The number 1 question I always get asked? – “Do you have tips on getting through relapse?”, “How can I manage all these set-backs?”
I’m sure because the word ‘relapse’ was in the title that many of your thought I this article would just be speaking about CFS, right? Well, I wanted to share with you something I’ve come to realise about life’s set-backs. It’s not the world’s most startling revelation, but I felt that maybe some of you maybe wanted to hear it today.
The thing is, in life there will always be relapses. There will always be the fumbles, set-backs and little things that trip us up. To be honest, it’s what makes life interesting (although it’s not always so easy to remember that at the time). From the supermarket not having the ingredient you need to make dinner (#firstworldproblem), to things not going so well well one day at work, to having a chronic illness or losing someone in your life- set-backs are an inevitable part of life.
I’ve come to the conclusion that relapses, in a broader sense, aren’t just reserved to people with CFS/ME, Fibromyalgia or sickness of any kind. Emotional relapses or thoughts patterns can often be just as debilitating. They might not effect your confidence and health as much as CFS, but in truth, most people have relapses from or into something at one stage of their lives, and in some cases, will keep doing so.
I don’t want you to think that I’m making light of having a relapse of CFS- trust me, I’ve been there (on more occasions than I’d like to think about) and it sucks big-time. But if there’s any way that this thought brings you comfort, take it and run with it. I often got into the habit of being so caught up in my own woes when I was sick that I didn’t take a moment to think about what was going on outside or around me. You become stifled in your own little energy cocoon, and while you don’t want to let anyone disrupt you in there, you also don’t want to give anything back either.
There will be set-backs after recovery, there will inevitably be emotional bumps. Until then, look at each fumble as an opportunity to learn. Even if you’re p*ssed off angry and want to punch the wall with frustration, know that the lesson sometimes only comes after the event. What did you get right and in what areas do you need to brush yourself off and try again? At the end of the day, we’re all just trying. Everyone is just doing their best.
Think of the bigger picture and let it inspire you, not just this present, slightly rubbish moment.
Break out of your cocoon. The butterfly has to emerge at some point.
Love, Katie xxx