Every week I take my little brother to his Martial Arts class. On those nights everything is a bit of a rush and it usually involves me taking my dinner in a lunch box. It’s not ideal but it is what it is. The other day though my Mum messaged me before hand and told me that she was cooking dinner that night. A roast chicken with all the sides. People seem to like those kind of meals. My response was that I would probably have some of the chicken in a sandwich. I tried to not start panicking about the prospect of it and went to my class. When I left I had another message “When did you last have a decent meal?”. In all honesty…decent? I’m not sure. I think I’m starting to forget what that even is.
That threw up a little red flag for me and all I could think was “Hell NO! This is not happening”.
That got me thinking.
I’m not having a relapse but would I know what to do if I was? Would you know what to do if you were? So I thought, lets break this down, lets take what I know and use it to create a little guide in how to cope with a relapse and prevent a complete breakdown.
1) Stop and breathe. It’s going to be fine. You are going to be ok. Breathe.
2) Be honest with yourself. When did you notice you were starting to fall? Can you find the trigger or the source? What behaviours are you engaging in? Identify your coping strategies. Lay them all out on a big piece of paper where you can see them and not hide from them.
3) Call someone. Someone you trust, someone who knows where you’ve been and what it means to you to stay in recovery. Do you have a treatment team? Call them too. It helps to have people that you are accountable to. Remember that your disorder grew out of your silence. Don’t be silent now.
4) Do you need to get a physical check up done? If you do make an appointment to get that done.
5) Remember that this disorder doesn’t define you, it is not who you are and it’s not all you’ll ever be. Take away some of it’s power.
6) Write a meal plan and buy the things you need to meet that plan
7) It would also be great if you could think about doing something nice for yourself round about now. Do something that shows your body some respect. Do something that makes you smile. Great book, amazing movie, a bath, a cup of tea…the possibilities are endless.
8) Are there any support groups in your area? If there is, get yourself along to one. You don’t have to say anything if you don’t want to but being around some people who get it might help a little.
9) Write a list of the top ten reasons why you chose recovery in the first place. Put them somewhere that you can’t miss and read them every now and again.
10) Breathe. You’re going to get through this!
11) Don’t put if off any longer. It’s not going to go away on it’s own. You have to do something. Eat, rest, sleep, talk, cry, shout, rest some more. Do whatever you need to do but don’t give into the disorder.
You chose recovery because there was something inside of you that didn’t want to live the way that you were living. I’m not saying that this easy or that completing those steps are a guarantee. They are a middle to something you already begun. The ending though…that’s always up to you. I hope you find this post well but it you aren’t and you feel the edges blurring and the disorder creeping back in, then I hope these 11 steps help a little.