There are a number of obsessive thoughts that relate to the topic of past or future mistakes. Thoughts can be perceived as irrational and overblown, but even so, you have the feeling that you have made a terrible mistake that will probably never be corrected. This makes you very anxious. Your mind may form a certain idea of this situation, but it may be limited to the simple feeling that something important has escaped your attention or dropped out of your memory.
When I was working as a lawyer, I had a case that was actively discussed in the press, and we managed to win it. However, now I can’t stop thinking that I didn’t tell the other side one small detail, and even though it’s been almost 20 years since then, I still feel that if someone finds out about it, my reputation could be destroyed. I asked my partner how important it was, and he said it was nothing and I needed to stop worrying about it, but I have these thoughts day and night.
I keep thinking that I shouldn’t have broken up with that guy, even though he treated me terribly, the relationship seemed doomed, and I felt miserable. At least I thought they seemed doomed. But I can’t stop wondering what would have happened if the situation had somehow been corrected. I keep trying to remember the moment when I messed it up.
As soon as I submitted my manuscript for publication, I had the idea that the statistical analysis had been performed incorrectly, or perhaps an important piece of information had been omitted, or that the research text contained unethical statements, and I was worried that all this could ruin my career. Because of this, I can’t sleep at night.
Is it correct to compensate for damage if you are not sure that you caused it? I think I stole ten dollars from a friend in high school; although, to be honest, I’m not sure if it really happened. Even so, it was 34 years ago, but I probably should have apologized or sent him money. I try to convince myself that it doesn’t matter, but my thoughts keep coming back, so I need to do something about it, don’t I?
If I hadn’t lost that money, I could have taken better care of my family. I’m so worried that I won’t have the money to retire. I push these thoughts away, but they are like a skeleton in a closet.
I lost the girl of my dreams! I can’t believe I let her go, and now I’ll never meet anyone. It was so stupid, and now it’s too late to get her back. I can’t stop thinking about it. I’m so sad about this.