Relapse Happens

Hugs by Brittany Randolph  CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Flickr
Hugs by Brittany Randolph
CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Flickr

If you have followed my blog for a while, or even if you are new, but looked at the archives, you will notice that I am gradually healing.  Too gradually for my taste, but I don’t seem to get a choice in that one.  Still, I am grateful for any and all growth and healing.

Still because I want to be authentic, and more especially so I won’t give a false picture to those who are traveling this same path, I have to say: relapse happens.  I have days where I find myself feeling awful.  It isn’t as frequent as it used to be, but it still happens.

On those days I think, “Oh no, no please not this again!”  Because as you probably know, when you get into that space it feels like that is all there ever has been, and all there ever will be.  It defies logic, to be sure, but I have come to believe that emotions can be more powerful than logic.

The biggest relapse for me happened recently.  I was triggered, and without warning  found myself in that place where self-harm seemed like the only way to ease the pain.  I felt so torn.  Part of me, really wanted to get a knife and relieve the pressure.  Another part of me said, “No don’t do it.”  At the same time, I despaired because, “I thought I was over this.”  In the end, I didn’t do it, but I wept because I wanted to so badly.

Where do such strong feelings come from?  I am sure I don’t know.  But I have close friends (also trauma/abuse survivors) that have experienced them, and acted on them.  Our culture focuses on teenagers that do this, but it’s not just teenagers.

There is good news.  The feelings only stayed a day or two.  Then they were gone again.  I hope that mentioning this will give others hope: it does get better.

If you’re thinking about self-harm, but have never done it–don’t start, it’s very addictive.   If you have done it, I wish I could put my arms around you and cry with you.  (safe hug)  I would tell you that I understand.  And I would say:

I’m so sorry for what happened to you.  That never should have happened.  It wasn’t your fault.  I will do everything I can to make sure no one ever hurts you again.

If you need to hear those words, print out this post and put it somewhere private just for you, and know that I would say them to you in person if I could.  I’m so sorry for what happened to you.  It will get better.


Photo Attribution



  1. Sending safe hugs your way, too. Am pleased to see you were able to save yourself from harming your body.
    from all of me.

  2. Yesterday I read Elder Holland’s Broken Things to Mend talk. Between that and some other things I had one of those more deeply understanding moments about how Heavenly Father loves me, not as I want to be, or as I have been, or as I will be but, here and now. I’ve thought about it since, in the Temple during my shift, and know, from experience, that the “high” won’t last, that ordinary life will step in and I’ll come face to face with those decisions that will give opportunity to do the “right” things, and I’ll fail. But I will keep trying. I am so glad that you were able to get through your “relapse” without hurting yourself. Tears are so much easier to care for. The thing that you did, was to keep trying. I remember one time President Kimball said, “don’t try, do.” That bothered me until I learned that for 99.9% of us, trying is the way to keep going. Never met, but I love you, and hope you have a super dooper day.

  3. Thanks for the pingback, Leslie

    It is so true that, in our darker moments, no alternative seems to exist. I’ve just read a lovely post tonight that speaks of those darker times are also moments of great healing.

    Lovely post!

  4. Thank you for your post! I’m sure it is overwhelming to know it takes such a long, gradual, painful process to heal.

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