Dear No One: You Messed Up?

Dear No One,

So, you messed up? You either said too much, or too little. You made a mistake and hurt someone, or a lot of people, in the process. Maybe you tried to do the right thing, but ended up doing the complete opposite . Sometimes, saying you’re sorry won’t make things right, so you have to live with being the bad guy.

I’m not going to coddle you. If you’re here, reading this story, you already know what you did was not okay. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t sympathise with you. Everybody screws up sometimes and we’re all familiar with that awful, sinking feeling in our stomach when we do. I don’t know what exactly to tell you or how to make it better; other than recommending you to eat heaps of cookie dough ice cream until the emotional pains and burdens of living don’t seem so bad anymore. However, I understand that you are in need of trying to process your emotions in other, healthier ways. So these are my four tips on what to do when you’ve fucked up and you can’t do anything about it:

  1. Talk to your friends about what happened, or call them, or text them. Talking about what happened can help put things in perspective. If they’re good friends, they won’t coddle you, but rather they’ll help you try to see that the moment has passed and that they’ll still be there for you in spite of it all. In case you want to deal with it alone, don’t worry, there are other tactics to apply.
  1. Create something. Write down all your thoughts, belt out a song, draw up that image. Let all of that anxious energy flow through your system and let it out. More often than not, you’ll be able to process everything that’s happened whilst expressing yourself through a medium that won’t require the involvement of others. Try to process all these emotions without feeling the weight of other people’s judgement.
  1. Move your body! Exercise can help increase those endorphins and get you out of that funky feeling. It will also help you deal with all that overthinking that comes with making a mistake. So whether you want to drag around a dumbbell in a gym or dance around your room to your favourite song; move your body.
  1. Meditate. Okay, okay, I know what you’re thinking. Is this random woman on the internet seriously expecting me to say ‘Ohm’ until my problems are magically solved? No, no I’m not. What I’m asking you to do is to take a moment to breathe in and out until you realise that the painful moment you are living through won’t last forever. I am asking you to close your eyes, dig deep and try to remember that ‘this too shall pass’. Days, weeks, and years will go by before you know it. Don’t be stuck in the moment in which you made that mistake.

I’m sorry to hear you messed up. I hope you can offer someone an apology. Whatever the outcome will be; I’m certain that throughout the ups and downs of your life, you will find a way to accept what has happened and make peace with it. 

Love,

Warsha Autar

P.s. If you’re struggling more than usual and these tips didn’t help you, don’t worry. There is no shame in getting the help you need. Feel free to reach out to the university psychologist if you want to.

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