Hindsight is a wonderful thing isn’t it? You can look back on past mistakes and wish you had done differently, or you can realise that actually, everything both good and bad happens for a reason and move on from the past.
Don’t get me wrong, I get that it’s sometimes easier said than done to do this, but through my CBT sessions, I have realised how damaging it can be to hold onto regrets.
As with most things, I find it easier to move on once I have gotten things out in the open, so I thought I would share with you the 5 things I would tell my younger self, not to prevent things happening, but to realise that they happened for a reason, and ultimately strengthened me as a person.
1) What Happened to You Isn’t OK, But You Are Strong & Will Get Through This
When I was younger, I was abused by a relative. It was horrible, and it really messed my head up for a long, long time.
I blamed myself, and I didn’t tell anybody, not even my mum, as I was scared of the person that did it to me.
I finally reported it to the police recently, but the case was dropped, which was heartbreaking.
It has been very difficult, but I have finally come to the realisation that what happened was not a reflection on me, I am not to blame, the person who did those things to me is the only one to blame, and ultimately it has made me a stronger person.
2) Being Bullied Doesn’t Have to Define You
When I was at school, I was bullied on a few occasions, throughout primary and secondary school, right into sixth form.
It was horrible, and it affected my confidence for years. If I am honest, it still affects me to this day, but I am trying to put a stop to it.
Being bullied doesn’t make you a weak person, it is a reflection of those bullying you, not yourself.
The girls who bullied me were the ones in the wrong. Nothing I did ‘asked’ me to be bullied by them. They had no right to do what they did.
3) He May Seem Like ‘The One’ Now, but He Really Isn’t
My first relationship was a complete drama from start to finish. We had so many breakups, we were like Ross & Rachel but without the happy ending.
At the time I thought he was truly ‘the one’, the love of my life, but we hurt each other very badly, cheating on each other with friends, saying things we knew would hurt the most.
We broke up for a long period of time at one point, and I stupidly thought we belonged together and worked at getting him back, only to realise that actually, I had been much better off without him.
We finally split up shortly after my eighteenth birthday, but it was only once I met Ed that I realised what I had felt for this guy wasn’t ‘true love’, it was those feelings of first love, infatuation, and the drama of the on-off relationship which had made me want him so badly.
4) This Pregnancy will be the Best Thing to Happen to You, Trust Me
I fell pregnant with my eldest son when I was in my third year of university, single, and more than a little messed up following a bad break up the month before.
Looking at me on paper, you would think having a baby would be the worst decision I could make. However, I think that finding myself pregnant, and having to grow up fast, and make some important changes to my lifestyle, was actually the best thing that could have happened to me.
Cameron saved me from myself. Being a mum changed me in a good way. I had been incredibly selfish before I fell pregnant, and once I had a baby who relied on me, I became a much better person.
5) You’re Making a Mistake, But That’s OK!
I started dating my ex husband when Cameron was a year old, and I rushed head first into things without thinking anything through properly.
By the time I had stopped to assess the situation, I found myself pregnant with Carly. I pushed aside my true feelings, and tried to make things work with her dad, but deep down I knew he wasn’t the right man for me.
Our marriage lasted less than a year, and at the time I had huge regrets and felt awful for having gone through with it.
Perhaps I should have had the courage to be honest about how I felt, but at the time it didn’t seem like an option. I was scared of being on my own, feeling I was better with somebody, than with nobody at all.
It was only when I found Ed that I realised how happy the right person can make you feel. I have no ill feelings towards my ex. We are much happier than we were when we were together, and the children are happier as a result too.
Everything really does happen for a reason, and if you make mistakes, you will learn from them.