How do you deal with a relapse?


The hardest part of the journey to recovery is the relapse. It's expected, but the worst of its kind usually happens without warning, and IS the most draining. 

What happens during a relapse? It's not the same for everyone, but I'm very much certain that it looks like an arduous casting of your own demons in one...big...blow. 

Sure, the months leading to the relapse had slow and painful piercings once in a while, but since you've worked so hard to recover - you assume it's part of the highs and lows. And that's okay, until the triggers worsen and you either collapse, explode, and shut down or finally overcome them. In any case, it's an inevitable part of the process because the first two years of recovery are the most vulnerable season and it's not to be taken lightly. 

As for me, I pushed myself too hard, I learned the art of not throwing a feat over little things, I shrugged off the telltale signs of an impeding relapse and made myself believe that it's the extended quarantine causing all these. NOPE! After months of struggling to keep myself in that "I'm almost there, just a little more" state, back to zero happened today. I exploded, collapsed, and shut down. 

How do you deal with a relapse then?  

R e l e a s e - completely I'm doing it as I type : emptying the cup until I feel not one drop is left. For me it's writing... for you perhaps it's dancing, playing video games, eating your heart out, exercising, recording a voice memo or simply talking to someone. 

R e s t - as much as you can. Let go of the unnecessary tasks atleast in the next 3-4 hours. Have a warm bath, get a cup of coffee, sit comfortably or lie down with your feet up. That's what I did a few minutes ago. 

R e a s s u r e - yourself that this season will pass. It might look like a dark, cold winter all over again but we'll eventually feel the warmth of summer again. 

R e c o n c i l e - with your inner child, because you owe him/her that "I'm sorry I didn't listen to the signs sooner, I'm sorry I delayed a consult or a follow up, I'm sorry I couldn't protect you again, I'm sorry it had to reach this point. I'm sorry. " 

R e - e v a l u a t e the triggers and patterns that lead to this moment because it surely did not happen overnight. From there, there could be areas that can be addressed or changed. It's okay to dig deeper, but if you're emotionally exhausted- it's okay to just keep it in the to do list for tomorrow. 

R e a c h O u t - for help. You did it before, and you can do it again. Schedule that teleconsult, before another relapse happens again. It's okay to admit that professional help is needed. If our mind is weak at the moment, it's worth noting that He has also put our doctors where they are as they are His soldiers and stewards of health. As we go through the process of recovery again, the strength of our hearts will be our resolve while we hold onto our faith in Him for restoration. 

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There's no proven method, but this is freshly pressed and written from the battlefield and it just might help you or someone you love too. 

I'll update this when I figure out the next steps, or at least when I finish my 5th and 6th R. For now, I'll be praying with you and for you. Am grateful for your prayers as well. 

We'll be okay.

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PS : It's been more than a year since I wrote these :