Relapse Doesn’t Have To Mean Relapse

As recently discussed, the last week has been particularly difficult for reasons I won’t go into again (you can read about them here), and during that week, I wondered if I was in fact going backwards. 

During the week I had constant anxiety, 24/7 which considering the situation I’d expect to be anxious. I haven’t felt like that in almost 2 years, where every waking moment is filled with fear, dread, tension and constant worry, yet last week I felt like I was spiralling back to where I once was at my lowest. 

What with hospital trips, terrible doctors, work worries, money stresses, some really terrible news and my first panic attack in several months, I couldn’t help but feel constantly on edge, and sadly this seemed to drag up a lot of old behaviours I’ve worked so hard to overcome – and then it hit me. Am I relapsing? Am I going backwards? I’d say relapse is my absolute biggest fear, because I don’t know if I’ll have the strength to come back from it again. 

The week rolled on, we got the news we were dreading, and we began to move on. Moving on for me means evaluating what’s just happened and looking for positives – even when you don’t think there are any. This time was slightly different though, because moving on meant I’d need to begin tackling some old anxieties I’d long gotten on top of. 

However, although this seemed a bit of a bugger, it’s actually like riding a bike. I know what I now have to think, or what I have to do in situations of anxiety or panic. I have all of the tools from a few years ago that I can just tap into, like a mental health Swiss Army knife, and tackle each anxiety challenge in the same way that got me through it last time. 

Since Friday, it’s been one big push. I’ve placed myself into situations I wouldn’t usually cope very well with, I’ve done things I’d usually avoid and thought things I’d usually distract myself from, in a bid to kick this relapse straight in the balls, and it seems to be working. 

I’ve got a long way to go, and apparently a few more triggers now, but I’m not really fazed. I know I’ve done this before. Everything I’m dreading I’ve done before. I’ve just got to keep plodding on, cup of tea in hand and maybe the odd bit of chocolate – should get me through it. After all, with a bit of hard work, relapse doesn’t have to mean relapse. 

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