"I remember getting so close to the final square as a kid," I told Dr. H, "and then I hit that stupid slide that took me back to the very beginning."
So it seems with recovery. My recent struggles have made me feel (however incorrectly) that I'm back at the beginning again.
Then Dr. H said, "That horrible slide takes you back, but never to Square One. You're never back at the very beginning. At the worst, I think you end up on the second square. But never the very first one."
Translation: you have always learned something along the journey, however much you may feel you have failed completely. Realizing you're at the end of a slide and have lost ground is disheartening, but you've never lost every last inch.
And ED slips can be often like a trip down a playground slide. Exilharating at times, but then the ride comes to an end, and you hit the ground with a thud.
Of course, the entire point of a slide is to climb up and go down. The point of recovery is to not slide back down. That being said, I think we all do at some point or another. We slide a bit--maybe not all the way back down to the asphalt, but standing at the top of the slide can seem rather alluring. We think we can catch ourselves before we hit the ground. Sometimes we can, and sometimes we can't.
Not to mention that climbing back up a slide isn't the easiest of tasks. Just ask these kittens.
Remember: no matter how much you slide, you're never back to Square One, not really.