verb |riˈlaps; ˈrēˌlaps| [ intrans. ]
(of someone suffering from a disease) suffer deterioration after a period of improvement.
• ( relapse into) return to (a less active or a worse state) : he relapsed into silence.
Each day at the beginning of my outpatient program, we fill out a brief questionnaire asking about our mood, how we slept the previous night, whether or not we’re taking our meds, and if we had a relapse in the past 24 hours. Half of the program patients are substance abusers, so I always assume the question is for them, and I skip it. All of my attention is focused on getting ready for my court date, getting back my son, being his happy mom again. There’s nothing to relapse into, is there?
Why can’t you love me?
I’m working. I’m trying to be the administrator of my own rescue. I’m taking on my demons as if it’s the fight of my life, which it may just be. I’m trying to learn my way around loneliness, learn about solitude, work on the skills I know I have at my disposal to shake this emptiness. Reaching out to the people who keep me safe, who talk me down from the ledge. I’m doing ALL THE RIGHT THINGS.
I love you even beyond my ability to find words to express it.
Except that every single day, I do relapse. Not to a bottle or a needle, but to hope. Hope for something that isn’t there for me to hope for. This is my emotional landscape, a horizon line a long way off, with everything empty and flat, like a long dinner table set for one. The frustration of my impulses has become habitual, and whether I act upon them or not, they’re interfering with my ability to understand my despair, to find its root. One would think that with all of my upcoming legal battles and the (temporary) absence of Calder in my life, I would be able to do do nothing but cry for my losses, but ironically, the relapse I fear the most is that of hoping again.
How messed up is that?