starlitegirlx

Acceptance

108 posts in this topic

Acceptance is so hard. To just allow yourself to be where you are and not fight against it, not be mad about it, to get past feeling sad or anxious and just let it be, like it doesn't even matter because it is what it is. Acceptance is a struggle for most people. Challenging. Perhaps the most challenging thing a person can do is accept life as life is.

 

We're not taught to accept. Everything society has to offer teaches us to push and fight and never give up, blah, blah, blah, but I've spent too much of my life doing that and really, the best times when things have gone smoothly were when I just accepted things, letting go of the struggle, and allowing them to be as they were without judgment or feeling like a failure or any of the other emotional garbage that society has ingrained into me if I allow, let things be, give up the battle or fight, stop trying to change it or whatever way you want to put it.

 

To most, it might seem like quitting. But it actually has its roots in buddhism, and buddha was pretty damn wise. He understood the nature of suffering and realized the hell we put ourselves through it pretty fierce. Acceptance ends that hell, but letting go of trying to change things we want desperately to change is quite the challenge. It feels like giving up. I'm writing this because I'm in a place where I have to accept something I don't want to accept.

 

I have awful tremors in the morning that are likely residual AD WD. No other logic behind them since they started more mildly during the beginning of my AD taper. And here I am off the AD for six months having these tremors only to help with the tremors and worst parts of AD WD I used klonopin and made things a lot worse. Now I'm at 3.5mg of K when I was only at 1mg before my taper of the AD and I want desperately to taper the K because I've learned how bad they are and the damage I probably did taking them, but I have these tremors which are a sign my CNS is a mess. So I'm stuck in a position where I have to accept my CNS is a mess and let it go, giving it time to fully recover before I begin to taper the K.

 

I also have to accept the fear that it may never recover as well as the possibility of it or even just that it might take years. It's all so open ended and leaves no ground under my feet. I'm floating in uncertainty and who among us likes that? But if I do not accept this and allow life to be as it is and run its course as it will, then I will suffer far more emotionally and add more stress which will hinder my recovery.

 

I'm sharing this because from many of the posts I've read here, it seems we all struggle with acceptance.

 

So I thought maybe a thread dedicated to it, to sharing what we are struggling with accepting and helping each other with that like they do in those 12 step groups (which are quite helpful to a fair amount of people who frequent them) would be something useful and helpful to all of us.

 

A kind of haven we can go to when we are stuggling and get support that can help us accept where we are. A sanctuary for the rough times. Someplace that feels safe and nurturing and comforting.

 

Maybe it will help some of us. It's worth a try, right?

 

So for today, I'm working on accepting that I have these tremors that are a sign I have not recovered and it's all so open ended because of that. The when or will I recover is especially scary. But I have to accept that I don't know. I have to accept that life is what it is and I will just have to let the days go by and not give it attention because that will make it worse for me. It is what it is and I have no power over it. Sad as that makes me, that is how it is right now. So I have to accept it or fight it. I choose not to fight. I hope others will join me in sharing here and helping each other through those rough spots where acceptance offers the best path through them.

Edited by JanCarol
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i saw this thread and DID NOT want to read it! which told me that I needed to read it.

 

i'm having a really rough afternoon. There are many things in my life i don't want to accept right now and I am feeling pretty hopeless.

 

I want to be completely off Remeron but i need to let my nervous system catch up. My WD priority right now is the SAMe. And I'm still angry the integrative psych had me start taking it. i'm down to 560 mg SAMe from 800, so I am making progress. My stomach isn't as upset and I'm getting a little bit of an appetite back but i'm still really tired/ lethargic.

 

i really need to find a part time job but i have no recent work history and no real references. I had put all of my rapidly decreasing energy into getting my bachelors in nursing only to flunk out in my last semester.

 

My therapist keeps reminding me that this WD path may not have happened if the school thing hadn't happened. That is true. But at times when I feel this low i think so what. i'm approaching 50 years old and feel like I've blown any chance of having a worthwhile life. Sorry to be so negative.

 

There are some positives. I'm still taking yoga classes. i've been in touch with someone from this site who lives nearby and is also interested in starting a support group. i'm checking on possible locations for a group to meet.

 

I know that accepting certain things would help me to feel better. I just can't seem to do it. I guess i need to work on becoming willing to accept.

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I'm sorry you're having such a rough time. I'm approaching 50 and know what that's like. I'm 44 and feel like this is insane that I'm going through this crap now. But all roads led to this.

