Relapse- The Blog I didn’t want to write

I’m just back from holiday, I’m experiencing my first hangover in 6.5 years and I have cuts on my arms from self harming this weekend, something which I haven’t done for about 4 years.

I’m feeling everything from disbelief to shock to remorse, and a little bit gleeful for the naughtiness of it all, because self sabotaging is so familiar and warm sometimes.

I’m wondering whether to consider it a ‘relapse’, or just another bump in the road, because I still think that it was the right thing for me to do.

I don’t feel like I have to explain myself to anyone as such but I think it’s important to be honest, and as so many will have seen me getting in a nick I wanted to be clear about why and look at how I can stop it from happening again, and accept or even embrace my choices without letting them make me feel worse about myself.

The simple answer as to why it happened was that I hit crisis point and just ran out of ways to cope and I resorted to old methods.

Had I been at home I might have been able to pull together enough resources to not to resort to that, I may have called upon the mental health crisis team, or gone to my mums or spent time with friends in a quiet environment. As it was I was at a festival abroad, and so full of sadness and anger and woe that my options seemed to be: burst into tears on and off all day (publically or in private), hiding in my apartment, or knock myself out with sleeping tablets and lose the last day of my holiday. I knew that the only way I could get through it and enjoy it was to find a way to relax myself and go with the spirit of the event and join in with the festivities, instead of feeling like an outsider or isolating myself and slipping into a deeper depression.

So it happened. I had my first booze related relapse.

And it was fun, and I didn’t do anything too wild or destructive that I can’t live with it. Of course I suffered for it the next day (hangovers and long journeys are not a great combination), but I am glad that it happened away from home, as it’s not something that I can repeat any time soon and I don’t want to feel as though I can just pick up drink and put it down just for fun any time soon. Because I still can’t.

I’m in the middle of moving house and I’m tired, stressed and heartbroken and I’d love to numb and relax myself with a drink, I’ve already considered going to the off license or sneaking off to the pub, as my addict brain is very much alive, and I know that it would feel like a huge step back if I went down that path. So I am glad that this happened away from home.

I’m accepting this as just another twist in the road. Aside from being fun and relaxing this holiday was supposed to boost my confidence and help me prove to myself that I can do so much more than I used to be able to, but it’s taught me so much more.

I’m going to earn my sober sesh crown back and my self respect, and stay more vigilant. I finally have access to the psychology department again at the end of this month and I’m gonna do my best to get and stay well. I took a detour for a while there but I need to focus on myself again and put myself first.

I have scars for souvenirs and plenty of good memories to be grateful for. But the last couple of weeks have been a rollercoaster and I have a lot of healing to do.

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