Relapse


The word relapse is one which is often associated with medical conditions and from my experience of hearing the term being used it is often used in relation to a person suffering from cancer. While that has been my experience for many years when I was diagnosed with mental health issues I learned that such a term can be used for a mental illness as well as a physical illness. Many people may not be aware that for people suffering with a mental illness the prospect of having a relapse is just as scary as for a person suffering from a physical illness and just like having a physical illness a relapse can happen and cause devastating effects for those with mental health issues.

Over the past 2-4 weeks I had begun to feel both mentally and physically ill and to be honest I didn’t really think much of it and why would i? Things had appeared to be going great for me, my med reduction was going according to plan, I was developing new relationships with family members something which I had always struggled with and I was happily employed (I still am employed) It wasn’t until Sunday when I began to realise something was wrong, something wasn’t quiet right and that maybe I did need to have a chat with the therapist about things, it was Sunday when I began to get obsessive thoughts about self-harming. Up until Sunday I wasn't concerned about having a relapse because I put my physical and mental symptoms down to a number of different things,  the possibility of coming down with a flu, it being my time of the month, just being exhausted from the stresses involved with the Summer Project during the month of July with Lucan Youth Service.

It became clear on Monday that it wasn’t just the small things getting to me it was something more, what it was I don’t know but it was when I began to get concerned about relapse, my mind was clouded with obsessive thoughts of self-harming, always being tired and not having the motivation to do anything and that then was when I realised this was something more. I didn’t do anything though to prevent things from getting much worse and I should have, I should have decided to talk to someone, I should have chosen to tell the therapist in advance of my appointment and I should have done things which I know help me through my dark days but I didn’t, why didn’t i? I honestly cant answer that, my mind was clouded with so many different thoughts, feelings and emotions that I couldn’t make myself do anything.

Wednesday was when it hit, Wednesday was when I realised I had relapsed, Wednesday I done something which I hadn't done in four months, Wednesday I engaged in self0harm I broke and left the monster which had once taken over my life back into it, leaving me venerable for it to take over again. With the knowledge of having an appointment with the therapist on Thursday I  felt somewhat positive but again I chose not to talk to the therapist as much as I should have, I should have told her more than I did and as a result the appointment was pretty pointless because I chose not to let the therapist know what was going on.

After having an extremely bad night last night I feel I may have got through the worst of this relapse and reflecting on my actions last night I do regret what I did, I do regret putting my family through hell and I do regret letting myself get into that state.  As I am sitting here writing this post I am fighting back the tears because I know now that had I not just brushed off all the warning signs of this relapse I wouldn’t have had this relapse. I'm still not doing great to be honest, I'm feeling pretty low and in general pretty shit but I am somewhat more aware of what is going on and a bit more positive that I will be able to get through this relapse.

I could have prevented this relapse but I didn’t because I was convinced in my own mind that I wouldn’t have any more bad patched, that I was better and that I don’t need medication but this relapse has made me more aware of how important it is not to get too carried away with this good times. For me I need to be aware, I need to know that I can go through bad patches again and that I need to recognise when a bad day is leading into a bad week and a bad week leads to 2 weeks and eventually I revert back to my old ways, I need to be aware so I can prevent that because at the end of the day nobody can prevent me from engaging in self-harm other than me!
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