This is a post I truly wish I didn’t have to write, I still feel I’m letting myself and others down. You may have noticed I haven’t been around lately and this is because I’m going through an incredibly tough breakup with the person I thought I would end up marrying, and my mental health is in the gutter. I’ve done things I’m not proud of these last few weeks, things that have lead to this post being a reality. So today I would like to talk about addiction and relapse.
WHAT IS ADDICTION?
By definition, it is a treatable brain disorder characterised by compulsive engagement in stimuli despite the adverse affects. There are so many addictions, and so many different reasons for having these addictions, but the most important thing is not to judge anyone. Addictions can surface as a result of environment, circumstance, genetics or sheer bad luck.
Before I met my boyfriend I was addicted to self harm, smoking, not eating and prescription painkillers. None of this magically went away with the power of love, but it got easier to manage. Of course there were slip ups, but he was there for me no matter what, supportive and concerned. I thought it would always be that way, but sadly life doesn’t always work out how you imagine.
WHAT IS RELAPSE?
Relapse is defined as a deterioration after a period of improvement, for example a recovering drug addict using again. I’d like to preface this paragraph by saying that relapse, as much as it fucking sucks, is a normal part of recovery and happens to us all at least once. It’s horrible but it’s a fact we have to face while getting over addiction. The day I broke up with my boyfriend I stopped eating for days, I started smoking again and I ripped apart a sharpener looking for the blade. I didn’t end up using it, ironically not even having the energy to do that, but that’s the essence of relapse.
After a relapse people often feel ashamed and completely hopeless. I sure as hell regret smoking again after being off them for almost 2 years but it happened and I have to face it. Here are some risk factors that can influence a relapse. Mine was losing my boyfriend, all are different and valid.
DEALING WITH RELAPSE
I know right now I sound like the last person to be giving advice on this, but I’ve been there before, I am there right now, so I know what I’m talking about. Relapse is not a failure, it’s simply a slip up on the road to recovery. It is so important you see it like this, because seeing it as a negative can make you want to give up and dive back into the arms of addiction.
When you relapse, it’s important to look at the situation that caused it. In my case – a breakup leading to feeling like the only person on the planet. For you it could be getting in with the wrong crowd, avoiding responsibilities, or even how you see your recovery going. It is so important to reach out for help after a relapse, be it from a professional, a friend or family member or a support group.
HELP WITH RELAPSE
Getting help for your problem is the bravest and most important thing you can do after a relapse. Below are a list of some helplines that exist for addiction.
For more information on resources please see the following – https://www.addictionrecoveryireland.ie/resources
I am not proud of my relapse, and I am feeling heartbroken and miserable right now, but I know I’ll get through it. Whether or not I end up back with the boy I’m hopelessly in love with is still in the air, and while I hope I do, if not I know I will survive. I have the most amazing friends and a whole life ahead of me, and I think it’s important to remember that when times are hard and everything feels hopeless. I can get through this and so will you.
Stay strong guys!
Lots of love,