While in recovering, relapse is not uncommon. Some days its just one slip up, but other relapses can last months, years even. Sometimes you feel devoted to getting better and other times you are unable to focus on your goals and move forward.
If you slip up and make a mistake, remember that you will be okay. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that it was a mistake and you have the power to move forward. For me, my power came from praying to God to heal me and take the burden of guilt and regret from my shoulders so I could continue on the road to recovery. Here are three ways to cope with those feelings of guilt and regret after a relapse.
1. Address the issues:
What’s going on that caused you to relapse? Grab a journal and write down what you think caused you to relapse. Every time you slip up, record it in the journal. By doing this, you will start to notice patterns. I know that for me, stress from school usually made me relapse into my eating disorder behaviors.
2. Talk to a therapist or someone close to you:
Therapists and counselors are great ways to help realize underlying stressors that cause you to relapse. Remember, they are professionals for a reason! My counselor definitely helped me. By talking about your stressors, you can start to understand the feelings of guilt, grief, and frustration. Even calling a friend and telling them you are struggling with something eases a little bit of the stress.
3. Focus on the positive:
Once you have talked about your stressors and emotions, you can process what happened prior to the feelings of acting out with unhealthy coping mechanisms. Use your journal to keep a plan to make sure it won’t happen again. Try to not spend too much time focusing on your mistakes, instead focus on the positive parts of your life. Think about how far you have come in recovery and keep taking steps forward! You can do it!
I believe in you! Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.