Archive for the Week 03: Regret Category

Regret By Ricky

Posted in The Blogs By Ricky, Week 03: Regret on July 25, 2011 by Cookie Has A.S.

This is my weekly Masquerade of Words blog topic.

This is a topic that has been particularly difficult for me to write on. Thankfully it isn’t because I have lots to regret, in fact it’s the complete opposite. Living with a chronic illness can often make it very easy to regret. The things that we haven’t done are the easiest things to regret. Especially as with the nature of chronic illness, the things we haven’t yet done turn into the things that we cannot no longer do. So looking back and thinking “why didn’t I do that when I had the chance?” can be understandable right? But then you didn’t know you was going to get ill did you? So you can’t blame yourself for it can you?

Other things we can regret are the things we did, but probably shouldn’t have. Especially the kind of things that make your pain / symptoms worse. Like that round of golf you played when you knew you shouldn’t have. Or that river in the welsh hills that you threw yourself down (hitting every rock on the way) when you went canyoning on a stag do. These are the kind of things which you can look back at and regret. I don’t though. These experiences don’t happen every week, so why not enjoy them? Yes you may feel worse than you would have after, but it’s a balancing game between comfort, and quality of life is it not?

Regret can stop us from doing these things that make life an experience, not a chore. Regret can make you think “what if”. I can’t change what’s happened already, the past is the past. Thinking about it, I don’t think I’d want to either. If things were different in the past I wouldn’t be where I am now, which is a good place. Happily Married, and soon to celebrate our first anniversary. We are also expecting our first child (a boy)!! Now what’s more exciting, or makes you happier than that? Without what I have or haven’t done in the past, then I wouldn’t be here. I struggle daily with my pain /symptoms, but right now the positives in my life outweigh the negatives. I wouldn’t dare ask for any more.

For me personally, regret isn’t something I waste too much time with. Life is a roller coaster of highs and lows, so enjoy the ride, and don’t look down ;). I’ll leave you with some words of wisdom from a much cleverer man than me:

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” – Alexander Graham Bell.


Ankylosing Spondylitis & the Authentic Truth: What’s Happening in my Home, My Heart & My Body By Jennifer

Posted in The Blogs By Jennifer, Week 03: Regret on July 25, 2011 by Cookie Has A.S.

It’s funny how for weeks I can’t think of a thing to blog about, and then all at once, I am inspired to saturation-point.

Maybe it’s a new blog or two in my reader, a clean room in my house, new pages lengthening my manuscript, sunshine and how we soaked it in this week. Maybe it’s fresh lemonade with strawberries made by my handsome husband, or maybe it’s recognizing how tall and gangly my daughters are growing. Maybe it’s knowing more summer fun & memories are just around the corner, or knowing a new year of learning at home with my girls begins soon. {I find inspiration in the school supply aisle… always have.}

Whatever it is, I want to write about it but there’s so much to say, I don’t know where to begin.

Balanced with all the goodness I just wrote about is the underbelly of the coin — not so good, refreshing or inspiring. Things like doctor’s appointments, frustration & confusion, more tests looming, more vials of blood drawn, a house that I can’t seem to keep up with and how I have allowed that to stop me from inviting friends over for a playdate or tea party or dinner. There’s stressors — we all have them — and so many things to try to stay current with, and that has become very difficult.

I could tell you about several weeks ago when my feverish four year-old needed to be carried from one room to the next, and how due to a back flare-up, I had to ask her to walk while holding my hand. I could tell you how bad the pain in my spine was, and how I couldn’t bend to lift her, but it doesn’t compare to how sad my heart was when I couldn’t just scoop up my hot, miserable little girl and carry her.

I could tell you how my ribs and chest hurt so much that it’s painful for my children to cuddle too close to me. I could tell you, again, that I worry about my future with Ankylosing Spondylitis and especially about my mobility.

I could explain how exhausted I am and how difficult it is to get out of bed on a daily basis. How much I yearn to be present in my little girls’ lives and hearts and the guilt and sadness that can come when I can’t be the mommy I once was.

