HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF AFTER A LAPSE
1. Recognize that lapsing is a normal part of recovery.
I don’t say that to justify lapsing or use as a cop out when things get difficult. I say it as a reminder that your recovery doesn’t have to be perfect in order to produce results. That said, no one’s recovery is perfect. Everyone has set backs and struggles. Everyone makes mistakes, messes up, and reverts to old behaviors — not because they’re weak or incapable, but because recovery is really, really difficult. Your behaviors helped you cope with trauma and incredible emotional pain. They allowed you to numb out and they kept you afloat when you felt like you were drowning. Letting go of something that helped you survive for so long is not easy. And it doesn’t happen over the course of a few days or months. It’s terrifying, painful, incredibly challenging, and it takes time. So be compassionate with yourself and your process. You’re doing the best you can to fight this and recover and it’s all you can ask of yourself.
2. Use the lapse as a learning experience.
You can’t go back in time and change the fact that you lapsed, but you can choose how you respond to it. You can wallow in self-pity, beat yourself up, and use what happened as an excuse to continue using behaviors. Or you can choose to use what happened as a learning experience. You can look at the lapse as an opportunity to collect important information about what triggers you to use behaviors and what you need in the moment to avoid a future lapse.
3. Be curious.
Judging yourself for having a lapse doesn’t get you anywhere. It makes you feel worse and it keeps you stuck. Instead of feeding the cycle of self-hatred, treat yourself with compassionate curiosity and start asking questions:
What need did you have in the moment that wasn’t being met? Were you feeling lonely? Sad? Depressed? Angry? Hurt? Disappointed? Rejected? Invisible? Inadequate? When you turned to behaviors to cope, what were you really looking for? Did you need to feel safe? Did you need a way to express your feelings? Did you need to feel seen and heard? Did you need a distraction? Comfort? Control? How could you have gotten that need met in a non self-destructive way? And how can you take care of yourself in the future when these triggers come up again?
You don’t have to know the answer to all of these questions right now, but it’s important to start exploring and being curious.
4. Treat yourself like you would a friend.
If you had a friend or loved one who lapsed, you wouldn’t put them down. You wouldn’t call them a failure. You wouldn’t see them as worthless. And you wouldn’t discount all the progress they had made. You would treat them with kindness and compassion. You would give them a hug, remind them of how far they’ve come, and reassure them that just because they had one lapse doesn’t mean they can’t turn things around and get back on track.
Well, you’re not an exception. You deserve to be treated with the same forgiveness and love you would so willingly give to anyone else who was struggling. So when your self-hating thoughts get loud and tell you that you’re a failure for lapsing, challenge them. And if in the moment it’s difficult to be nice to yourself, think of what you would say to someone you care about and apply those positive counters to your own thoughts.
5. Reach out.
Don’t isolate and withdraw. It may feel safer, but it only perpetuates the pain you feel and keeps you stuck. In order to get back on track, you have to talk about what happened. You have to be honest with yourself and your support network. You have to give yourself permission to ask for help, use your voice, and make your needs known. Keeping secrets keeps us sick. If we want to heal, we have to break the silence.
6. Get extra support.
If you’re struggling, you deserve to ask for help. Denying yourself extra support when things start going down hill isn’t noble or self-sacrificing. It’s self-destruction, and it’s a sure-fire way to put yourself at risk for another lapse. There is nothing shameful about asking for more help. It doesn’t make you weak. It doesn’t make you a disappointment. And it doesn’t make you a burden. It makes you someone with the courage to be honest and the strength to make recovery a priority. It makes you determined and admirable and brave. It’s self-care and in order to get back on track and heal, it’s imperative.
7. Focus on progress, not perfection.
One lapse does NOT discount all of the days you went without using behaviors. It doesn’t make you weak or incapable or inadequate. It doesn’t make you a failure or erase your progress, and it definitely doesn’t mean you can’t get better. All a lapse means is that you were hurting so deeply and didn’t know how else to cope. It was a bad decision, but it doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you human. The lapse was just a bump in your road to recovery, but it doesn’t mean you have to start all over. You’re just continuing your journey right where you left off. So don’t give up. You will get to where you need to be in your own time. Until then, breathe, be patient, and trust that as long as you keep pushing forward, reaching out for help, and picking yourself back up, no matter how many times you lapse, you can and will recover.
I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy
because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless
and they don’t want anyone else to feel like that.
HOW IS THIS NOT EVERYWHERE?
Reblogging this good news…again.
y’all know EXACTLY why this isn’t everywhere. don’t pretend to be oblivious
Well let’s spread the word then guys. This kid deserves all the attention.
Robin was an incredibly funny man who unfortunately left us today. I honestly am person who thinks that the best way to appreciate someone who contributed so much to the world is to appreciate what they brought into it. So, I thought I would help you by providing some links. I really hope he has found some peace.
I couldn’t find The Crazy Ones or season 3 and 4 of Mork & Mindy, I apologize, huns.
