It’s been days, months, years. Whatever the time frame is, you know how long it has been because you unintentionally have been counting every single last second, minute and hour along with every breath you have taken since. You know the exact moment in time like it was yesterday, even if it was years ago, and you still know the little details, like what the weather was like and what time you woke up that morning.
You didn’t realize it at the time. You were upset, angry, frustrated. You blamed it on the other person. You blamed it on the situation. You blamed everything except yourself. And when that didn’t work, you blamed anything you could find in sight because there was no way it could have been all of your fault. It was there’s too, right? It takes two people, right?
Then time passed. They still refused to speak to you. You still were grieving. You didn’t understand why, you wish you would have taken it back. You would have done anything to go back to the day before it happened because that particular day was the best day of your life. All of the days before were the best days of your life. Until that one day, that one day when finally, months after the fact, you realized you screwed up.
When that moment hit, you collapsed. Maybe not physically, but mentally. When you realized that maybe you were the one who caused the problem, caused the harm and caused this never ending pain, you collapsed. You realized that there was no way to go back and no way to ever take back what you did or what you said.
So you found things to keep you busy. You found tons of hobbies, tons of places to travel, tons of hours at work to pick up. Anything, anything on earth, to keep your mind busy. To keep your mind away from the thought. To keep your mind at ease. And for a while, it worked. You traveled the world a bit, you learned a bunch of new skills, and you even found a new job.
But it doesn’t help. You still think back to that one day and the regret hits again. You feel even worse than you did before. Don’t they say that things are supposed to get better over time? Why wasn’t that happening with you? You followed all of the expert advice and even moved on with someone new, yet the whole time, all of you could think of was that one day and that one person. And you begin to wonder again, what if? What if I hadn’t said that? What if I hadn’t have done that? What if what if what if???
The pain never ends.
So don’t feel bad. And don’t think what if. Because the more you think about it, the worse it will get. You have to know that at some point in your life, your life will go on. Will there still be pain? Yes. Will you still always have the desire to run back to that person, to apologize, to try to mend all of the things that you broke? Yes. Will you always want to go back to that time of happiness? Yes.
Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. At some point in our lives, we discover that we must, at some point, mend ourselves. It will take years and it can take decades. And we will never truly forget that point in our lives that we hold so close, but life will continue. Maybe it does seem like it is continuing. I mean, you got a new job and you learned tons of new things, right? Keeping ourselves busy won’t mend the pain, it will just mask it. And you may continue to think about it everyday for the rest of your life.
At some point, you must forgive yourself. It won’t be easy. It’s easier to forgive others. But with ourselves, we never forget. We know what that pain felt like and we know how it still feels. But you must. You must accept yourself again, with or without that person in your life, and learn. Don’t expect it to be quick. You may not forgive yourself until the day you die, and that’s ok. It’s a process. Know that there will be a day when you can mentally and physically be you again and not have a looming guilt over yourself.
People all over the world have guilt in their heads for something, whether or not they like to admit it. There are people who have made worse mistakes than you have, and that’s important to know. Remember though, while it takes time, you are still alive. That’s pretty great—that even though things have been rocky and things have been torturous to you, but you are still alive. That other person doesn’t have to forgive you, and you are still alive.
So you haven’t forgiven yourself yet. You still count the days it has been. You still have the burning flame in your heart that wants to call them, to see them, to be with them again. And you don’t know if you ever will. And maybe you won’t. You don’t know what will happen in life. Maybe they will forgive you, and things will change for the better.
Know that whatever happens, you are here and you are alive and you are living. Know that everyone else who is reading this feels the same way you do. You are not alone, even though it sure as hell feels like it, and you are not the only one feeling the way you do. But you are alive. Don’t ever forget. Don’t ever forget the path you have taken since that moment, and that at this point in life, you are a different person because of it.
So let there be pain. And let there be heartbreak. And let there be sorrow. But don’t let there be sorrow because you haven’t apologized to yourself yet. And that’s ok. Everyday you wake up is another day to get closer to being ok again. Stay alive.