Is Mental Illness Relapse a Part of Recovery?

November 9, 2015 Hannah Crowley

Mental illness relapse is probably the origin of the phrase one step forward, two steps back. How can we handle a scary mental illness relapse? Read this.

A mental illness relapse tricked me into thinking I was a fraud. As the author of the blog entitled Getting Through Tough Times, I am required -- by the very delineation of the phrase -- to speak about my own tough times. It’s my job to share obstacles I have overcome and urge other people to do the same (Mental Health 101: Developing Coping Strategies). But recently I’ve felt like a fake, a fraud. I’ve sat in front of a computer screen with my fingers poised above the keys, ready to type a stream of words that sound fancy and wise, and I’ve stood in front of a camera with a bunch of rehearsed clichés, prepared to spout them out robotically.

But I could never go through with it because I was struggling with my own form of mental illness relapse. And for those with a history of mental illness, that is what struggling so frequently means (Anatomy Of A Mental Illness Relapse).

I Felt My Mental Illness Relapse Coming On

Mental illness relapse is probably the origin of the phrase one step forward, two steps back. How can we handle a scary mental illness relapse? Read this.Over the last few weeks, I’ve gone through a series of "tough times" that have left me reeling. Somehow I’d trained myself to believe that I was invincible; that I was no longer drastically affected by pithy little "bumps in the road" or any type of mental illness relapse. As an individual designated to helping others, I felt that I wasn’t allowed to struggle. That somehow struggling made me a counterfeit blogger (Denial Keeps Those With A Mental Illness From Getting Better).

But I was wrong. Every individual is not only entitled to face adversity, but we should expect it -- and if we can, we should embrace it. Breaking away from the passé injustice of life, I believe that hardship only highlights our strengths. Instead of retracting into an introverted mass of reticence and self-flagellation, we can take comfort from the age old idiom that where there is life, there is hope.

Mental Illness Relapse Is a Part of Recovery

Mental illness relapse doesn’t have to manifest itself physically, or drastically. It can be a series of distorted thoughts, a heightening of anxiety or the brutally incessant urge to cut. It can even just be that dark, destructive thought that “I am not good enough for this.”

But I am good enough. And today I am going to take my own advice. I’m going to toss aside the masochism and work through the darkness. And if I can get through to just one individual -- this will all be worth it. Because “every wound leaves a scar, and every scar tells a story. A story that says I have survived."

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Photo Credit

Alachua County, cropped by HealthyPlace; Creative Commons License

APA Reference
Crowley, H. (2015, November 9). Is Mental Illness Relapse a Part of Recovery?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 17 from

Author: Hannah Crowley

October, 25 2015 at 11:35 pm

That was a well thought out blog. I will use adversity to my favor and embrace it. Thanks for the good advice. Not too many good days in past years, but I need to accept them and move forward.

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