We have all experienced something in our lives that we never thought we would recover from; something that at the time, was the most devastating thing that could ever happen to us, and we never knew how we would crawl out of the dark hole we had unwittingly fallen into. For some it may be a death, a divorce, or a traumatic accident that sends them the pits of despair, and for others; it may be dealing with the residual effects of drug, alcohol, or physical abuse on a daily basis.

So when something traumatic and life changing happens to you, what do you do? Maybe you seek counseling or therapy to learn how to effectively deal with your crisis or past.  You learn coping techniques, breathing techniques, and you have a great support system to help you power through this crisis.  Day by day, you begin to recover from your traumatic experience until one day you wake up, and you forget to be sad.  You forget to feel the constant pain, your eyes refuse to cry anymore tears and you can walk around with a smile on your face again.  You feel like a new, empowered person who effectively dealt with a crisis in his/her life.

Days, weeks, maybe even months go by and you wake up with the same smile on your face and the same happy song in your heart. Your past hurt is but a distant memory and something you may chalk up now to a “learning experience”.  You think you are “cured”.

But then it happens; the day comes where your entire world seems to be crashing down around you because something reminded you of this past hurt, this past crisis, and you can’t handle it. You are in a situation where you can’t say no to that drug, that drink, or that pill.  You are reminded of a past relationship when an anniversary date rolls around and you end up spending the day curled up in bed crying your eyes out.  Or something you see on television triggers you and reminds you of the past hurt you have been working so hard on getting over and you revert into old coping habits to deal with the pain.

It’s easy during these bad days to just want to give up trying to be strong anymore. Give up trying to get over something so hurtful and just resort to living in the past for the rest of your life.  All of the months and years of therapy seem to have gone right down the tubes so easily and you think that there is no way out and no possible way anyone could help you.  You feel defeated, ashamed, and you are angry at yourself for taking two steps backwards in your recovery process.

I understand; it happens to all of us.

I don’t care how much time has passed, how much therapy you have gotten, or how many people you have in your support network; we all will face a day or two in our lives where our pasts come back and slap us in the face. We all will face those memories we have been working so desperately to forget about, we will all be reminded of something that will make tears form in our eyes, and we all will have a relapse moment at some point in our lives.

But what you need to understand is that it is perfectly OK to feel this way. It’s perfectly OK to have a day where you feel sad, or a day where maybe you make the wrong choice or have a small relapse.  It’s OK to cry over an anniversary date or to cry over something that reminds you of a past hurt.  It’s OK because it means that you are human and that you have feelings.

No one is perfect and no one could sit and tell you with a straight face that they are 100% over every single hurtful thing that has happened to them in their lives. Everyone has bad days, but that’s all they are, they are days.  You will wake up the next morning to a beautiful sunrise and know that it is your chance to try again; your chance at another fresh start and another day to heal your heart and soul.  Don’t be so hard on yourself and don’t give up on your recovery.  Allow yourself to feel so you can heal.