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Of all the things we use our drugs of choice to cope with, our regret might be one of the most painful. We live with intense regret for the harmful things we’ve done and the ways in which we’ve hurt people. We regret all the things we wish we had done and said but weren’t able to. Our regret can consume us, filling us with sadness, grief, anxiety, embarrassment, guilt and shame. We feel a deep sense of remorse. Sometimes our regret makes us feel bitter, poisoning our ability to move forward in our lives and find happiness. We turn to addictive substances and behaviors, as well as unhealthy relationships, to try and mask the pain of our regret. How can we deal with our regret in healthier ways?

It might help us to process our regret to remind ourselves that everything happens as it’s meant to. Whatever we’ve done, we were meant to do. Whatever we haven’t done, we weren’t meant to. Even though that can sting, and can be hard to swallow, over time it can help ease the pain of regret to realize that our lives are unfolding by divine guidance and through the power of our will. We have to find acceptance. We have to learn to live with the unanswered questions, the uncertainty and the disappointment of regret. We have to find a way to be comfortable with the discomfort, the ache of regret. We have to reconcile our regret, which keeps us locked in the past, with our desire to move forward. We want to get unstuck and remove ourselves from the cycles of regret, disappointment and shame. What are the lessons and spiritual tests hidden within our regret? What are we meant to learn? How can we use the pain of our regret to strengthen our vision for ourselves and our lives? How can we use our regret to serve and help others? Can we use our experiences to teach others not to make our same mistakes?

When we’re filled with regret, we’re often also very angry, at ourselves, at other people, at life, at our higher power. We feel robbed of opportunities. We feel burdened by bad luck. We feel ashamed of ourselves and disappointed in ourselves. How would it feel to soften our approach and try to have more compassion and understanding for ourselves and for the situation at hand? Might it help to start thinking about things differently?

“That was meant to happen. I was meant to experience that. I was meant to do that. Everything happens as it’s meant to. Everything is unfolding exactly as it should.”

The community of Riverside Recovery has personal experience with addiction and the feelings of hopelessness and disconnection that come with it. We’re here to help you reclaim the life you love. Call (800) 871-5440 today.