acceptance

one of my favourite sayings is, “acceptance is the key.” it’s something that can be misinterpreted as fatalism, as acting like a doormat. but that’s now how it works. acceptance is saying, “ok, this is what is. this is what presents itself. let’s deal with that, rather than denying what’s going on or deluding myself.”

my wonderful blogging friend nickie has written a very insightful post about acceptance. nickie is a young woman who lives with RSD, a severe chronic pain condition. please go to her blog and read what she has to say; her wisdom goes way beyond her age and her illness. here are a few teasers.

one topic which i still struggle with in dealing with RSD, and pain in general, is acceptance. i find it difficult to accept the pain, and the challenges it brings to my life. i want to get better; i don’t want to accept the pain, and the way it’s gotten worse. but recently, i started to realize that maybe, i don’t have to accept the whole thing, just little parts at a time, and maybe each part needs to be accepted multiple times.

i frequently want to have needs which are exactly the same as the needs of other. but that’s not always possible, and i’m working on accepting that.

another need is the need for relaxation and self-care time.

one thing which i frequently need to accept is that i need to acknowledge my feelings, acknowledge my pain and acknowledge the things i do well. … one example is blogging. i’ll sometimes write about how upset, sad or challenged i feel in dealing with something. i usually start by writing “i feel bad about writing this, but…” then write in depth about whatever it is i am upset about. that simple step seems to help a great deal.

accepting the need for mutual support … one of the common values of americans tends to be the desire for complete independence. we don’t like thinking we need support.

acceptance is a journey, because we need to find the right level of acceptance. for example, accepting the need for acknowledgement is good, but accepting it to the level where all i do is acknowledge my feelings and pain wouldn’t be healthy.

thanks for sharing yourself with us, nickie! you make the world a richer place.

3 thoughts on “acceptance

  1. captain lifecruiser

    Well, chronic pain is no picnic exactly. I know, I have chronic back pain and fibromyalgia too. Acceptance in some part yes. But never give up I wanna add. We can do so much more than we think we’re capable of – or the Doctors think we are capable of….

    BTW: There is a nice song and a Halloween treat for you in my post here:

    Blog Love Dove

    Don’t forget about the big Halloween Party the 31th, we would be ghostly pleased if you come 🙂

  2. isabella mori

    hi there capt’n, and thanks for the invite. i got so involved with the hootin annie project, i never stopped by your party!

    re acceptance and giving up – i think it’s REALLY important to not mix those two up. actually, i believe that accepting a particular reality makes it easier to move on. e.g. if i accept that i find it difficult to do housework, then i can say, ok, now what are we going to do about it? if i pretend that i CAN do it or keep telling myself i SHOULD, i will probably stay stuck in it.

  3. Meg

    Thank you so much for this post and your blog, which I recently found in Bloghology PDF (March 08) where you are interviewed 🙂

    This is one of the first places I have found that deals with some of these issues of chronic pain, and acceptance, an area which I have tried to deal with every day, for many years, on my own.

    I am at a place sometimes, where I cry for help, but there is no-one to hear me. Those that do hear me, cannot understand. I live with an incurable illness, which has multiple physical complications that have made me disabled in many areas.

    I struggle with this debilitating and painful condition by either denying it, or over-analyzing it (often making it, and my emotional state, worse). Perhaps this is because I am (or was) an academic, always ‘analyzing’! Always trying to find the ‘why’, and I become too introspective. Beat myself over the head – I ‘should’ be doing this. I ‘should’ be able to do this (I used to, why can’t I now). I just cannot accept my illness/disabilities (even though they have nearly killed me on occasion).

    I lack a support network. The doctors don’t understand. My family runs away because they cannot understand and don’t know what to do.

    This illness hit me in the ‘prime’ of my life. Where once i was a homeless youth, I worked hard to gain a Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree and PhD (with a focus on psychology, environmental studies and management, and organisational culture and change management). I loved being a consultant academic lecturer, tutor, researcher and then found myself a senior govt position as Environmental Assessment Officer.

    My illness came out, from remission to relapse, surgery after surgery, unbearable pain, sometimes to the point where I thought I would go crazy.

    I lost my job, my family, everything. I am rebuilding my life, with an aim to write, blog and do freelance work from home. Yet its hard on those days, when the chronic pain becomes more ‘acute’.

    I was also prescribed medications that were so strong, they changed my physical body (including symptoms of blindness, fistula disease, osteoporosis, heart conditions, lost teeth and more – a blow to the self – esteem as I attempted to ‘rebuild’ my body).

    Such medications also affected my emotional well-being and ability to think clearly, like living in a ‘fog of depression’, plus being accused of being a drug user, despite being prescribed this medication for legitimite purposes.

    I am a slave to this medication, this illness, with nowhere to turn, and am now struggling to get the medications out of my life, and find alternative ways of dealing with the pain.

    Where once I ‘had it all’, I am alone and frightened. I do write a ‘hobby’ blog of sorts in the self help area, but don’t think its really ‘me’, and want to change it to write more about my experiences – not to pretend I have all the answers, or to ‘report’ other people’s work.

    I realize this comment is long and convoluted – my apologies! Its just that I was so happy to have found your site, some acknowledgement of this issue related to chronic pain.

    I too wish that I could just ‘accept’ that there are things in this world, which I desperately long for, that I can no longer have. Its always ‘should’. I should, I should, I should – I must not give up.

    This difference was enlightening thank you! There is a need to find acceptance of what I can and cannot do, and focus on the things I can still do and not give up in this latter area.

    Perhaps one day my life will change for the better. Acceptance is key, not only of my condition, but also of my ‘self’.

    I cannot delude myself any longer. I will try to get rid of the ‘shoulds’, and accept and focus on those things that I can do. Its hard. I wish that I was not alone. Its easier sometimes to be courageous when in the company of others, when you have a family or support network (I should stop feeling sorry for myself!).

    I related so much to Nicki’s words above – thank you for pointing out her blog too. I will certainly have a look at it.

    Once I can accept, stop denying things, beating myself up – perhaps then, I can move on.

    Thank you so much again 🙂
    Meg

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