Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.
-John W. Gardner

There are no literal second chances in life. The closest we can get is to look back, glean an important lesson from a perceived mistake, and use that lesson to move forward in a different, more conscious way. Mistakes are actually a vital part of growth and also unavoidable. Mistakes reveal potential lessons that can be woven back into the fabric of our lives in meaningful ways, even if they can’t be undone. Addiction is an emotional pattern of coping with reality subversively—circuitously. From the standpoint of their being an attempt at regulating our conscious experience, addictions are, themselves, a mistake. Furthermore, we will use our addictions to cope with the emotional distress caused by our perceived missteps, leading to more distress and the inevitable need to lean further into our addictions. But we can learn to use our mistakes as springboards toward positive change. Successful recovery is a windy road, never running in a straight line. So, it is very important that we become adept at personal correction, at skillful analysis and navigation when—not if—we feel we have made a mistake.

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