When I was early in sobriety, I couldn't see any way that I would stop regretting the past and wanting to forget all about it. I had made so many bad decisions, so many bad choices--not just about drinking but about sexual relationships and about my career and about where I lived, a whole dumpster of baggage. I couldn't see how I'd ever come to terms with it and forgive myself.
Of course, the saving grace was that I didn't have come to terms with it all at once. And working the 12 steps in a slow and methodical way was the key. In fact, I didn't finish the 9th step work until I'd been sober 10 years. It took me that long to accept my part in some of the the things that had happened to me, things I didn't ask for.
It also was immensely helpful for me to write my stories. That's in fact, why I wrote my memoir, Sober Truths: The Making of an Honest Woman --to heal my past. Deciding to publish it came much later.
I think it's also why telling our stories continues to be a big part of the AA program and why hearing other people's stories is so healing. As my good friend Karen Casey wrote to me recently, "Being willing to remember the past is what keeps the door to the future propped
More info about Sober Truths: http://www.amazon.com/Sober-Truths-Making-Honest-Woman/dp/0615826016/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1379118175&sr=8-1&keywords=Sober+Truths