Carrick ended his self-imposed England exile by returning for the mid-week friendly international with Italy in Berne and he skippered the side for the final 20 minutes.
"It was special to be back. I hadn't played for over two years for England," he said.
"In terms of not playing, I went to the last World Cup and I was there but was never going to play - and I knew that. There were injuries in midfield and I still didn't get a look in.
"It was getting to the stage where I was always turning up and not playing. I decided if I wasn't close to being involved, I'd rather not be there.
"It wasn't a case of 'play me or I quit' because if anyone knows me, they'll know that's not me at all.
"Then obviously Fabio (Capello) left and Roy (Hodgson) came in and there was maybe a little bit of confusion over that.
"But I have to drawn a line under that really and moved on and being captain at the end on Wednesday was a special moment, an extra-special moment.
"It's one of them things that happened and something I'll remember forever."