• eliabethharwood

Recovery & Relapse

Updated: Mar 31, 2021

This is an article I never wanted to write. This is not a narrative I wanted to be a part of my journey. And yet, I still made the active choices which lead me here.

Relapse is common in any recovery. It can be caused by a range of factors; inability to cope with big emotions, social and/ or environmental landscape, motivation, fear and even times of celebration.

The current backdrop has provided many difficulties and challenges to the world as a whole. For me, I have felt a lack of purpose; there is no event, nothing in the diary, work has stagnated and dried up due to the current restrictions and I cannot see friends and loved ones. Every day is & was Groundhog Day.

Since Christmas, the prospect of having a birthday in lockdown was devastating for me. As the one day in the year I allow myself to feel a little more special, it was the biggest kick in the balls - it confirmed an underlying, limiting belief that I am invaluable. Without being able to channel my energy into work, without the ability to see loved ones, and at times when you need a support network. When you feel lonely and isolated. When you need a hug. When you need intimacy. It makes everything seem so much harder. I recognise that I am not the only person struggling with this.

I have become closed off, I feel flat, I feel like whenever I open up about difficult emotions that I am weighing others down, “here we go again”, “why can't she cope”, it makes me feel defective and worthless and prevents me connecting with others. The inner critic certainly has loved lock down.

I feel grateful to have the self awareness to know that no matter what I have always thought, I cannot do it alone. A strong support network, accountability, purpose and human connection are all integral factors in a successful recovery. Human connection is fundamental to a meaningful and satisfying life. We all want to feel safe, to feel valuable- we do not want to feel powerless, invaluable and unnecessary.

As I said, I cannot do this alone. I have rallied the troops, my support network. If my purpose is weight restoration now, then on reflection I feel grateful that I have found a purpose amongst this madness. To put energy into challenging my own limiting beliefs around food, to challenge our societies narratives and labels around food, body image and self worth.

I wish I was Mystic Meg and able to predict that this will not happen again. To know I will be able to feel that I am good enough. Good enough for myself. Sadly I cannot however if I have learnt anything it is that really, I love food. And, really, the journey into relapse feels very shitty!

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