"But, it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day." --Pip, in "Great Expectations".
A chain of iron and thorns. The reason we are able to recover is by discovering somehow, through others, through the hand of God that mysteriously touches us in ways we don't expect, that He really can cut that chain, and start a different one: Gold and flowers.
Whether we are under the impression that we deserve that or not.