"WE WILL NOT REGRET THE PAST
NOR WISH TO SHUT THE DOOR ON IT"
(Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 83 - the 2nd 9th step promise)
When I first got sober it took a while to move my mind out of the past. I hashed over and over in my head the sadness, tears, confusion, mental and emotional pain, and failures I thought defined my life in its entirety. As the months and years passed, I was able to move out of the past and into the present that was improving slowly, but surely.
I had many regrets that my life had turned out as it did. As I worked the steps, I looked deeply into myself and discovered that my problems weren't totally of everybody else's making as I had been so sure was the case. I became able to see that in very large part I created my own problems. Not knowing how to live life on life's terms, I turned to behaviors, ways of thinking, and coping skills that may have served me at some point, but eventually failed me entirely and resulted in my turning to alcohol as the final solution to my problems. This led to near disaster.
By the time I worked the 12th Step I had found a new relationship with God. I felt God forgave me, I made amends to those people I had harmed, and I began to forgive myself. I had accepted my life. This acceptance has grown over the years.
Today, I know that God has been in my life always. I know that every experience I have had - good and bad - God has used to help me grow or to help someone else. I no longer regret.