Originally Posted by Ummu Sufyaan
sister, trust me, I am so getting what you meant.
Years ago I made fantastically stupid mistakes that steered myself towards living as a jahiliyya for many years, and now I am living with those "if only.." "why did I do.." etc every single day.
Everytime I remember all those mistakes (which changed my life like you wouldnt believe), the pain is killing me.
The main things that helped me from going into total despair is my shalah, whenever I recite Qur'an, and my mother. pouring my heart out to Allah and crying in shalah and when reciting qur'an always helped me, talking to my mother always work as an antidote as well.
Of course there are also other factors that helped forgetting those nightmares: work, friends, hobby, but they are sedentary.
What I've been doing is that I acknowledge all those mistakes to Allah and I owned them up (just like the du'as of Adam and Yunus pbut), and sometimes I wished I got punished in this dunya for the results of those mistakes to avoid getting punished in akhirah, (I dont know if it's faseeq to ask Allah for punishment but thats what I feel sometimes) and so I am hoping that the heartaches and the pains will expiate some of those sins if Allah accepts.
During the days when my eeman is really strong, I feel not only contentment but real positive and always grateful that even though I made those mistakes, at the end Allah gave me hidaya and his endless mercy and for this alone it gives me another perspective: what if I hadnt made those mistakes, but down the road my life would slowly drift away from Islam without me realizing and I'd die as a fasiq/kafir/hypocrite/etc.
So yeah, getting my relationships close with Allah is the main reason I am not falling into despair.
I hope it helps and I hope what I wrote is clear and Im not writing like a rambling mad man again.