Addiction: No Shortcuts to Recovery

Shortcuts to Recovery

Mistakes Are the DNA of Recovery


Mistakes. They are the stuff that life is made of.

Our DNA code is a combination of all of the mistakes and F-Ups made by previous generations. You are not a mistake, but your very life is built upon what a million of your ancestors learned the hard way.

The University of Mistakes

In recovery from addiction, mental health and from pretty much anything that kicks you and I to the curb, we learn the most from our mistakes.

  • Mistakes are painful.I remember that every time I fall, every time I slump into depression, when I fall back into obsessive thinking or when I engage into my compulsions. I swore to myself I would never do it again and then here it is again.
  • Mistakes get our attention. Pain and repetition gets our attention.
  • Mistakes allow us to see ourselves more honestly.We drop our pride and our pretense. We are messy and we slobber a little. For a moment, we are incoherent and it’s okay. People expect it because we blew it.
  • Mistakes get us out of our comfort zone and we go off script.We know that we don’t have things together, so we have to figure it out as we go. We are struggling, but moving forward.
  • Mistakes make us ask for help.This may be one of the most important things about mistakes.

I like things to go my way, I don’t like to feel a lot of pain and I prefer to have relatively few inconveniences. I know, I can be unrealistic.

Mistakes remind us that life is lived on the ragged edges. Discomfort is spelled GROWTH.


Last week, my computer mouse stopped working. I panicked. I had a Control-Halt-Delete moment. How the heck can I live without my mouse? Turns out my mouse was okay, it was just that the document I was using did not understand some of the mouse commands.

I quickly had to learn to use keyboard shortcuts. Keyboard shortcuts are a combination of keys that when pressed simultaneously allow you to perform a task that normally would be the domain of your computer mouse.

CNTRL + C = COPY and F1 = HELP

I wish that recovery had a set of shortcuts to get us from here to wherever the hell we want to be right now. It would be so much easier to avoid the pain, the inconvenience and annoyance. Then again, trying to avoid pain and hard stuff is what got you and I here in the first place.

Keyboard shortcuts and Recovery

Shortcuts are great for computers, but terrible for recovery. There is no such thing as a hack for hard work. There is a reason it is called hard work.

I learned a few things about recovery from my mouse misadventure.

1.Keyboard shortcuts are control commands. Recovery has no control commands other than swearing and coffee. Swearing feels good, but it does not fix most things. And when all else fails, drink coffee.

The control commands are not really about giving us control. They remind you and I that even when we have little control, we still have choices.

2.Know your control commands and you will be okay.The control commands are not really about giving us control. They remind you and I that even when we have little control, we still have choices:


2.Open Start Menu

3.Switch between programs




7.Quit program






The 12 control commands are the tech version of the 12 steps. When life has you frozen, when you are stuck in a loop or when you are facing your personal malware, go back to your control commands.

3.Shortcuts, speeding and cutting corners all arrive at the same place. When you take a shortcut, life will take you sideways just to remind you who is boss. Recovery takes time and we cannot speed it up.

4.Recovery is copy.You are not a copy and your recovery is not identical to another person’s recovery. You can learn a lot by from other people who have walked the road before you. The key command of recovery is the HELP code. Help can come in the form of friendship, a recovery group, online forums, or books and articles.

Command keys are only part of recovery. Plug yourself in to a community: Join my blog and you will get fresh and innovative content on Addiction and Mental Health, Personal Development, Leadership and Relationships. If you like what I write, please share it with your friends, so they can enjoy it.

For more on my addiction series, search for “Addiction” in the search box.

Keep it Real

GMP Be the Change

Photo by Thomasz Dunn

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