Photo of young plants sprouting and growing.
New growth. Photo courtesy of Francesco Gallarotti /

Have you ever set back and thought to yourself about the things you did wrong, and cry about them because you can’t change them? I do. Every day. It’s part of my therapy to forgive myself, but also to never forget. I don’t want to forget because I wouldn’t want to accidentally make the same mistake twice.

I like to choose my friends wisely; no drinkers and no users. No, I don’t think that I am better than anyone else. I just know I deserve better for myself. Never let in nobody who could damage your health or your life.

Cigarettes, for instance. I used them when I was hanging out with the older crowd and wanting to be grown up. Now I can’t stop, even after seeing those terrible, very scary COPD commercials. Boy, do I regret smoking. I have chronic bronchitis. I cough all the time. I’m miserable at nighttime., But, thank God, I’m still living.

I regret calling my mother out of her name because I asked her to hold my money one time so that I would not get high. I started geeking and wanting it, when all she was doing was following my orders and trying to help me stay clean. 

I regret dropping out of school in the eleventh grade because the students teased me about my name sounding like Benny Hill, the comedian. I got good grades in school and would have graduated. Instead, I went to Baltimore to get my GED. I wish I would have graduated with everyone else.

I regret not listening to the doctor who told me to stay on bed rest when I was two and a half months pregnant. Instead, I got myself around the wrong person. We got to arguing, which got me all upset, and I miscarried. 

I regret stealing out of the Safeway so my boyfriend and I could get high. Never got caught… but I still regret being that kind of person.

I regret missing my oldest niece’s graduation and hearing her read her poem because I was out getting high. I also missed her wedding. Two of the most important events of a child’s life. Terrible.

I regret not listening to my mom when she warned me about going outside half dressed in the winter because today I have arthritis in my knees and legs.

I regret getting a student loan for a business school where I didn’t complete the course. I wasn’t able to get into community college. I still owe on the loan.

I regret using drugs for so many years and never realizing I was compromising my future. Now, I can’t get a job because of my record and my background check. And I can’t get a house to take care of my mother. 

I regret not treating my older sister nice because I heard voices and was not taking my meds for that problem. I was too busy drinking.

I really regret following the wrong crowd when growing up and turning to drugs and alcohol thinking it was just having fun because doing that has ruined my life.

These thoughts cross my mind every once in a while but I’m learning to live with my mistakes. I’m sure we all have made them. I try not to forget them because they have made me who I am: strong, kind-hearted, and honest. Another reason is because if you forget, turn around, and do the same things you’ve done before — you’ll always get the same results. 

So, until next time: Stay safe. Stay clean.