 

If accepting where you are is the challenge and you feel like you're struggling with all these things, fighting against them, then the bit I can offer from my own experience is to accept the easiest thing you struggle with right now. Which of the things you're facing is easier to say 'okay, this is how it is. This is where I am. Not what I wanted but I would rather not fight it and feel awful so I'll accept it." Then work on that.

 

I should forewarn you that often acceptance for me led to a sadness and sense of loss. Like I just lost something I didn't want to give up. But then as that passes for me there was a feeling of some freed up energy and a bit of relaxation. Sometimes even some peace because the matter was no longer one of struggle. It just felt better to not fight and much easier to accept the situation since I had no control over it anyway.

 

My heart goes out to you. This journey is exhausting, disheartening, and sad, but the more progress you make, the better it feels in that aspect. Like in my case, despite that I'm sad about the 3.5mg K I'm on and will need to taper off and that I have these tremors so my AD WD is not behind me as much as I hoped, I am 6 months out and doing much better than I was when I got here. And even though I'm at 3.5mg of K, it's helped me stabilize.

 

Today, despite the acceptance and sad mood stuff has been one of but a few fairly functional days for me in the last 9 months. I did some dishes. I did some laundry. I've been up and down the stairs about 5 times. Vision is better. Balance is good. Lots of pluses despite the downside. So I focus on that. For you, you are down quite a bit from the 800mg heading toward the halfway mark. That is awesome. Better stomach and appetite, so that is good. Doing yoga- oh I wish I could do that even a little. My balance is still too off at times, but I should try something for even just a few minutes. Look at the progress and be grateful. That always helps me with the acceptance part which is so much more challenging. You're in my thoughts. I hope you have more continued improvement. :)

 

Edited to add: becoming willing to accept is actually the first step. If you can get to there, to looking at it and feeling willing to not fight against it and to let it go, that's pretty major. It's just so hard because we are trained against that. But struggle is not the way especially for us in fragile states with WD stuff going on. Maybe just thinking of it as a battle - do you want to enlist your energy against something you have no control over or do you want to use your energy to help yourself through this challenging time? It's really all about energy. Willingness and acceptance allows you to keep it.

Edited by JanCarol
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thanks for the encouragment!!!

 

Those darn neuro emotions are really getting me! Your topic really hit me where I am at.

 

Despite how bad WD has been, I know that am fortunate to be able to do yoga. Positions that require a lot of balance are pretty comical when I try them. I am grateful to be able to see that as comical and not some kind of failure.

 

For the most part, I can sleep well. I am able to drive. I manage to keep my husband and i fed. Although we do have a lot of leftovers. i am almost never overwhelmed in the grocery store, although i don't like shopping. There are many people on this site who are much more symptomatic than I am right now.

 

You hit the nail on the head with how did I end up here at this point in my life?

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I laughed out loud and nearly snorted tea right through my nose when I read this, starlitegirlx:

 

Perhaps the most challenging thing a person can do is accept life as life is. We're not taught to accept. Everything society has to offer teaches us to push and fight and never give up, blah, blah, blah....

Is that not a crock? I was brainwashed into that mindset early on and I can tell you it didn't do me a dang bit of good.

 

I think your idea for a discussion on this topic is a great idea. I certainly need to learn how to accept the What Is more easily.

 

I sometimes think that withdrawal is the road to enlightenment for some of us. A number of people have remarked that they have learned or are learning in withdrawal how to handle their anxieties, depression, and other unwanted personality traits much better. That's becoming true for me as well.

 

Thank you for your very intelligent and thoughtful posts. Someday when you feel better (and you will) I think you'd do very well at writing as a career.

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I laughed out loud and nearly snorted tea right through my nose when I read this, starlitegirlx:

 

 

Perhaps the most challenging thing a person can do is accept life as life is. We're not taught to accept. Everything society has to offer teaches us to push and fight and never give up, blah, blah, blah....

Is that not a crock? I was brainwashed into that mindset early on and I can tell you it didn't do me a dang bit of good.

 

I think your idea for a discussion on this topic is a great idea. I certainly need to learn how to accept the What Is more easily.

 

I sometimes think that withdrawal is the road to enlightenment for some of us. A number of people have remarked that they have learned or are learning in withdrawal how to handle their anxieties, depression, and other unwanted personality traits much better. That's becoming true for me as well.

 

Thank you for your very intelligent and thoughtful posts. Someday when you feel better (and you will) I think you'd do very well at writing as a career.

