The value of the past
"This firsthand experience in all phases of illness and recovery is of unparalleled therapeutic value. We are here to share it freely with any addict who wants to recover."
Basic Text, p. 10
Most of us came into the program with some serious regrets. We had never finished high school, or we had missed going to college. We had destroyed friendships and marriages. We had lost jobs. And we knew that we couldn't change any of it. We may have thought that we'd always be regretful and simply have to find a way to live with our regrets.
On the contrary, we find that our past represents an untapped gold mine the first time we are called on to share it with a struggling newcomer. As we listen to someone share their Fifth Step with us, we can give a special form of comfort that no one else could provide - our own experience. We've done the same things. We've had the same feelings of shame and remorse. We've suffered in the ways only an addict can suffer. We can relate - and so can they.
Our past is valuable - in fact, priceless - because we can use all of it to help the addict who still suffers. Our Higher Power can work through us when we share our past. That possibility is why we are here, and its fulfillment is the most important goal we have to accomplish.
Just for Today: I no longer regret my past because, with it, I can share with other addicts, perhaps averting the pain or even death of another.