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There are so very many ways I could spin this week’s photo challenge, with the theme of “wrong.” This image comes with literal and metaphoric interpretations of making the wrong judgment and taking the wrong step, in more than one way.

Let’s start with the obvious. This is what happens when you’re cavorting in a boulder field in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and miscalculate the distance across a deep crevasse. Wrong move. Luckily, the gap wasn’t big, so I fell onto the rock I was trying to cross onto. I could have ended up with broken bones, 4000′ feet and 8 miles up a mountain from medical help, if my miscalculation had been just a little more wrong.

I wear a RoadID when hiking in case things go very wrong and my battered body has to be identified. The fall actually deformed the metal ID plate.

Making that one wrong step left me a little shaken. Within two hours, huge purple bruises had fully formed – they looked yucky, but were minor damage for making a wrong move while hiking in rough terrain. It’s also why I never hike alone, particularly in unfamiliar territory. After making a wrong step on Cadillac Mountain while hiking solo I fell head-over-heels to land precariously on my neck. If I hadn’t been using hiking poles or had slid just a bit further – well, I shudder to think of how that could have gone. Fortunately, I got no more than scrapes that time as well, and at least I learned my lesson.

Less obvious to readers not familiar with mental health issues are the wrongs I’ve done to my body, discussed in detail in my post about self-harm. The scars all over my arm came from razor blades and burning, and although I can easily count a half dozen of them in the image above, the worst ones aren’t visible here. It was a coping mechanism during a very bad time in my life, and I knew even then that it was the wrong thing to do. I just didn’t have a better way to handle the pain. I haven’t hurt myself in many years now, but I see reminders of it every day.

Moral of the story: Some wrongs can never be fully righted and leave scars that may fade, but never disappear entirely. Other wrongs are easily fixed; in a few weeks, the bruises are gone, whether on the arm or the heart. We can’t avoid the occasional wrong step or wrong decision, but sometimes we can learn our lessons and be just a bit more careful with our footing in the future.