"Been there, done that" also means "who am I to look down on anybody who is there and does that?"
At times there is a sense of shame -- as when my mother showed me recently some letters I wrote to her when I was a 15 y.o. JW -- but the shame is only counterbalancing the pride I put into it back then.
The young believer I was would have despised the older unbeliever I became, but the reverse is by no means true. I look back sympathetically on the young zealous ignorant, with some sadness that I could not even reach him if I was able to speak to him.
I realize that many people around me were clearly smarter than me: they understood quickly what I took years to understand. But my way is mine, and in the end every way is worth another I guess.