This sentence is in the “Promises” a short passage from the Big Book of AA that is after the expansion about Step 9. The Promises offer the alcoholic sufferer a vision that if they painstakingly follow the steps up to and including step 9 then they will be presented with a bunch of better stuff… “We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it” is in that bunch.
In my last post I spoke of how I regularly drove my son and others about in my car when way over the drink drive limit. I mentioned that I’m eternally grateful that through my recklessness no one was ever injured. However I do still carry the guilt about it, so do I regret it? Hmmm… to ponder. I do if I’m honest the wince of embarrassment the clench in my gut of the guilt around it are things I can’t ignore. However it is a huge reminder as I spoke in the last post that I am in a different place today where I can do things like that sober, without the concern, worry and guilt I used to carry around them.
So I don’t shut the door on it, I remember those times I remember that worry of simply driving a mile there and a mile back to pick up a teenager or two. That was active alcoholism because although I regularly felt all that guilt and worry I still drank and put myself in that indefensible position. I also felt often aggrieved and angry that I had to worry because I had to do this… why couldn’t someone else do it? It wasn’t fair on me… etc. Which was all just my alcoholism dictating that it ruled the roost in my head and heart nothing else, not work, family, friends, love, concern, desire… no I lived to drink and that was it.
Looking back through that open door may make me question whether my recovery is yet sufficiently strong due to my feelings of regret but certainly I’m glad I can look back and I don’t regret how it makes me feel now – just glad to have ousted that alcoholic demon from my thoughts.