Regret is essential to teshuvah, but we cannot allow it to become so overwhelming that we give in to despair:
"It's no use; I can't possibly change"
Or try to drown our distress with alcohol, drugs, or mindless "entertainments."
We cannot bury it under excuses:
"I can't help it; it's the way I am."
Or dismiss it as just part of being human:
"No one is perfect. I'm OK; you're OK."
We must feel regret and we must verbalize it:
To ourselves, to God, and, as hard as it may be, to those we have hurt.
–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From an essay, "Re-Turning to God in the New Year" by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz