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No Regerts

After I write this, I'm probably going to find out somebody already has credit for coining this phrase but it's been coming up in conversation constantly lately so I feel compelled to give it a mention.

I spend a lot of time talking to people in recovery and it's probably not a surprise to hear that a common theme is the desire to change how we've handled things in the past. A big portion of that is related to relapse. I know for myself, there were different points in my recovery where I felt pretty confident in what I had just learned in rehab or AA or even detox. And for the most part, that confidence was generated through some kind of genuine effort on my part to complete whatever goal it was I had in front of me at the time. The problem was, I kept going back out there. Clearly, I still had more to learn. And that was frustrating. To put it mildly, I guess.

The change in how I handled that situation is pretty defining for my recovery, at least. At some point, I was able to see that after each of those events, I locked myself into a mode where I felt I needed to be punished for my folly and I made sure it happened. I thought I had to feel horrible about myself because of the "failure" to succeed. Well, that didn't help.

The change came when I realized.. How can you fail if you're still trying? I could go on all day on this topic and I would if you asked me to but the important part to me is the fact that there is a lesson in everything. Looking back, I feel like every relapse had it's purpose. I had a lesson to learn each time and I needed every one of them to get to this point. I think the worst part of my relapses, as far as how they affecting my recovery, was the way I treating myself after. Honestly, my wish is that we all give ourselves some grace in those moments and remind ourselves that we're human and at that point, it's not our responsibility to punish ourselves, but to look at our part of what happened and do our best to learn from it. If we do that, we can keep moving forward and as long as that's happening, I feel like we have yet to fail.

So, this whole thing was just to tell you the phrase I've come up with that I always tell myself and others during a conversation on this topic. "You don't know what you don't know until you know it". Simple. But it helps remind me that I can't always be prepared for everything because I don't know everything. I was told once that I need to give myself a little grace, and I think that silly phrase is part of me doing that. And if anybody famous has already claimed that phrase, please let me know.

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Corey Winfield
Corey Winfield
Dec 23, 2023
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