I could be swallowed up by the regret, be dragged way down into the pits of despair – if I lingered on it for too long.
The remorse has only come with the recovery. It’s the one saving grace – because it means that I’m moving in the right direction.
Even though it hurts like hell.
When I reach the other side, it will be worth it.
This is what my recovery has often been like. A painful awakening, an uncomfortable admission, the harsh candour of reality.
At first, it led to retreat. And then, I realised that the retreat only made it worse – like bandaging a wound without cleaning it up: the infection just goes deeper.
And so now, I am dealing with it; day by day, emotion by emotion. And I am reminding myself that avoidance is futile – and that the discomfort is a sign of recovery.
But it would be easy to be swallowed up by the regret.
Because, when the clouds start falling away, it’s the wasted opportunities that make me want to cry, it’s the loss that is so difficult to stomach.
Friendships, ignored; experiences, put off; life, on perpetual hold – for what? A piece of cake and the desperation to be thin? A misguided belief that you are what you eat?
But you can’t turn back the clock; and, you can’t sink in remorse – it’s part of recovery.
Even though it makes you angry and frustrated and oh so bitterly bitterly sad.
Because it means that you’re healing. It means that you’re starting to fight the infection.
And it means that you won’t make the same mistakes again.
Remorse is memory awake,
Her companies astir,
A presence of departed acts
At window and at door.
Its past set down before the soul,
And lighted with a match,
Perusal to facilitate
Of its condensed despatch.
Remorse is cureless,the disease
Not even God can heal;
For ’t is His institution,
The complement of hell.