As the years begin to pass me by, it is hard not to reflect on my life. Lost friendships, lost loves… just so much lost. Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy with how my life has turned out, yet I can’t help and look back at the destruction of my life.

From early childhood, watching my father beat the living shit out of my mom. To have seen the both of them destroy their lives because of the urge to drink… and to not only destroy their lives but the lives of their children as well. I used to think I was the only one who was screwed up but it is easy to see from our history that I wasn’t the only one with a few screws that were loose.

Then as a teenager I began to carry the same self destructive behaviours that my parents had. That bothers me more today than anything my parents did to me. The fact is that my dad was out of control, my mom was out of control, and they were in control of me.

As a young man and as an adult, no one had control over me. I could come up with many reasons for my destructive behaviour but none of them makes it right. I look back at friendships I had where people treated me fairly and I did whatever I could to stab them in the back. I look at romantic relationships where I was given the world – emotionally and spiritually – and I walked all over these people until they had nothing left to give.

Through the 12 Steps I have made amends. To those who have either passed away or I have not found, there is a willingness to correct those wrongs. And looking at these people I can’t help but feel at deep regret for those who have died and our relationship ended with horrible memories.

On the other side of the coin, I look at those who have hurt me and I have never been acknowledged for the pain caused. From family members, to friends, to romantic relationships, I too have been hurt.

Most of these people I have forgiven because it does me no good to carry grudges. In fact, all of them I have forgiven, yet some still linger in my mind for how insensitive and uncaring they were. And it hurts that my constructive contributions to those relationships have never been acknowledged. They have been by friends, but never by that particular person.

The sad part is that this person is going through the same pain again, this time doing it alone. They pushed me away and now they have no one to turn too. Yet, they still can’t apologize or recognize how I was a rock for them.

Everyone has regrets from their past. The only thing we can do to put them to rest is acknowledge them and apologize whenever we can. As for those who have harmed us, we pray for them. We pray to take their power away and to not let them become our Higher Power. Ultimately, whoever hurt us may not be on the same path of recovery as we are. We can’t force them to make amends, nor should we expect it. Sometimes you just need to cut ties and move on.

Author's Bio: 

Dave Harm is a recovering alcoholic who has been sober for over 20 years. He is an NLP Master Practitioner, Hypnotist, and Life Coach. He is the author of three books and the creator of two musical CD's.

He shares his experience and journey on his website