Stuck In The Cycle of Relapse…Recovery…Relapse? Here’s How to Break Free

relapse recovery cycle - image of figure outside of window with hands on class; window fogged

Recovery …. Relapse… Recovery… Relapse… the cycle seemed to be never-ending. I would be deep in the depths of my eating disorder, then go to treatment and be on cloud nine in recovery. Before I knew it I would stumble right back into relapse.

I honestly didn’t think real recovery was ever possible. I began to accept that I would always live with this disease. Can you relate?

One day I was in the midst of slipping back into a relapse when I had this immense soul awakening.

This is not the way I want to live the rest of my life. I don’t want to be in my last days knowing that I never explored this beautiful world because my eating disorder told me that I wasn’t allowed.

Missing out on special family occasions because of my eating disorder is not the way I want to live. I don’t want to miss out on living to my full potential just to hold onto the comfort of my eating disorder.

What can I do to stop this dreadful cycle of recovery and relapse?

I dug into research around habit changing, mindset shifting and creating long-lasting differences in my life. My heart and mind opened to so many different techniques. I slowly implemented them and slowly but surely, I defined what recovery looked like to me.

From there I began taking the steps to get there – and more importantly stay there! I spent a lot of time sitting and defining things like:

  • My true values

  • What life would look like without my eating disorder dictating every decision

  • My own definition of recovery

I had been in treatment and therapy many times. Yet I never took the time to really think of these things. I don’t remember taking the time to think about developing my own values.

Instead of following pre-made guidelines for recovery, I defined what recovery meant to me.

I decided what I wanted my recovery to look like and even what I want to be remembered for after I pass away.

I’ve been set free

Before this, I spent years focused on why my eating disorder developed, what triggers my behaviors and how to cope with them in the moment. Despite that, I never spent time thinking of who I truly wanted to be when my eating disorder wasn’t dictating my daily life.

Taking the time to really consider these things was the key I needed to unlock the tight chains the eating disorder had on me. It is not a quick release by any means. But day by day I am beginning to feel free of the binds of the eating disorder.

So, dear warrior, consider these things… Then go after them. And watch the chains drop away.

What do you really value?

If you could live FREE what would your life look like?

What do you want to be remembered for?

More from Alexandra Maffett, CPC, ELI-MP
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