No, I can’t take you to the library today. I’m sorry, it hurts too much to have you on my lap right now. I wish I could bake cookies with you, sweet girl, but Mama can’t stand for that long right now.

My eyes are welling with tears, and this is how I know that this is the authentic truth.

The pain can be severe, but what is unbearable is what it does to our family sometimes.

I know I could tell you what chronic illness and pain gives me. And I will tell you about the gifts found in all of this in a future post.

 But for now, it’s okay to take a moment and just admit how much I hurt sometimes when my body can’t match my heart.

Bad day or good day, I thank you for coming along on my journey. I hope you find a kinship and truth here. I hope you leave inspired or hopeful. I count many of you among my dearest friends & family, my support system, cheerleaders, fellow AS journeyers, sisters of body and heart.

Thank you.

I Regret By Cookie

Posted in The Blogs By Cookie, Week 03: Regret on July 25, 2011 by Cookie Has A.S.

I regret… taking my life for granted.

I regret… not making a difference in this world.

I regret… not thinking I was worth it.

I regret… not oil painting.

I regret… wasting opportunities.

I regret… missing moments to make memories.

I regret… not saying I love you more.

I regret… not challenging doctors.

I regret… not taking an active role in my own health care.

I regret… not appreciating my time on earth more.

I regret… that I didn’t take better care of my self.

I regret… ever hurting anyone’s feelings.

I regret… not fighting harder for relationships that were important to me.

I regret… not having the courage to stand up for my self.

I regret… not being able to accept imperfections and do more things.

I regret… quitting school.

I regret… not being a better person.

I regret… not being a better friend.

I regret… not being a better sister.

I regret… not being a better daughter.

I regret… not being a better grandmother.

I regret… not being a better mother.

I regret… not being a better wife.

I regret… that I didn’t love my self more.

My Past Has Made Me – Regrets Won’t Break Me By Kate

Posted in The Blogs By Kate, Week 03: Regret on July 25, 2011 by Cookie Has A.S.

I don’t have too many regrets in my life because my past has made me the person I am today however I am human and I have made mistakes. Even those mistakes though I have learned from and cannot fully regret them because they have taught me many valuable lessons. Remember when you feel regret that something can always be learned from a mistake and that doors are always opened when some are shut. Though things may really hurt and mistakes may feel like the world is ending I promise you, there IS a reason for what is happening and there are people who still love you and will be there for you through whatever it is you are going through. Regret has led me many times to learn a lot about hope and how strong my will is. My health might be poor and getting worse but I have hope that over time I will get better. I may make mistakes in friendships but I have hope that those who care will forgive me and those that DO are the important ones in my life. I might make mistakes as a parent but my daughter will forgive me because she loves me and I won’t make the same mistakes twice because I love her. I choose to live my life without regret. I choose to live as a human being who lives to the best of their ability as a good person and treats others with dignity and respect. If I make a mistake I won’t regret it because I will fix it and forgive myself. Then move on. You can’t change the past but can only learn from it.


When Regret Gets The Best Of Me, Regrets Enters The Black Hole With Me! By Dana

Posted in The Blogs By Dana, Week 03: Regret on July 25, 2011 by Cookie Has A.S.
For the third post for the MOWer’s Blog Carnival, the subject is Regret. Wow! Now there is a topic that a person with any chronic illness that involves disabling pain would understand!

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 fibromylagia happened, and hypertension happened, and endometriosis happened, and hemiplegic migranes happened, 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 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 day dreams 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)




Regret By Jackie

Posted in The Blogs By Jackie, Week 03: Regret on July 25, 2011 by Cookie Has A.S.

Regret, what do I regret………

Like most people I have regrets, however living with AS means, perhaps, more than most. Can you regret what you could never have done anyway??? Not sure about that one.

The saying is that it is better to regret what you did, as opposed to regretting what you did not do, yet living with AS regret is all about what you weren’t able to do!!

