I don’t trust my new-found stability. At all. It’s been 18 months since I started "recovering”.
And yet I still feel unsteady on my mental feet, shaky in my equilibrium. I feel like my stability could go at any moment – like a three legged stool that was meant to have four legs. So what does my therapy tell me to do with those kinds of thoughts? Well, examine them: is the idea that "my stability could go at any moment" actually true?
What are common triggers for relapse, anyway

  • Bereavement
  • Job loss and financial woes
  • Victim of crime
  • Large scale change, such as moving to a new home or getting a new job
  • Hormonal changes (eg. menopause)
  • Physical illness

But each of us has our own set of triggers, so the ones I’ve identified above are just a starting point. Still, it’s somewhere to start. I encourage you to set up your own list of triggers for an episode.
Okay, so the idea we’re questioning here is "my stability could go at any moment." But… looking at the list above, I see a lot of VERY BIG things happening to people causing them to relapse. Not so much the tiny day to day life stuff causing relapse.
That makes me feel pretty hopeful that relapse is, in general, caused by the big things: not taking care of yourself, grief from losing someone or your job or being the victim of a crime, and even big positive changes such as moving or getting a new job.
I see recovering from depression as trying to bail out a leaky boat. Eventually you may get the boat fixed so it’s not leaking anymore, through therapy and meditation etc. But if a large wave comes along, you may have to bail out the boat again—that’s not a failure, that’s just physics.

 

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