“Why are you having a bad day, you’re in recovery?”. If only I could explain it fully. Lapses are hard and so are relapses, yes there is a difference. A relapse is where you “fall” right now and in my case become a server high risk which has often resulted in inpatient stays. A lapse of when something happens oneself or maybe twice. Recovery means what it says. It’s not recovered, it’s recovering. It’s a process. I still don’t know personally if “recovered” exists or whether I will always be in recovery.
Recovery does not mean everything is okay. It doesnt mean I’m ok, you’re okay, someone you know is all better again, it’s not like fixing a broken bone or having stitches and the wound being healed in a week. It’s an on going process where personally, every day I have a routine of things to do, like reading “just for today”, writing emotions and thoughts down, writing a gratitude list and using distractions such as walking, reading, writing, cross stitching etc to help me on bad days and I constantly have to use my DBT (Dialectual Behavioural Therapy) on a day to day basis. It includes mindfulness, pros and cons, self soothing, self validation, radical accotenace, surfing the wave, identify triggers and creating a behaviour chain analysis. All of this helps em to stay safe and keep on the road to recovery. But because I’m in recovery doesn’t mean I am always okay and I know many of you can relate to this. I’ve also done all those things and still lapses and relapsesed and ended back inpatient. It’s a tough fight. The days that are good feel amazing, the bad days can feel like the world is ending and no one can do anything about it.
I still have flashbacks. I still have nightmares. I still have urges and negative thoughts and cravings for substances I’ve been physically addicted too and in some way are still mentally addicted too. I have lapsed, many times. I get anxious still. I still have panic attacks here and there. I still cry a lot some days. Some days all I want to do is sleep. Dragging myself out of bed in the mornings can some days take hours. It can take 1-6 hours to get to sleep at night and with the nightmares on top it leads to sleep deprivation. Sometimes my appetite goes and I can’t eat. These days are horrible.
Other days, I manage to get up, to wash and do my hair and make up and go out relatively okay. I get things done. I’m productive, I sleep well and the flash and are manageable. I’m not so anxious. Thoughts, urges etc are not as strong. I don’t cry at all. I can sleep well. These days feel wonderful.
It’s a journey, it’s a ride (just not always a fun one). But please don’t judge me or others. And if you do, them no offence, but you aren’t someone I need in my life. It’s a long road but it’s going to be worth it. So to those that are struggling, remember you can keep hope alive, nothing lasts forever, like the happiness doesn’t, neither does the sadness.