There is an epidemic that is quickly sweeping across the globe called Chronic Regret-itis (Pronounced Ree-gret-eye-tis) . The early stage symptoms of Regret-itis begin as nagging thoughts that keep reoccurring whenever certain situations provoke or trigger a longing for something different. These nagging thoughts can quickly erupt into a gruesome preoccupation with rambling about regrets over and over again.
The Rear View Mirroring Stage
The most common environments that breed Regret-itis have included marriages, jobs, education and even social groups. People can recognize the early stage of Regret-itis when there is more frequency using sentences that begin with “I wish I had…” or “I knew that I should have…” or “If I had only…. .” People frequenting these phrases are entering what is referred to as the Rear View Mirroring Stage . Those in the Rear View Mirroring Stage of Regret-itis spend significant time dwelling on (what they determine as) past mistakes. Rear View Mirroring is when thoughts are often preoccupied with looking at the past in longing for what they miss. People in this stage frequently walk into brick walls because they ignore what is in front of them.
The Agitated Discontentment Stage
If not successfully treated, the 1st Regret-itis Stage of Rear View Mirroring will advance to the 2nd stage of Agitated Discontentment. The 2nd Stage symptoms of Agitated Contentment may accompany having an uncontrollable compulsion to sing Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones song, “I can’t Get No Satisfaction.” People in the Agitated Discontentment stage have reported feeling that Mick Jagger is one of the few people who really understands them.
Those in the stage of Agitated Discontentment also tend to have difficulty receiving compliments. For example, if someone compliments this person’s hair style, s/he might reply, “You think so? I don’t really like it.” People struggling with the Agitated Discontentment stage of Regret-it is are able to find something wrong with just about everything. With the onset of these symptoms, a person should begin seriously considering treatment and recovery options.
The Thought Hijacks Stage
Those who progress to the final state of Regret-itis require skilled intervention, intensive detoxing and long term recovery. Unfortunately some people never fully recover from Regret-it is and become Chronic Regretful-arians.
The evidence that someone is in the most severe stages of Regret-itis include Thought Hijacks resulting in toxic self speak. The Thought Hijacks take control of good thoughts and rapidly reproduce toxic and regretful thoughts. Once these regretful thoughts are embedded they germinate into regretful words. Those in this severe Thought Hijacks stage of Regret-itis are often heard making statements such as:
“I really regret that I didn’t marry…”
I regret that I actually married…”
“Boy, I regret that I took this job.”
“Man, I regret that I passed up that position.”
“I regret that I never got my degree in…”
“ I regret that I spent all that money on this stupid degree, and can’t even get a doggone job anywhere with all this so-called knowledge, wasting my time in classes where I knew more than my instructor, and still have to pay off the student loans, etc….”
[Please excuse my slight moment of relapse there.]
Suggested Steps to Begin Recovery from Regret-itis
Recovery groups are forming all over the globe in order to offer support for those trying to cope with Regret-itis. If you can’t find a recovery group for this terrible affliction, start one. But if you simply cannot wait to join or start a Regret-itis recovery group, here are a few easy steps to begin your journey towards healing.
1) Make a list of all of your regrets (Hide the list so that no one can use it against you)
2) Go ahead and cry about your list of regrets all at once to start purging your system
3) Encourage yourself by telling yourself that what lies ahead in life is getting better for you
4) Write apology letters where needed- including one to yourself for being so regretful
5) Take 2 of whatever you can tolerate that’s good for you
6) Connect with the wonderfully positive community at New Skills University (You will not regret it.)
7) If this did not work and you still do not have a Regret-itis support group repeat steps 1 through 6
You should feel better in a few days after completing the steps listed. Share this article with someone that you want to encourage.
Finally, if you fear regretting what you learned about Regret-itis, just remember that (in the wise words of Dr. Who) “It’s OK because I’m a doctor.”