Relapse is Part of Recovery

 539fc1f204131e90665d441cJust about everyone with a mental illness has some form of breakdown or spiral before diagnosis. Once diagnosed, a treatment plan is put into action. The following process is called recovery. Just like drugs, habits and behaviors preceding medical care are addictions. They are ingrained into the mind and the body. True recovery requires a significant period of time. To expect perfection from this process is a false and unattainable ideal.

The truth is, it’s messy. Medication and therapy help, but there’s still a lot to be done on the personal end. Ultimately, you are responsible for your health and recovery. That’s a lot of pressure, I know. However, I also understand that relapses happen. You turn back to old behaviors and they often are not good ones. It happens, and unfortunately there is no way around it.

You have to go through it – you have to keep moving up. You cannot allow one misstep to become a complete tumble down the mountain. Your exhaustion can’t let the waves crush you. You need to remember the progress you’ve made. I have a favorite quote from Jeffrey R. Holland that often reminds me of this:

“In moments of fear or doubt or troubling times, hold the ground you have already one, even if that ground is limited.”

I understand if you are feeling discouraged. I have suffered relapses that have left me reeling for weeks. It’s hard for you, and it’s difficult for loved ones to understand. Just remember, relapse is part of recovery. You just slipped a little. That doesn’t mean you’re finished. That doesn’t mean you are defeated.

Get back up. Dust off your knees, bandage the wounds, and keep going.

I love you. Head above water, remember?


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