Rumination: The danger of dwelling


Rumination (Photo credit: Ivana Vasilj)

I’m sure we have all experienced those “If only” moments, maybe not as painful as the one I describe here but moments which you can’t let go of and which continue to haunt you.  New research suggests that associated introspection and self-blame are significant factors in mental health problems.


If Only

If only I’d not forgotten my cash.
If only, if only I’d bought that new catch.
If only, if only I’d mended the latch.
If only I’d sent you to school that day.
If only I’d had the strength to say you weren’t ill.
If only I hadn’t allowed you to skive ….. you’d still be alive.

If only I hadn’t left you at home.
If only I hadn’t gone out, just for that moment, and left you alone.
If only I hadn’t rescued the dog.
If only I hadn’t chosen that breed.
If only I’d heeded what others had said.
If only I’d mended that fucking latch.
If only, if only ….. you wouldn’t be dead.

If only, if only I’d had self-belief.
If only now I could conquer my grief.
If only, if only I could think less, I know I wouldn’t be quite as depressed.
If only, if only I could drink less, my mind wouldn’t be in quite such a mess.
If only the same images wouldn’t rattle my brain.
If only I’d thought.
If only I’d bought that new catch.
If only I’d sent you to school.
If only I hadn’t gone out.
If only I hadn’t been such a fool, I wouldn’t be driving myself insane.

If only I could let out my pain with a scream.
If only I’d awake to find it’s a dream.
If only what was just hadn’t been.
If only I could wipe the slate of blame clean.
If only.


16th October 2013 – headline from the BBC

Notes:  “Rumination: The danger of dwelling.”  Rumination and self-blame have long been accepted by health professionals as part of the problems that can lead to depression and anxiety but new research has demonstrated just how significant and serious their impact on mental health can be. And the impact of mental health problems is huge. They affect one person in every four during their lifetime and are the leading cause of disability globally, according to the World Health Organization.



3 thoughts on “Rumination: The danger of dwelling

  1. Pingback: Defending Ruminating | Giovanna's Notebook

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