If you are someone who has never made a major mistake in your life my hat is off to you and I want to know how you managed that. I am one of those people who has made major mistakes (at least from my point of view) and had to suffer the consequences. It can be very painful and set your life back. To be honest, I have had to start over in my life more than once. I have had to change directions and even re-invent myself. The experience I have in this area has taught me a few things about dealing with mistakes.
Once the action that caused the problem has been done you have little control of the response. As much as we would like to, we can’t take it back. It’s alright to beat yourself up for a while. It is a pretty natural reaction for most of us. But, some people take it to the point of affecting life for many years. That is really unnecessary and self-destructive. So, give yourself some time and then have the goal of letting that go. The sun will continue to rise and life will go on. Your life needs to go on as well. From my experience, anxiety and depression are the feelings to be dealt with. There is a grieving period that takes place as well. Anger is also a part of the process and then acceptance and healing can happen.
I believe it is very important to take responsibility for our mistakes and not place blame on others or make ourselves out to be victims. You are experiencing something that will stimulate growth if you allow it.
Don’t try to avoid or medicate your feelings. I believe that you can’t get past issues without going through them. Part of being a human being is having feelings. Many of those feelings are unpleasant. Part of the healing process is the feelings we would very much like to avoid. Those feelings will not last forever. They never do. Whatever feelings you have will be replaced with other feelings. Even though it may not be visible, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Avoid trying to find meaning it what has happened. I don’t believe there is a reason for everything. Sometimes we make bad choices and stuff happens. On the other hand, I believe that some of the worst things I have experienced in my life turned out to be some of the best things to have happened in the long term. But I was not aware of the for a long time after the event. Those are the events that taught me huge lessons and changed the direction of my life. Those are the events that opened my eyes to the inner strength that I have and the ability to bounce back.
Therefore, the next step is picking up the pieces and moving forward. Accept that you can’t change the past and as uncertain as the future may be, you can only do things in the here and now to create a better life. Try to learn the lessons you can and apply them to your life. Put the past in the past. You have a choice to have a story or be your story.