Why did I relapse? I stopped taking care of me; plain and …well not so simple. I stopped doing the work my recovery requires of me to continue it. I was at a meeting tonight and I was sharing with a friend whom I haven’t seen in a while about how disappointed I am in myself and my illness/injury. She looked at me and said, “Natalie, if you had diabetes and didn‘t take care of yourself for months, you would get sick from that too”. So true.
After being elected as City Councillor, I dove into the role to be the best I could be. No topic/crisis was too big that I didn’t want to tackle (and still do). I was FINALLY employed again and feeling like I was contributing to society and helping my community. But alas, in typical Natalie fashion, I focused so entirely on my new role, that I forgot that I am still sick/injured – and that that’s ok. I forgot that I still need to do the work I have learned to do through treatment programs. I stopped going to meetings, stopped seeing my psychologist, stopped eating healthy, stopped meditating, stopped going to the Buddhist Centre…and on and on. So no wonder I gained 20 pounds, caused my hormones to go all over the place, let my depression creep back in again (it’s a sneaky bugger), and had a massive relapse that led me to the hospital. NO. WONDER.
Life is a series of evolutions. At one point I evolved and let go of the paramedic dream I had; it was time to move on from that. I learned how to not see that as my identity anymore. But what I failed to do at the same time is learn that ALL of me is new during this new evolution in my life. Being sick/injured doesn’t mean that I can‘t be successful and healthy. But it does mean that what ‘success’ and ‘health‘ are to me are different now – and that’s ok. One day at a time.