Relapse. Slipping back. Falling down.
When you’re working on yourself, it sometimes feels like you’re making your way up a steep treacherous mountain. You use every effort in your being to better yourself, improve your mindset and surroundings only to slip up, hit a rock and tumble back to square one. It happened to me the other weekend when I allowed my triggers to affect my mind. The thoughts of feeling isolated, unsupported, neglected and lonely circled my mind, severely affected my mood and thoughts. Only for me to fall into a dark space. Relapsing into my old mind and ways.
Some days you may feel down and upset for an extended period of time, feeling unmotivated to do anything and set yourself back into your old ways. It could be work-related stress or troubled relationships and friendships that heighten your emotions, steering you off your journey and away from where you want to be.
But we need to pull ourselves up and out! Either by “Encouraging Yourself”or getting the right support you need. I was lucky enough to receive a timely message, at that very desperate moment that same weekend, from a friend and strong supporter of me and #TTM. Their message of support and encouragement about the work I’m doing was what I needed to hear, and partially craving for; the stamp of approval that what I’m working on is actually having an effect.
However, going through that dark moment actually allowed me really think about why I was feeling a certain way. Through my journey to improving my mental health and wellbeing over the last year, I’ve learnt that it is important to tackle your emotions and address them. You need to find out why you’re feeling what you’re feeling and what you can do to overcome it. Sometimes sit in your emotions, acknowledge your pain and find out what the root problem is. Work your way through and out of it.
Staying positive and uplifted can be difficult for anyone, especially when factors outside of your control strongly affect you. Your journey to peace and happiness is just that, a journey and not a fixed destination. So there will be bad days and good days but remember to always believe in your journey, acknowledge your growth and remember where you once were, never want to be again but want to go.
Something that’s helped me is seeing Recovery for what it is. It’s not going back to a better self.
It’s starting all over again by unlearning awful skills, and practicing new, sustainable principles.
That’s why it’s challenging, in that vein I came up with the analogy of being a new born baby.
For instance, I am recovering from issues with a chronic illness that affected other areas of my life, like eating. So for 25 years I learned bad habits about food health til I got another diagnosis of eating disorder.
18 months in recovery and I am essentially an 18 month baby.
At 18 months, a baby is starting to recognize himself in the mirror, string about 20 words together, walk, but mostly stumble, and can build with blocks about 2 cubes high.
What does that translate to for us in recovery?
Eighteen months in recovery, and you’re seeing yourself differently in the mirror, talking in a new language that old you would laugh at or resent, you walk (i.e. try new things) for the first time, but you’re not that good at it and it’s frustrating, but you continue to build this new life even though you don’t have much to go beyond setting the foundation for your new life.
Ya see it now?
The thing is when you’re a man and/or a supposed “adult”, it’s tougher to accept the challenges because you feel like you need to develop fast because this is so easy for everyone else.
Those are just silly thoughts with no meaning (unless we give it significance… DON’T), and when you relate to the newborn baby, you realize you are right where you are, even when you stumble and fall.
Patience is your friend in this state… not comparison to others. Also remember that others are hurting like you were before you started recovery… soon they’ll be where you are. So why are we jealous of em?
[…] I also remember my periods of low confidence and re-reading “Encourage Yourself”. I remember my “Relapsing” post (basically a self-trigger to get myself back on track!). I can recount the […]