I think we all probably could have a lot of Regret if we allowed ourselves. We can be rough on ourselves too as chronics. We have to give up a lot; we miss a lot out of life; we lose a lot of friends (or I guess they weren't true friends to begin with, but it still hurts); our family gets smaller (they stop calling, stop listening--if we were lucky to have them ever start listening--they simply fade into the distance); our dreams disappear or remain just that--dreams; our goals become inconceivable; life becomes less fun; and the world becomes smaller.
I believe that when we start to think and feel this way, that is when we begin to regret things in life that we have done or that we never achieved. We start feeling this darkness, this sadness, emptiness, and we feel like we can't get out of this dark hole of dwelling on all of this "stuff." That is when the regret enters the dark hole with us...
...Remember when you were a young girl?...You were such a beautiful, delicate ballet dancer. You were SO young then. You danced at the performing arts studio three hours a night and went to school. You had so much energy then! Remember when you were in contests and shows and tours with professional ballet companies? The GRACE was flowing through your veins, and I do believe you were high on life! You were so joyous then, and the music was a part of you. Flowing, floating, leaping, bending; strong, determined, directed, creative; over-achiever, highly-commended!
You had such talent! You were so far ahead of the other young girls your age. You could have made it so far. What if you continued further as a dancer? Where would you be today, Dana? If you didn't stop dancing so young, would you have been able to still be a ballerina? Well, probably not, but if you stuck with it, you could have gotten in at least another five years, maybe ten. But you were a quitter!!! Quitter, quitter, quitter! You will never know now how far you would have made it with your exams with the Royal Ballet in London. Sure, your first time, you got Honors--not one point taken off for anything--not for the written part, the oral part or the dancing part. And of course you got Highly-Commended for your second exams because you got one point taken off, and I bet you even remember what it was for. Don't you? What if you kept dancing. Would you have continued to do well on your exams? Would you have continued to move up? You will never know, will you?
I'm here now to help you remember all that joy that ballet gave you. I'm here to remind you that you quit before you were too sick to keep dancing. Then you actually were too sick and had to stop your love for ballet. Now I'm here to really rub your nose in it. You can't go back and do it over. You don't get to press rewind and play it all over again. It's too late!! Quitter, quitter, quitter! (by: Regret)
After Regret makes you feel horrible about yourself for a decision that you made years and years ago, then you start to focus only on that. This is the one thing that always allows Regret to grab hold of me. I loved ballet with a passion that I cannot even put into words. I dream about dancing when I sleep at night (well when I do sleep, which is rare these days). I dwell on it so much sometimes when Regret gets the best of me, that I can't stop sobbing. The tears flow. I gasp for air. I can never be that ballerina again...
I am not even graceful anymore. My own husband never knew me as a ballerina. I think that's sad because that really is the true me. I will always be that ballerina deep inside. I just can never again glide across the stage on my toes, leap high into the arms of a gentleman dancer who catches me safely, or twirl so fast that my head whips quickly so I can spot something on the side that I'm turning toward so I don't get dizzy. My feet ache so badly from plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis, and my toes all have arthritis in them. I have a hip and a shoulder replacement, and my neck will never "whip" again because of the arthritis and bulging disk in my neck and lower back.
Just so everyone knows, I stopped dancing for a boy...I had a boyfriend who played hockey. I wanted to watch his practice and his games, so I QUIT ballet! Yes, I really was a quitter! I was young, so I didn't think I was never going to have the chance to go back to ballet. I thought I had all the time in the world. I Regret thinking that way...
From here on out, I will never not do something or put something off or quit something because I think I could take care of it at a later date. Anything can happen. My Avascular Necrosis happened, and it happened very quickly in six joints, and psoriatic arthritis happened, and then psoriatic spondylitis happened, and sjogren's happened, and fibromyalgia happened, and hypertension happened, and endometriosis happened, and hemiplegic migraines happened, and pseudo tumor cerebri happened, and a hip replacement happened, and a shoulder replacement happened, and all the surgeries, meds, and side effects that go with it all happened!!!!!
I have realized that if we look back at everything that we missed out on, and dwelled on it and Regret all that we could have done because of it, we can't move on in life. It is like being stuck in that black hole and having Regret treat us like shit the whole time--tearing us down, reminding us of stuff we did or didn't do, making us remember stuff we don't need to remember or we want to forget. Ya know we might just want it to be that--a memory.
For me, I have made ballet a wonderful memory. I have learned to fill it with other things. The music and I were one with ballet. I had always "felt" dancing because of the music so now I take dance classes that are less stressful on my joints. I take classes like NIA and belly dancing. I love them, by the way. No, they aren't ballet. To some, they may be the most wonderful dance classes ever. To me, nothing will ever replace BALLET, but I am no longer in that dark hole with Regret!
I would love to one day teach little children ballet. I know the fundamentals, and I love children! I think that just might fill that void almost completely.
I would like to end this by saying that I may not be able to actually dance as a ballerina anymore, but in my heart, mind and soul, I will always be a ballerina. No one can ever take that away from me. I will continue to dance in my daydreams and in my dreams while I sleep. And I will leave you with this...
You don't wake up one morning and say, 'I will become a dancer.'
You wake up one morning and realize you've been a dancer all your life, and you say to yourself, 'I am a dancer. I am dance!' (By: Anonymous)