I wish I could have a do-over at life. I would have gotten my college degree in something I was passionate about and not let fear guide me to a “safe” option. I would have pursued help for my mental health earlier so that I didn’t suffer as long and have it take its toll on my friendships, marriage, and motherhood. I would have pushed harder and sooner to get the best help for my son’s many life-long struggles.
I hear people all the time say, “I have no regrets. My experiences made me who I am today.” I get that, but I also don’t. Life could have been better. Relationships could have remained intact. I’m not saying the struggles shouldn’t have existed, but rather the period of time experiencing them could have been greatly reduced.
Take, for example, getting mental health help. I didn’t seek help until I was grown, married, and a new mother. I struggled in silence when I grew up due to the stigma surrounding depression and other types of mental illness. So, as a grown woman, when I reached a point of breakdown, I finally sought help. Unfortunately, I sought help from a general practitioner who gave me meds and didn’t suggest anything else. It just wasn’t exactly helping as it should. This was the beginning of a decade-long search for the right help and right diagnosis while sometimes succumbing to breakdowns and fighting suicidal tendencies. So, yes, I regret that I lost so many years to a personal mental health crisis. That’s a decade of marriage and a decade of motherhood that suffered, as well.
So, as a single 40-something-year-old, I’m learning to live for my son and for myself. Yes, my son is technically an adult…but still battling quite a few hardships. I believe he’ll overcome some and adapt or cope with others; he’s still on that road. My goal for him is to not have to struggle another decade into adulthood as I did.