R is for Regrets

 from Google

from Google

Still rockin' and rollin' in the alphabet challenge! Yep, I know it ended in April. So did the tax season but they let people file until October, so maybe I'll be done by then. Or not. Who knows?

In AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) there is a saying on page 83 of the Big Book, “We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.” No regrets. Like this guy from the movie, We’re the Millers:

Never mind. He’s not a great example.

When we’re active in our disease, we tend to be self-centered. The world revolves around us and for me, it revolved around my next bump of blow. If you stood in my way of that than I was quick to cut you out of my life. If I didn’t remove you then I lied to you. No matter who you were. Mom, dad, sibling. I didn’t care. You were an obstacle to me getting high so if it meant a fib here and there, I didn’t even bat an eye or feel an ounce of remorse as I spun my web of deceit. After all, my drugs numbed my pain, what was one more thing to numb?

I also stopped attending family functions so I could get high. While I wasn’t exactly isolating myself from people, I was distancing myself from anyone who was healthy. I much preferred those with interests that aligned with my own. It often meant that I hung out with some shady characters who did some very shady things.

When I finally hit my bottom and decided to become sober, the guilt I carried was overwhelming. I had compromised my core values so I could feed my addiction. That’s how powerful addiction was for me. It rewired my brain and turned me into someone I didn’t recognize anymore. It took a lot of work to pick myself up and put myself back together again. It took even more work to forgive myself for causing so much damage to those I loved.

Do I regret the things that I did? For me, I have decided to live my life in such a way that I don’t continually look at my past and the decisions I made with feelings of regret. Instead, I see these things as grave mistakes that I don’t want to repeat again. I needed to recognize the harm I had done and apologize to those people I hurt and also live in such a way that will tip the scales back over to the positive side of things. No more hanging around sketchy folks who do sketchy things. Only those who give of themselves.

In an effort to reframe how I look at my life, I can also see that my journey with addiction was also preparing me for what was to come with my relationship with Devin. His addiction caused me to compromise my values again because I didn’t have the skills I needed to live with an active addict and I was not emotionally sober yet either.

After the dust of disclosure had settled and the attachment trauma had started to heal, I was able to see that he too was learning to cope with the concept of regrets and self-forgiveness. He had compromised his core values so he could feed his addiction. That’s how powerful addiction was for him. It rewired his brain and turned him into someone neither one of us recognized anymore.

Had I not had this knowledge, I think our journey together would’ve been even more painful than it already was. But having gone through the addiction myself, I was able to understand what it felt like to feel worthless, embarrassed, depressed, and at times so alone. Maybe that’s why I say, “I have no ragrets.”

Do you have any regrets? What about ragrets?