Recovery from a mental illness or addiction isn’t easy, and there will be setbacks along the way. In fact, as happens when learning any new skill, it is to be expected. Don’t be discouraged if you are experiencing setbacks. You wouldn’t even notice it was a setback if you had never known the feeling of recovery. As you get back into your normal routine, you may stumble upon situations that can trigger symptoms or old coping mechanisms. Alternatively you may take on too much too soon or stop doing the things that are necessary to maintain your mental health once you start feeling better. By embracing a setback rather than chastising yourself, you can actually use the knowledge gained to further solidify your recovery.
Several years ago, I heard this clip on NPR and have always referred back to it whenever I feel discouraged because of a set-back or failure. It reinforces my belief that setbacks and failures are a part of life and are often followed by what I like to refer as “growth spurts”. They inspire and motivate us. Failure is often our biggest fear, and until we’ve put ourselves in a position to experience a few of them, we’ll never know what’s on the other side of fear.