I am finding it difficult to really get a handle on this subject apart from the biggie, – I regret having AS. Yet in some ways not everything about life with AS is negative: it makes you stronger dealing with chronic illness, it makes you a more empathetic to others with illness, and you have to learn patience!!

The only major regret I can think of, is that I regret working on and struggling on as long as I did. If I had been in a position to have given up work many years ago, I might have managed to have a more fulfilling life, and been able to actually enjoy myself more and have a social life with friends.

I feel as if I struggled on too long so that by the time I had to give up work, it was sheer necessity and I was totally burnt out. I had started to really hate my job, and lost my way with friends as I was never able to go out much the last few years. It has taken me since then to  just start to learn that I can relax, that my time is my own, there is no pressure to do whatever I don’t want to and to not care too much what other people think.

Of course, I am now of such an age that nature is taking over as well so on a hiding to nothing.

So my major regret is that I was not able – for all sorts of reasons – to give up work many years ago. So that before I was burnt out, I had time to live and enjoy life, to travel more, but instead all I was doing was struggling from day-to-day to the next simply to work.

Regrets, I’ve Had A Few By Robert

Posted in The Blogs By Robert, Week 03: Regret on July 25, 2011 by Cookie Has A.S.

Time for the latest MOW’er blog topic “Regret”

I have more than a few regrets in life and have found that being diagnosed with a chronic illness has forced me to review past life choices as well as forming new ones looking to the future.

If I could go back in time I would do many things differently and try to live life to the full and not put things off to do tomorrow what I could have done today.

My one biggest regret is that I didn’t take a gap year before starting work to travel and see more of the wonders of the world, as once you start working and leave the nest there is always something that takes priority of your time and money that prevents the dream from happening. Now on top of the usual blockers to upping sticks and travelling, is the worry of ankylosing spondylitis and it’s temperament not being conductive to sitting in one position for too long and that puts added dread into the thought of too many hours cooped up in a plane or car.

I regret that in the past too much of my life has consisted of working, eating & sleeping with not enough enjoyment thrown into the mix to make life exciting. My job (that I used to love) has over the last few years become a grind and a struggle as the construction industry is still in the toilet due to the Wa***r Bankers, with not much positivity looking ahead. Becoming ill does make you re-evaluate priorities somewhat, but having money to live off always remains the number one priority even though I would like to ease back to look after my health as I find it much more difficult to put the same efforts in as I used to.

When I was thinking about what to write about for this topic I found It impossible to not think of the song “My Way” when thinking about regret, so I thought I would include the lyrics. Frank sums it up pretty well I feel and also manages to slip in a Standing Tall reference into the song for us Spondy’s.

And now, the end is near,
And so I face the final curtain.
My friends, I’ll say it clear;
I’ll state my case of which I’m certain.

I’ve lived a life that’s full –
I’ve travelled each and every highway.
And more, much more than this,
I did it my way.

Regrets? I’ve had a few,
But then again, too few to mention.
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption.

I planned each charted course –
Each careful step along the byway,
And more, much more than this,
I did it my way.

Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew,
When I bit off more than I could chew,
But through it all, when there was doubt,
I ate it up and spit it out.
I faced it all and I stood tall
And did it my way.

I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried,
I’ve had my fill – my share of losing.
But now, as tears subside,
I find it all so amusing.

To think I did all that,
And may I say, not in a shy way –
Oh no. Oh no, not me.
I did it my way.

For what is a man? What has he got?
If not himself – Then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels.
The record shows I took the blows
And did it my way.

Yes, it was my way.

I don’t want to have many more regrets going forward, Developing a Chronic Illness has made me appreciate the good days more and to take advantage of them. If work doesn’t improve over the next few months and life changes are required I am going to look at it as a positive sign that it is time to change course and and take the risk with a new venture and possibly change of scenery and start afresh. When I look back on things in the future I want to be able to say that I have taken Franks message to heart and say “Regrets…I’ve had only a few