How to Come Back After a Relapse
Listen to the Right People
If you're like me, you're convinced that you are lazy, ugly, stupid, weak, pathetic, and self-absorbed when you are depressed or have given into an addiction. Unconsciously you seek people, places, and things that will confirm those opinions. So, for example, when my self-esteem has plummeted to below-seawater status, I can't stop thinking about the relative who asked me, after I had just returned from the psych ward and was doing everything I possibly could to recover from depression: "Do you WANT to feel better?" The insinuation was that I was somehow willing myself to stay sick in order to get attention, maybe because fantasizing about death is so much fun. I can't get her and that question out of my mind when I'm pedaling backward. So, I draw a picture of her, complete with her question inside a comic-strip bubble. Then I draw me with my own bubble that says "HELL YES, DIMWIT!" Then I get out my self-esteem file and read a few of the affirmations of why I'm not lazy, ugly, stupid, weak, pathetic, and self-absorbed.