It’s a pretty safe bet to say that no one tries to get sober on a winning streak. As addicts and alcoholics, pain is a strong motivator for change. That pain can be much more than simple physical pain. The mental and emotional despair that many alcoholics and addicts feel after being so beaten down by their addiction can often be far worse than any physical or bodily harm they have felt.Even after we sober up, it is easy to keep beating ourselves up for our past. Bad decisions and making mistakes does not make us bad people. We are all our own harshest critics. Telling ourselves that “I’m a loser”, “I’m a failure”, “Why am I so stupid?” only prevents us from being able to heal and recover. Recovery is not an easy task. It is imperative that we stay focused on the positive changes in our lives.As we start to gain more time in recovery, we begin to realize that our past is no longer for us. One of the twelve promises states that “no matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others”. If we start looking at our past as a tool to help the next man, we can start letting go and the guilt and shame that we carry. We can use our past to help someone who is struggling realize that whatever their circumstances may be, they too can recovery.