Ok. So maybe you’re reading this post because you’ve had some kind of relapse in your life. If we’re talking about something like depression or anxiety, maybe you hurt yourself or blew up at someone or drank too much or totally freaked out.
First, just breathe. You will get through this.
Next, make sure you have a support system in place. Do you need to talk to a therapist, talk to a friend or family member, etc? To talk to a trained active listener online for free, you can use 7 Cups of Tea. Do you need to talk to your doctor or check yourself in somewhere to make sure you’re safe? Your safety and mental health is the number one priority right now.
Next, think about what’s going on. Did something trigger this, or were a lot of things just building up over time? It can be helpful to understand what causes you to be depressed or anxious so you can prevent it from happening again in the future.
What is your mood like right now in general? Maybe you want to journal about how you’re feeling, or talk about it with someone you trust. Try to process your feelings so you can get to the bottom of what caused this relapse.
Next, understand that recovering from anything is not a straight line. It’s more like the stock market. There are good days and bad days, and sometimes you feel like you’ve erased all the progress you’ve made so far, but historically, the stock market always goes steadily up in the long run, and you will also steadily get better over the long run. Just because you’re in a difficult time right now doesn’t mean you always will be. And just because you relapsed doesn’t erase your past successes.
Some people like to keep track of the days they have been self-harm free, sober, etc, and if that works for you, great. But if something happens and you get off track, try not to be hard on yourself. You don’t have to count the days, or maybe instead of counting how many days in a row you’ve been ok, you just count the total number of days (even if there are some bad days in between).
Whatever you do, just make sure that the tools you use to help you are actually helping you and not making you feel worse. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to or that makes you feel bad – even my suggestions. If it doesn’t work for you, no big deal. Just keep trying and find something else. 🙂
You can do this. Better days are ahead. Don’t give up.
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” –Confucius