I'm am grateful to be an alcoholic. If not for having a deadly disease that was going to kill me, I doubt I would have been motivated to make any serious changes in my life. I'd still be stuck in the quagmire of my own stinking thinking, hoping that somehow things would change, circumstances would change, you would change, but not me dear God. I don't need changing because I'm OK.
I can't be grateful to be an alcoholic and regret the past at the same time. In order to become an alcoholic I had to drink; I had to keep on drinking even after suffering countless unpleasant consequences; I had to drink myself into such a sickness of mind, body and spirit that I was beyond all human help; I had to drink enough and hurt enough to become desperate; I had to drink myself all the way down to that jumping off place. I needed every drink. I couldn’t have done with one less.
My past holds the golden key for my continued healing. A few critical words might dredge up ancient feelings of shame; small slights can ignite a defensive over-reaction (I pull out a bazooka when a squirt gun is all that's required); a problem can generate a resonating sense of guilt even if I wasn't even in the general vicinity when it happened. Whenever I give away my serenity to anger, fear and resentment, I can be sure that some old, unhealed idea and belief from my past is to blame. Without these messages from the past I wouldn’t know what needed healing.
The story of the Prodigal Son from the other big book describes my life perfectly. Alcoholism took me into the pig pen. Like the young man from the story, I didn’t eat what the pigs ate, I ate what the pigs left behind. I needed my own pig pen experience to wake up. Only then could I be reborn into a new life. I don’t regret one bite.