I don't think of it as an absolute complete waste of time. Sure, the thought of all the hours spent in mindless WT activity in field service and meeting prep sucks donkey dong but I see it as part of a journey that got me to where I am now. By contrast, I was able to discover the kind of relationships I didn't want for myself and what was really important to me.
For instance, I discovered freedom of mind is in some ways more important than freedom of speech. We all have to censor ourselves everyday to a degree depending on the situation, but, to be allowed to have our own thoughts and feelings on any given subject is a gift especially after you've been part of a group that made thinking independently of the group wrong and sinful.
Was there easier ways to learn such things? Hell yeah, my biggest mistake in that group was switching off my critical thinking and squashing my own intuition - never do that again.