Can I Do It ‘Till I Need Glasses?(1977) // Popeye(1980) // The World According to Garp(1982) // The Survivors(1983) // Moscow on the Hudson(1984) // Seize the Day(1986) // Club Paradise(1986) // The Best of Times(1986) // Good Morning, Vietnam(1987) // The Adventures of Baron Munchausen(1988) // Rabbit Ears: Pecos Bill(1988) // Dead Poets Society(1989) // I’m from Hollywood(1989) // Cadillac Man(1990) // Awakenings(1990) // Back to Neverland(1990) // Dead Again(1991) // The Fisher King(1991) // Hook(1991) // Rabbit Ears: The Fool and the Flying Ship(1991) // Toys(1992) // Aladdin(1992) // FernGully: The Last Rainforest(1992) // Shakes the Clown(1992) // Mrs. Doubtfire(1993) // Being Human(1994) // Jumanji(1995) // To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar(1995) // Nine Months(1995) // Aladdin and the King of Thieves(1996) // Hamlet(1996) // The Secret Agent(1996) // Jack(1996) // The Birdcage(1996) // Good Will Hunting(1997) // Flubber(1997) // Deconstructing Harry(1997) // Fathers’ Day(1997) // Patch Adams(1998) // Junket Whore(1998) // What Dreams May Come(1998) // Bicentennial Man(1999) // Jakob the Liar(1999) // Model Behavior(2000) // A.I. Artificial Intelligence(2001) // Insomnia(2002) // Death to Smoochy(2002) // One Hour Photo(2002) // Noel(2004) // House of D(2004) // The Final Cut(2004) // The Big White(2005) // Robots(2005) // The Aristocrats(2005) // Man of the Year(2006) // Night at the Museum(2006) // Happy Feet(2006) // Everyone’s Hero(2006) // RV(2006) // The Night Listener(2006) // License to Wed(2007) // August Rush(2007) // Shrink(2009) // World’s Greatest Dad(2009) // Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian(2009) // Old Dogs(2009) // Happy Feet Two(2011) // The Big Wedding(2013) // The Face of Love(2013) // The Butler(2013)
Mork & Mindy
season 1: Pilot // Mork Moves In // Mork Runs Away // Mork in Love // Mork’s Seduction // Mork Goes Public // To Tell The Truth // Mork the Gullible // A Mommy for Morky // Mork’s Greatest Hits // Old Fears // Mork’s First Christmas // Mork and the Immigrant // Mork the Tolerant // Young Love // Snowflakes Keep Dancing on my Head // Mork Goes Erk // Yes Sir, That’s my Baby // Mork’s Mixed Emotions // Mork’s Night Out // In Mork We Trust // Mork Runs Down // It’s a Wonderful Mork // Mork’s Best Friend
season 2: Mork in Wonderland // Stark Raving Mork // Mork’s Baby Blues // Dr. Morkenstein // Mork vs. Mindy // Mork Gets Mindy-itis // A Morkville Horror // Mork’s Health Hints // Dial ‘N’ for Nelson // Mork vs the Necrotons // Hold That Mork // The Exidor Affair // The Mork Syndrome // Exidor’s Wedding // A Mommy for Mindy // The Night They Raided Mind-ski’s // Mork Learns to See // Mork’s Vacation // Jeanie Loves Mork // Little Orphan Morkie // Looney Tunes and Morkie Melodies // Clerical Error // Invasion of the Mork Snatchers // The Way Mork Were
Your mother did not raise you with a wolf in your chest so you could howl over losing a man.
Robin Williams didn’t die from suicide. I only just heard the sad, sad news of Robin Williams’s death. My wife sent me a message to tell me he had died, and, when I asked her what he died from, she told me something that nobody in the news seems to be talking about.
When people die from cancer, their cause of death can be various horrible things – seizure, stroke, pneumonia – and when someone dies after battling cancer, and people ask “How did they die?”, you never hear anyone say “pulmonary embolism”, the answer is always “cancer”. A Pulmonary Embolism can be the final cause of death with some cancers, but when a friend of mine died from cancer, he died from cancer. That was it. And when I asked my wife what Robin Williams died from, she, very wisely, replied “Depression”.
The word “suicide” gives many people the impression that “it was his own decision,” or “he chose to die, whereas most people with cancer fight to live.” And, because Depression is still such a misunderstood condition, you can hardly blame people for not really understanding. Just a quick search on Twitter will show how many people have little sympathy for those who commit suicide…
But, just as a Pulmonary Embolism is a fatal symptom of cancer, suicide is a fatal symptom of Depression. Depression is an illness, not a choice of lifestyle. You can’t just “cheer up” with depression, just as you can’t choose not to have cancer. When someone commits suicide as a result of Depression, they die from Depression – an illness that kills millions each year. It is hard to know exactly how many people actually die from Depression each year because the figures and statistics only seem to show how many people die from “suicide” each year (and you don’t necessarily have to suffer Depression to commit suicide, it’s usually just implied). But considering that one person commits suicide every 14 minutes in the US alone, we clearly need to do more to battle this illness, and the stigmas that continue to surround it. Perhaps Depression might lose some its “it was his own fault” stigma, if we start focusing on the illness, rather than the symptom. Robin Williams didn’t die from suicide. He died from Depression*. It wasn’t his choice to suffer that.
i am quoting this a thousand times today.
RIP mike brown.
A THOUSAND TIMES THIS. BECAUSE THIS WHAT THE MEDIA DOES TO DISTRACT YOU FROM THE REAL ISSUE. THEY VILIFY THE VICTIM. PAY ATTENTION.
If death meant just leaving the stage long enough to change costume and come back as a new character…Would you slow down? Or speed up?
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