REGRET

Regrets – unlike Frank Sinatra – I have more than a few – or perhaps I only have one – my life and how I have wasted it.

It was once said that the Spartans would leave their babies on a mountainside to sort the weak from those who would thrive – it now seems that this is a myth, but at my lowest I have agreed with the Spartans – as a sickly child I would have been thrown off that mountain.

A combination of nature and nurture, of depression and eating disorders and of my crippling fear and anxiety led me to my life today. Most particularly to my career or more accurately my job. Even I recognise that my talents and qualifications should have led me somewhere more rewarding – in every sense of the word.

I would like to believe that we live in a world where there is always a second chance – but my every experience has told me that this too is a myth. In a country where almost half of young people have degrees, where the youngest child has a social media brand and where interns work long hours for little or even no money – frankly no-one wants a 50 something woman with little relevant experience. In Hollywood they say that there is always someone younger, thinner and blonder – and cheaper! In the competitive world of work getting that interesting rewarding opportunity is like landing a starring role.

So how do I live with these regrets? Withdraw and resign myself to a life unlived – keep trying and living with rejection or seek other avenues – meeting people who took those opportunities and feeling my self-esteem diminish even more. How do I avoid the hours spent ruminating on the life that could have been – waiting for the dawn and another day to endure.

I will hold on to my recovery, try to live a mindful life and fight to stop myself jumping into that pit of depression, into a darkness that at times seems to welcome me, so accustomed am I to its safe embrace.

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