Why do we Relapse?

Healing, The Self

upOkay, let’s say we get it right for a couple of days, for a few weeks, a few months and even a few years. Then at some point during our progress, we relapse, we go back to our old problematic situation – may it be a previous lifestyle, a disposition, relationships, habits, and just the very thing – anything – we have set our mind to get over with for good.

Why does this happen?

I know it’s frustrating and sometimes complex, but the answer can also be as simple as this:

Because we stop working on it.

Any kind of change worthy of our effort needs our dedication just like physical work out. We gotta do it regularly and even level up the intensity if we want to see progress. Our muscles get back to how they were or even in worse shape when we stop working out. We can’t just work out intensely for a few months and expect that it’s gonna do it for the rest of our lives. We need to be continuously on it, regardless if we’re in the mood or not for it, regardless if we feel like we’re getting back to how we were or not…yet. We usually stop when it either gets better or worse – and things are always gonna go either way, anyway.

Healthy habits have to be practiced consciously, consistently, especially when it’s difficult, since those times are probably when we are at our most vulnerable…to hit a wall or relapse.

Many of us think that we can just get over something for good.

Maybe scientifically, technically, yes, there are qualifiers and there is a need to do that as well. But not essentially. It’s a pretty subjective matter and things are open-ended until, well, we die. We just cannot get over our humanity until then. We are always subject to evolution.

Likewise, we may need to stamp on an issue for our own self-esteem and peace of mind, and that is certainly not a bad thing to do if doing so actually helps. However, for many of us, this only puts an intolerable pressure that backfires when we realize we can’t keep up with our own expectations. This only makes us more critical of ourselves and of others which can lead us into another (maybe worse) downward spiral.

What helped me with my struggle with chronic depression and my fears of relapsing (again) was accepting that it’s probably gonna be one of crosses until I die. I am probably more likely to be depressed because of how I am wired and there’s certainly nothing I can do to change that, and I wouldn’t want to, anyway. It’s only after being able to accept it that I felt powerful over it again.

It’s a struggle and also a beacon of light for me, guiding me on how I should be taking care of myself. It’s a constant reminder of all the healthy habits I should be embodying, not out of fear, but out of genuine self-awareness and self-love. It reminds me of how I won the battles of my life, which only proves how indestructible my spirit is, which only inspires me to move forward in my path.

Many times, I have wished, too, of a button that we could simply press to transform ourselves and our lives with for once and for all. But eventually I have realized what’s the point of life then if such a thing existed?

The narratives of our lives are about our struggles, transformations and triumphs. The Universe hopes that we learn to appreciate them more; to see them as beautiful and full of meaning – and to just. keep. going.

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