Relapses are scary yet very common events that can be triggered by a number of different things. However, they can also provide insight in to how powerful the hold that the eating disorder has over us is. Recognising ahead of time what triggers you in to a relapse can help but this cannot always be the case; sometimes it simply creeps up on us. Fear not, it can be fixed. So, what do you do if you feel yourself descending in to a relapse?

1) Do not feel like you are a failure. Relapse is part of recovery - nobody can recover perfectly. You will learn to pick yourself up if you stumble and fall and get back on that bike again - you just need to pedal harder and faster.

2) If you can, let somebody know that you are struggling. Isolating yourself will make things feel even worse and you are more likely to get more sick if you do so. Remember, an eating disorder feeds on isolation because it will have you to itself!

3) Make a list of situations that might have triggered this particular relapse. Look over each situation and plan how you will deal with each in the future without resorting to your eating disorder.

4) Confront any underlying issues that you may have not faced in your previous bout of recovery. There may be underlying issues that relate to the past that you must confront before you can move on to the next step. Discuss with your therapist.

5) Look after yourself! Take time out, have fun. Do something that you really enjoy. We become so entrenched in our disorders that we often neglect ourselves. You are a genuine, worthwhile person and you deserve a little ‘you’ time, especially during a relapse.

6) Remember that recovery comes one day at a time. Don’t dwell on what has happened but rather what can be done. Be proactive!

7) Finally, learn your triggers. Sit down and carefully think through why and how the relapse happened. Recognising and identifying what triggers you in to relapse now will prevent future relapses occurring.