I relapsed in December 2014.
Wait, let me back up.
I relapsed from September 2014 – December 2014.
In early September 2014, I got thrown off of my four-wheeler and was prescribed Hydrocodone to help the pain.
I didn’t tell that doctor that I was QUEEN of finding ways to help the pain.
I stared at the paper in her hand, practically salivating at the thought of having a legal prescription in my hand again.
Pushing aside progress to make room for the comfort of feeling number was much too easy.
I would wake up, workout (a strict NO from the doctor couldn’t stop me), come home, take a Hydro, and settle into an unsettling comfort until bedtime.
When a week was up, and my back slowly started to feel better, I left that out during my check-up.
No really, it was still hurting.
For the next three months, I used the hydrocodone to make myself believe I didn’t need to do well at my job, and that I wasn’t deserving of moving out with my now-husband.
He bought a house; I drove home from work to lay in his bed until he got home so I could tell him I wasn’t ready.
I told him I needed a more permanent job.
In reality, I wasn’t ready to give up my demons; I was relishing in the sunshine of a rebound.
I got talked to by my boss multiple times, even threatening termination if I couldn’t get my shit together.
I didn’t think I had a problem; they were my pills.
But it’s still an addiction; even if it’s your name on the bottle.
Then one night in December, I went out with friends.
I took a hydro, met a friend for dinner, then took another when we left for the party.
Then came the alcohol.
I loved it; I was falling in love all over again, just not with a person.
But I forgot how hard it hits.
And the second time around was twice as brutal.
When I woke up the next morning on someone’s couch I sat up, stared straight ahead, and tried to focus on SOMETHING.
Something that would remind me what happened the night before.
Something that would eventually play back the actions that would almost cost me my relationship.
I drove home, drenched in sheer terror for what I had done.
When did it get so bad again?
What about the progress I had made?
What about my boyfriend, and my job, and the fact that I was finally almost done with college?
When did it all become so un-important?
When I got home, I threw the remaining pills down the toilet (which I don’t actually think you’re supposed to do but that’s not really the point of this story now is it?)
And when the truth came out to my boyfriend months down the road, I had to tell him that I relapsed.
And that I swore it wouldn’t happen again.
And that he didn’t have to believe me.
But by some miracle of God, he stuck with me, and I will forever be undeserving and grateful for him and his support with my recovery; the eating disorder, the pills, anxiety, all of it.
The greatest negative aftermath from the relapse was my back (lower left side); it never healed properly.
My entire left side isn’t as strong as my right; I get flare-ups in my PSOAS and piriformis almost monthly, and I have terrible grip in my left hand.
Because I didn’t calm the fuck down and take a break when the doctor suggested.
I was too busy staring at the prescription, willing the pills to love me as much as I loved them.
I haven’t relapsed with pills since then.
And when I went to the doctor for a check-up to see if anything new was discovered, they prescribed me a non-addictive pain medication, which just isn’t as fun (kidding, not funny).
We spend so much time praising recovery that it almost seems inapt to even talk about relapse.
But it happens.
Recovery isn’t a fucking dreamsicle of a life where you’re magically fixed and nothing terrible ever happens again.
It’s brutal and rough and aggressive and requires more work than just letting yourself be ill.
It’s a decision you make once, and then have to continue making every. single. day.
But it’s beautiful and surreal and allows for so much happiness and freedom.
Secrets are the epitome of addiction.
Loneliness is the paragon of relapse.
Keep those around you who understand that they won’t understand, but go out of their way to be there for you at any moment in time.
The ones that don’t need you to say anything to know when it’s been a rough day.
And if you recovered once, and are dealing with an urge or relapse, know that you are so much stronger than your demons.
And that if you cave, you can always get back to where you were.
That’s the beauty of recovery; it’s always an option.