The Best Apology is Changed Behavior
So, the list of things I need to apologize for is so long that I could not possibly do it without using a lifetime to travel the world and find people. I mean, I have done some crazy insensitive stuff. I was a drinker for 20 years and a very hard drinker for 15 of those. I was not dealing with my problems and if someone else had one, I was in no state to work through anything with anyone so I did not make considerate decisions. One time I broke up with a boyfriend by packing my bag while he was at work. I bought a one way ticket from Croatia to the USA without even letting him know. We'd lived together for many years. No goodbye. No chance to explain himself. No letting him not worry about me. I never apologized.
I am not going to sugar coat this, though. I am not going to be calling anyone from my past to apologize. I just feel like opening doors to people of my past could cause a shit storm. Like I said, I was not a considerate person. Thankfully, most people have an extremely strong sense of self and mind. I respect people for it. Truthfully, bringing up old shit seems to have more of an instigating anger effect than just letting them exist in the "she's a bitch" and that's why she wronged me sort of way. I have no problem with people figuring out how to deal with whatever crap I put them through with their own strength.
I truthfully do have deep seated remorse for a lot of the things I've done, though. I've found that holding the disappointment in myself is more destructive to my recovery than forgiving myself and letting it go. I do not think I will ever wake up with a clean slate, but I just want to get to the point where I can look in the mirror and not cringe. Like, just look myself in the eyes and say, "There she is. I like her." I can honestly say that in sobriety I am feeling more guilt. I am feeling sadness. I am feeling remorse. I am feeling everything more than 1000x's more than I've felt anything. In active addiction I squashed feelings. I compartmentalized. I redirected bad feelings into a bottle.
Today, I jogged my memory. I made an inventory of my wrongs. I said a prayer. Occasionally, I feel the need to say "I'm sorry" to someone verbally. Sometimes I just acknowledge that I wronged someone and move on. But, ultimately, I am acknowledging my wrongs. I am actively changing my behavior. That is the best I can offer the world at this time. And, I am proud because the best apology I can give the people I love is changed behavior. Behavior changed? Yep. You're welcome and I'm sorry.