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 Post subject: Relapse - not the end of the world
PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:09 pm 
admin goddess from hell
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Relapse - not the end of the world

For many people who are recovering from an eating disorder or supporting a loved one through recovery, a relapse into old behaviours and thoughts can be devastating. While it might not feel like it at the time, relapse can be viewed as an opportunity to learn important lessons about what is and isn’t working, and make positive changes for the future.

A relapse can enable you to explore what triggered the change in your recovery journey, and how you might adapt the skills you have already learned, and acquire new ones, to get back on track with your recovery with newfound skills under your belt.

EDV Psychologist Annabelle Ryburn has these tips on how to move on from a relapse and to get your recovery back on track.


• Acknowledge that relapse is normal

Recovery from an eating disorder means addressing many deep habitual patterns and learning different strategies to manage difficult situations. Acknowledge that there may be a situation that triggers these old ways of coping and that this brief return to the previous coping strategy is normal on the path to recovery. Remember to live in the ‘grey zone’ and understand that this is a journey. Without this acceptance we can fall into ‘all-or-nothing’ thinking calling ourselves “successful” or “failed” when these types of very normal occurrences (lapses) happen on our recovery journey.


• See it as a learning opportunity
Treat the ‘lapse’ as a great opportunity to learn from. Look at it with curiosity and interest, rather than with disdain. Treat it as a chance to look at where you might need extra support, additional strategies, or to look at some underlying issues that may need attending to.


• Celebrate your strengths
Within the ‘lapse’ take time to review what you were able to do, that you might not have had the knowledge or tools to do previously. This might be a choice you made to reach out for help, or your ability to understand what triggered you. Acknowledge to yourself that you have these strengths and tools to help you face forward again.


• Develop self compassion
Experiencing a ‘lapse’ can be a time when self punitive or punishing thought run high. To pick yourself up and face forward again you need encouragement and support….from you! Think about what you would say to someone else you have met in a recovery support group, or what you imagine you would say to a friend recovering from an eating disorder. Speak kindly to yourself, be a cheer leader and encourage yourself to move forward.

eating disorders victoria

_________________
Whispered words of wisdom,
Let it be.

~~ John Lennon


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 Post subject: Re: Relapse - not the end of the world
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:46 am 
Demi Mod
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This is great, I really needed to read it right now. Thanks for posting!


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 Post subject: Re: Relapse - not the end of the world
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:58 am 
orange is a state of mind

Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:44 pm
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Location: Australia
Good to read. It can be hard to have self compassion.


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 Post subject: Re: Relapse - not the end of the world
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:47 am 
orange is a state of mind
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Oh this is so helpful right now!! Need to change the way I am looking at the lapse I am experiencing.

_________________
~Christelle~
http://christellesworld.wordpress.com/
"Embrace not just any reason to recover, but every reason. Over time, you will...embrace one of the best reasons to recover - you are worth it."


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 Post subject: Re: Relapse - not the end of the world
PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 6:29 pm 
stranger in an orange land
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Im so encouraged! thank you


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 Post subject: Re: Relapse - not the end of the world
PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:06 pm 
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Wasn't sure where to post this, but I came across this "relapse prevention contract" which looks like it could be really useful. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Relapse - not the end of the world
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 12:27 am 
orange is a state of mind

Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2009 8:14 pm
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I thought this deserved a bump. Relapses happen, but it doesn't have to destroy you. Pick yourself up, learn what you can, and keep biting back!


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 Post subject: Re: Relapse - not the end of the world
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 10:56 am 
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I found this post on tumblr and thought it was interesting, I hadn't really thought about it in this way before:

Quote:
The biggest thing to remember about relapses in recovery is that they don’t occur the moment you engage in an ED behavior.
The misconception in recovery is that you are constantly fighting the urges to engage in your behaviors. Although that’s a big part of recovery, the key to recovery is learning the roots of those behaviors and learning to fight against those as well.
If you try to prevent your relapse from occurring right before you are going to engage in a behavior, it’s a lot harder to prevent yourself from following through. That’s why you have to prevent your relapses much sooner.
Here’s a guide to help you:
Trigger > Thoughts > Feelings > Urges > Actions/Behaviors

A trigger leads to thoughts about the trigger which leads to feelings about the trigger which leads to urges to engage in behaviors which leads to taking action in behaviors.

A trigger can happen months to years before an actual behavior, but to keep this simple, I will use a relatable scenario:
Let’s say you get into a fight with a significant other. This is a trigger. Maybe the fight leads you to think, “I can’t believe they did this! This is so unfair!” Your thoughts lead to your feelings: hurt, angry, frustrated, stressed. Your feelings lead to urges: “Restricting will make me feel better.” This can lead to the actions: starving, purging, etc.

This is where your recovery tools come in. In a perfect world, healthy communication would have happened instead of a fight, but because nobody is perfect, that may not always be the case. So, if a fight does occur, you have to pay very close attention to your thoughts and your feelings.
Although you can’t change your feelings, you can change your thoughts about the situation. So instead of thinking, “I can’t believe they did this! This is so unfair!,’ a healthier response would be, “What was my part in this? Am I able to see it from their perspective? What can we do to compromise and fix the situation?” This can prevent you from feeling negative behaviors and your “relapse” would stop there.

If you are unable to think that way and you end up feeling angry, frustrated, hurt, and stressed, you have to have a recovery arsenal in order to deal with those negative feelings. For example, calling a friend, speaking to your therapist, going to a 12-step meeting, writing about your feelings, punching a pillow, going for a walk, etc. This will hopefully prevent you from feeling the urges to relapse.

If you’re unable to do that, you’ve entered in an extremely dangerous and vulnerable place. Once you’ve gotten to the point of feeling urges, it can be very difficult to turn back.
This is why it’s extremely important to have and utilize recovery tools while in recovery, even if you’ve been in recovery for years.

This is also why it’s important to understand that relapse happens well before you engage in the first ED behavior. It’s a lot easier to prevent relapses than to get out of them. Your relapses could be the end of you. Remember that.


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 Post subject: Re: Relapse - not the end of the world
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 10:49 pm 
i love orange
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Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2014 11:42 pm
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Very helpful, working myself through a relapse now, getting better, but still very difficult


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