Social Media incident from years back
In 2016, I did something that I was and am not proud of. I sent an image that I wasn't proud of- kind of got manipulated into sending it. Anyway, I really struggled following this incident and felt really shitty and disgusted at myself. Anyway, the first year was tough real tough as a lot of people at school were asking me about it. I kept trying to avoid it at every instance I could and it find of went away. It doesn't come up all the time but when things that have anything to do with that or something similar even if it isn't me, my mind casts back to that moment and I cannot seem to move on or get it out of my mind what happened. I just want to be able to forget about it. I am usually really really busy so it gets my mind off it but when I have alone time, you can imagine what I am thinking about. I just don't know what to do. As it is quite a private, sensitive incident that happened and me wanting to keep it under wraps, it kind of is hard to deal with it. Does anyone have any advice. I just really want to be able to move on with my life even though the majority of people I interact with and talk to have no idea. As it was really my worst mistake in my life, you can probably imagine how bad I feel about it and in reality, it probably isn't that big at all.
I must also add, the people involved I have tried to avoid since the incident and that particular person, I haven't spoken to them and blocked them out of my life since 2016.
I think I can help, but first, a short story.
In 1975 as a 19yo (im 64 now), I got in a fight when in the Air Force. I won the fight but I was in the wrong. I also spread false rumours about the guy that were cruel. I then apologised, he didn’t accept it. I never saw him again.
Four years ago (41 years later) I saw his profile on Facebook. He now lives in Canada. I sent him a message of apology. No reply and he blocked me.
That is along the same lines as your fixation problem with your intrusive thoughts.
If you surveyed 100 people about your error most would say “you can’t change the past”. I asked several people about my issue and all said they would have left it alone after my initial apology and not sent another apology 41 years later.
So, why do we do this? I’m no therapist however I believe guilt has a lot to do with it. Humans make poor choices and then excess guilt flows in. It’s a cycle that drifts away as we age through greater wisdom.
In extreme cases of such errors where your intrusive thoughts is controlling your life therapy is required.
Please place the following topics in the search bar above and read the first post. They will help.
guilt the tormentor
worry worry worry
distraction and variety
Reply anytime TonyWK
Welcome to the forums and thanks so much for reaching out - it is very courageous of you!
I'm really sorry to hear about this incident, which has caused you much pain and hurt. It must be super difficult trying to get over a painful event that seems to keep intruding your thoughts. Issues like these are quite complex to deal with - on one hand you want to completely forget about it, but on the other hand, you can't seem to control your minds habit of thinking about it. How often do you think about this event? daily or just randomly in response to some trigger?
Like you said, distractions and keeping yourself preoccupied is a good way to move away from those negative thoughts. However, all distractions are quite temporary so it's not really sustainable unless you maybe address the issue head on. I guess just acknowledging your past, accepting this is what's happened nothing will change it, and trying to improve and move yourself away from that instance might be helpful. Everyone has past mistakes and regrets that we wish to change but can't. Fixating on a past issue can't change the pass unfortunately. However, as cliche as it sounds, the past doesn't define you. You have your entire future ahead of you. Do you have a strong support system around you that you can talk to this about?
If you wanted some really good support and some helpful advice I would recommend the Beyond Blue Support Service, which is available anytime on 1300 22 4636. Alternatively, you can get in touch with them via their Webchat 3pm-12am AEST here: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport. The counsellors are super friendly and can better help you navigate your feelings and offer some terrific support, as well as advice and referrals.
In the mean time I found this article which you might find helpful. It lists out some good points onto moving away from past mistakes.
Please keep us updated if you feel up to it!
Wishing you all the best and sending you positive thoughts.
Um... I can relate to you... I had antidepressant induced hypomania... and I acted out of character for a period of time... Only thing is I didn't have plastered on my forehead "taking an antidepressant" and no one realised exactly what was wrong... Only thing is I can't seem to let it go either... The thing is sometimes I wonder how much was "me" or the medication.
And the people who I was weird re the hypomania I had seen really intermittently... due to them starting Uni earlier or depression... (so they couldn't pick up it wasn't me)
The thing is I can't seem to let it go because I keep getting depressed... and in my head I hear "cannot have antidepressants"... And then I have a doctor when I ask about pharmogenomic testing say you don't need that... Like it doesn't really matter if you have a bad reaction to a medication or ruin friendships or you rack up memories of you acting strangely...
I think it comes up because you have a conscience... I have a conscience too.... Also I can't discuss those distressing memories with normal well people (you can't either discuss what you did once or those memories in detail because you're ashamed of it...) because they have never been too depressed that they can't smile at friends when they had arranged to met up or had suicidal thoughts or had hypomania....
I want to forget about my memories too... and when I thought I might be bipolar (who knows people randomly say medications used to treat the disorder and then say some other condition); I couldn't even discuss it with the psychologist I had been seeing... it was dismissive... and then you go to medical professionals who supposedly treat people with bipolar seeming to say nothing in regard to ruined friendships re antidepressant induced hypomanic episode... it's like "you don't need friends" you shouldn't feel anything because you're not a person...
Do you know if you can go and see a psychologist? I was trying to get EMDR therapy done and I'm not sure whether it's effective... but supposedly I'm too distressed for reprocessing stage...