I’m recovering – Bouncing back! It usually takes a certain level of recovery before I fully grasp the magnitude of any “relapse”. That was quite a bad one and I know only too well that it won’t be the last. That’s not all doom and gloom, but an acceptance of my journey towards healing.
I’m experienced in the cycles of my own depression. It comes from years of being up and down like a yo-yo. Relapse is not failure and it doesn’t ever mean we are back to basics. It is merely a re-emergence of our symptoms. It’s something we do get over in time and usually take up where we left off.
I recently had a change of diagnosis from Bipolar to Recurrent Depressive Disorder. Either way, bad bouts of depression seem part of the illness. Part of me has been accepting of that self-perpetuating theory, another part is searching for an alternative.
Lately I’ve become more aware of these recurring bouts of depression as being a time of great healing and growth. Perhaps there is no start or finish in recovery. Maybe “relapse” is actually part of that healing process rather than a bunch of devastating symptoms.
Of course, we all know the warning signs; the things we are told to avoid. That’s all good and well, but if you have some monsters in the closet, sometimes there is no avoiding those ‘triggers’. If we don’t exorcise the past, how can we attain ultimate healing?
While preventing ‘relapse’ plays an important role in recovery, sometimes there are unavoidable circumstances or conditions that deem complete prevention impossible. Should we be surprised or disappointed when the despair and emptiness re-emerge? We’ve all been there – beating ourselves up for relapsing, feeling guilty, ashamed and full of doubt for any kind of recovery.
Recovering from depression or any other mental illness is an on-going process and incorporates different aspects of our lives. The journey is paved with bad and bloody awful days, but it also has the better times. The days, weeks, or even months, when we appreciate our growth and catch a glimpse of the spirit that is emerging.
I read a lovely blog post by my blogger-friend, KarenBeth from Finding the Grace Within. I’m clueless on how to do fancy pingbacks but here is a link to her post, “Healing is a process – not an event”