally holds some of us back. We naturally look back at what could have been or how things could have been better. But, we made choices at the time based on different factors. We may not make the same choices today, but that is something that comes with time and experience.

It is with that thinking that I say I have no health moment regrets. It would be very easy to say that I have regrets because it took five years before doctors figured out what was wrong with me. With the passage of time, it would also be very easy to play the blame game.

But, I look back and remember that my original symptoms were common to many diseases and that at the beginning everyone, including me, thought it was a bad case of the flu that lasted longer than normal. As time went on and I wasn’t able to go back to work, the doctors ran more tests to rule things in or out. One of the first doctors gave me very good advice. He said that doctors don’t know everything, are always referring to books and look to other doctors for help and guidance in treating the patient.

Life isn’t perfect, but we have to remember to keep things in perspective and remember that we made choices based on how things actually were and how we were at the time. It’s OK to look back and say we would have made different decisions if had more information, had support or were more mature. It’s OK to even admit you were afraid to make some choices.

But we can’t let the choices we made in the past control how we are in the present. We have to live being proactive, not reactive.

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4 comments

  1. I’m trying hard to let go of regrets (which are tied in with guilt in my case). As you say, they do hold you back.
    I can feel like something is fated, nothing happens without a cause and effect — a sorta karma.
    Then there are times it just seems like the chaos theory; no pattern.
    When I read your prompt today, all of a sudden Frank Sinatra (I think) singing the song with the line: “Regrets, I’v had a few, but too few to mention.
    You got good advice — doctors don’t know everything!

    1. Yes, it is Frank Sinatra. As I started reading that, all I could hear is the way he sing the words “MY WAY” at the end of the song.

      Which is the way I think we should deal with many things, anyway. Trust our gut feelings. We may not know specifically why some things happen or didn’t happen and we may never know. But, we have to make informed decisions on what we know. We can’t linger on the past. It’s sometimes too easy to live there.

  2. Like your post very much. What you say makes me think.

    The only regrets I have is when I didn’t learn from my choices or experiences. Yet, there is always another opportunity to learn if I didn’t get it the first time.
    Regret I believe should be for making choices, unintentional or intentional that are harmful to others, rather then ourselves.

    1. Thanks. This was an interesting prompt to think about and not just from a health aspect. I think people, in general, are too hard on themselves to begin with. It should be the rare times where we truly have regrets. But, it is a word that I believe is used too often, the same way “love” is so easily used.

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