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No Regrets?

Last night I wrote about my plan to finish my last cross-stitch for K. As promised, with every pass of the needle, thoughts flowed through my head. Some were the kind that made me smile, but many were ones that brought tears to my eyes. Eventually, I felt myself drowning in all the emotions associated with my thoughts. I needed to write some of it down – I needed to figure out what, exactly, was tearing me up inside.

I started writing a letter to K. At the beginning, I had no intention of ever sending it to her: it was merely a means of sorting through my feelings. I wrote for longer than I imagined. I said more than I thought I had to say. When I went back to read it again, I was almost shocked at my bluntness and honesty. I have never written something so raw and exposed before. As I read it, it occurred to me that maybe she needed to hear what I was feeling. I was hesitant to actually send it because it was all about me and I knew it was a little harsh, and maybe unfair. I felt, though, that maybe I am at a point where I don’t have very much to lose. And so at 1:00am, alone with my tears in my secluded call room, I typed in her email address and hit send.

I felt good about it. I felt free from everything that I was holding inside and not sharing with anybody. I put my head on my pillow and fell asleep to a long and content sleep. When I woke up to my pager a few hours later, the feeling of dread began to set it. I really felt good about getting it out, but what if it was too much? What about how difficult things are for her right now? How unfair of me. And what if that’s what makes her walk away from me for good? The reality is that I do have something to lose, because she is a wonderful person in my life.

I have lived my life always putting other people ahead of me. It is foreign and scary actually putting myself first. I feel selfish and I feel bad. Maybe if I waited until the morning, I would have had better sense – but maybe not. Maybe it’s what needed to be done – but maybe it was inappropriate. Maybe it will all be okay – but maybe it won’t.

I want to say, “no regrets,” but I’m having a hard time with that.

11 thoughts on “No Regrets?

  1. Feeling regret for something that may only be good for myself in that particular moment, is everyday life for me. Even though I know it’s what I have to do, for myself First. Even if the news is bad, which I’m sure they won’t be, believe me, you may feel upset and angry even, but your mind will re-wind and allow you to feel good about it. Because in the end, you shouldn’t neglect yourself too much for anything or anyone.

    Alls will be okey dokey!

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    1. I am fully expecting the news to be bad. In the past, I have lost two good friendships over “honesty.” The first was many, many years ago (10+) and I built up the courage to tell this long-time friend that I felt like our friendship was quite one-sided. She didn’t talk to me again for a few years, and now we don’t keep in touch. After this long, I don’t regret that. The second was more recent, in first year med school when I was going through many struggles (new mom, starting med school, grandma sick with cancer, other family issues) and I talked about it often with one of my new classmates. One day, completely unexpectedly she told me that she couldn’t be my friend anymore because she had enough problems of her own and couldn’t deal with mine too. We never talked again after that either.
      So I feel like this situation is a little bit of both of those scenarios… I was selfish, blunt, and accusatory towards a friend whom I know is going through a difficult time right now. Hence the reason I have little hope.

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      1. Oh I have gone through those ”Hey, I’ve got enough of my own problems” speeches, and honestly, after dealing with it as much as I have, that’s where I drop cold for ANYONE and want them to absolutely leave. To me it was heart breaking because it was from the people I’d least expect it. It’s basically kicking someone who’s already on the ground. It’s, ugh.

        If she is a true friend, she’ll understand you had the need to do what you did.

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  2. I do think that it is sometimes important to put yourself above others. I also think there is a difference between being selfish and setting boundaries that protect your own emotional and mental welfare. I hope this will lead to a new and better chapter in your friendship with K!

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    1. I just don’t know it what I sent was about setting boundaries… I would certainly be ecstatic if all this resulted in a closer friendship, but I am doubtful. I remember feeling this kind of discomfort and shame the last time I sent her a “letter” and it took her weeks to respond, but that was before we were “friends.” It worked out fine then, but it was a letter of concern and support for her, not one about how much I’m struggling and disappointed. I really don’t know what to expect. I am prepared for the worst.

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  3. you maintain a beautifully honest blog that resonates with so many people on so many levels. honesty can cut like a scalpel–dangerous when it slices through thin skin and hits a nerve or artery–healing when it debrides old wounds to allow new tissue to grow. you’re seeking to debride. healing takes time. wishing you speedy granulation:-)

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    1. Thank-you. This is awesome! I have to smirk a little because of the irony: In my email to K, I likened constant positivity to a bandaid covering a dirty wound. You can try to remain positive all you want, but the wound will never heal until you clean and debride – and that’s painful.

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  4. Not going to lie, I’m super proud of you for doing this. I know how hard it must’ve been. I don’t know if you’ve ever read the poem The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, but it’s my favourite poem ever and one of her stanzas really reminds me of you:

    “It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.”

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    1. Thank-you Lisa. You know, the actual sending of it was not the hard part. The hardest part is not knowing the reaction and the fallout of my actions… and also feeling like I did something stupid.
      I have never read that poem before, but I am going to go read it right now. It is a powerful stanza and I am honoured, in a sense, that those words remind you of me.

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