If I Knew Then…

I don’t remember where I got it – maybe on a journaling site or in a forum game -, but the question was asked which time you’d travel back to if you could go back with all the knwoeldge you have now. This is an interesting question, as I’ve made quite a few mistakes in my life, or just things I would’ve done differently if I could go back.

Looking at the past seven years in my mental health journey alone, i’ve had a few regrets. The most obvious is of cours emy crisis in November of 2007. What would’ve happened if that hadn’t occurred and I hadn’t been hospitalized? Would I by now be living in a supported housing accommodation, which I was after all being considered for the waiting list for? Would I have had a university degree by now? Most likely not. Besides, the knowledge I have now could not have prevented this crisis. It wasn’t that I could think more than a few hours ahead, so knowing that my crisis would lead to long-term institutionalization, would not have helped. The thing about crises is that people in them can’t oversee the long-term consequences of their actions.

Once I was in the hospital, however, several possible long-term living solutions came by. One was a tiny accommodation in the middle of nowhere which I reected because of its rural location and because the intake people treated me like a freak. Both were irrational argumnts, but with my current knowledge, I wouldn’t go back and get in there, cause what I didn’t know then and do know now, is that the accommodation want bankrupt one or two years later.

Then came the organization my elementary school friend recommended in late 2008. It’s currently quite an established supported housing organization here in the province, but back then, it was relatively new. I had an introductory meeting and was advised to go to an accommodation in a town three hours by public transportation from where my husband lived at the time. I was sent some paperwork, including a list of patronizing house rules and the report from the introductory meeting. The report said that I’d had a psychotic break, and got a few other facts about me wrong. I didn’t want to go to the town far away from my husband, but did for a while consider going t o the accommodation that happens to be in the next or second next town from my current institttion and my husband.

I was at a meeting for autistics yesterday, and this organization was mentioned again. They have an accommodation for autistics in the nearest big city, which obviously they didn’t have back in 2008. They also now have two accomodatioons in that next or second next town. I am now considering asking to have an introductory meeting and possibly intake interview for one of these accommodations again. The accommodation for autistics doesn’t provide 24-hour care, but the two accommodations in the nearby town do.

To get back to the question of going back in time with current knowledge, I would likely go back there to 2008. Back then, I thought I could cope with part-time support, ie. living in an accommodation that had support available only at certain hours of the day. I found the organization too restrictive, but I realize now I need a somewhat restrictive environment Maybe I didn’t if I’d left the institution right in 2008. I’m now kind of afraid that these accommodations will not provide the support I need, but then again, I can only find out by asking.

26 thoughts on “If I Knew Then…

  1. Oh to travel back and undo some of the things I regret but then I think maybe that would have changed other events and meeting certain people. I think its best to live day to day in the here and now, be and do the best.


  2. I think it is OK to look back but don’t think you should dwell on it. I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason and without making some mistakes along the way you may not be the person you are now.


  3. I’m inclined to agree with the other commenters. My mental health journey began in my early teens and went undiagnosed for many years. It wasn’t until my mid twenties that I was found to have Borderline Personality Disorder and finally got meaningful treatment. I came through some very dark times, but if things had been different I might never have met my husband (who is my greatest support) or had my children.
    Shit happens – we just have to learn from it. Live in the now, it’s the only chance you’ll get.


  4. Try and look at them all in a positive light – dwelling does no one any good though learning and changing can be fantastic. x


  5. It is great to reflect but not to dwell on the what ifs. If I did this I would never move forward. Good luck in your future x


  6. To go back in time? I made some hige mistakes and had some dark days for 7 years of my life but would I change what happened if I could? I surprise myself by saying no! Everything that happened made me who I am today and without the things that happened I probably wouldn’t be where I am now, with a loving husband and 3 beautiful children. The way to look is forward and I hope that you are able to do that x *sends hugs*


  7. Good luck 🙂 You never know without asking, and it’s always good to look. I am sure things have changed since 2008, for the better.
    We all need our mistakes to grow and learn so don’t regret them 🙂 x


  8. Sounds like you’re going through a tough time. I hope you throw some light on your choices soon. Someone once told me that he didn’t regret anything he had done in life because at the time he had felt like they were the right decisions.


  9. I made quite a lot of mistakes in my life and with knowledge I have now I would probably act differently.
    Hope you can find answers your looking for! Good luck 😉


  10. Really interesting post. I often think about whether I would change things if I went back in time but really you could never know unless it happened… and it’s not going to happen so I guess we’ll never know!


  11. I would like to think I wouldn’t change a thing but if truth be told I probably would. I think the key is to know when to make a change in the present. I hope you ‘re getting the support you need and thanks for sharing your thoughts. x


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