 

I wrote 11 or was it 13 novels during my 20s. The later ones were the best. Could never get an agent. They are all gone now as they were on floppy discs and I think I lost them. So I have written though I can't imagine writing again beyond something like this. Investing that much time into something with zero reward (already got the reward in knowing I wrote all those novels) is kind of pointless to me. But the acceptance part and what I'll take away from the experience is worthwhile.

 

Edited to add: Regarding the crock part (not crockpot - couldn't let that opportunity pass) I wish I had a hammer powerful enough to shatter that whole school of thinking. It's just a disaster and leaves people with a lot of issues and way more misery than contentment. Like dogs chasing their tails.

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I enjoyed reading what you wrote Starlite. I think a support group on acceptance would be great. Please keep writing and sharing. It has really helped me to find a tiny glimmer of peace. xoxoxoSusu

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I knew that awesome window was going to be short lived. After being super tired as in falling asleep while watching TV, I decided to go to bed a few hours earlier than usual and woke up about a half hour ago (11pm east coast time) to a racing heart, some sweating, and anxiety. None of this is new to me. I actually lived through it with PTSD ages ago and even while on the AD (side effect - one of the reasons I tapered off it). Headache too along with being very tired and wanting to sleep.

 

The way I practice acceptance of this is probably what most would view as morose. But I lie here and listen to my heart pound and come to terms with the possibility of death. I embrace it. I embrace the anxiety. I embrace the sweating. I think, 'oh maybe it's a heart attack' which given my current state of not caring if I live is actually pretty comforting. Then I just close my eyes and think how peaceful it would be to just die and not have to deal with any of this crap anymore. Oblivion and the end of my consciousness (thought I don't believe that personally) would be better than this crap.

 

And with that acceptance, my heart slows, the sweating stops, and the cycle passes. When I used to resist it in a state of panic it would go on for hours. Sometimes I wonder if it's alive - some sort of living energy that takes over my body to suck energy from me and when that energy isn't there because I'm accepting life as is it cannot feed and it moves on.

 

Eckhart tolle would say it's the ego body (I think it was another term- pain body I think) looking to feed off pain and ego in state of fight would give it what it needs but in state of acceptance it cannot feed, so it moves on quickly. Of course, I'm still awake, but tired, so I'll just lie here and eventually fall asleep or maybe play a video game or watch some stargate atlantis. Either way, doesn't matter. The worst past thanks to acceptance.

 

That waking up part hasn't happened to me since I was in my taper. So maybe a good 8 months. Maybe longer like before the worst of it. Interesting it pops up now. But I won't make anything of it. These WD symptoms are too random even when they don't seem to be but maybe because I do the acceptance thing. I really think some of it has to do with energy and building a wall of resistance against it by not accepting what is and that causes tension and stress and recreates the cycle. At least that was my experience until I just started accepting what was happening and going with it. Okay, time to lie here and let sleep take hold while I'm still tired. Sorry if this is poorly spelled or messy. Was half awake when typing.

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I came across this and thought it would be helpful for those having a difficult time...

 

Acceptance is key

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Good article, and I found some benzo success stories on that website as well. I posted the page link under Recovery Success Stories. Thanks!

 

Acceptance really works. Since I gave up fighting my neuro-emotions, mild depression, and anxiety, they've mostly gone away. I feel lots better than I did three weeks or so ago. I'm reading The Power of Now and while I dislike the mysticism the basic ideas are sound.

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Good article, and I found some benzo success stories on that website as well. I posted the page link under Recovery Success Stories. Thanks!

 

Acceptance really works. Since I gave up fighting my neuro-emotions, mild depression, and anxiety, they've mostly gone away. I feel lots better than I did three weeks or so ago. I'm reading The Power of Now and while I dislike the mysticism the basic ideas are sound.

Acceptance is the key to so much of life, but most especially all of suffering and in particular WD of any sort, especially when it is a long process because that takes fortitude, courage, and the ability to endure.

 

Eckhart Tolle taught me all that I know about acceptance. It's so strange that I spent several months listening to his talks on my ipod daily and even most of my days for months before I learned that the AD was causing me problems. However, I hadn't practiced acceptance during my AD taper, which had I, I probably would have shaved a year or more off the benzo taper.

 

But once I began accepting 'what is' and especially regarding all the symptoms, it was like they began to diminish. I really do think it's the power of the mind in that we have a symptom and we focus on it and that focus makes it stronger. It's like a mental game.

 

I'm not saying that it's not really there (the symptom), but our attention on something seems to make it stronger. Same as with our thoughts. The more we think certain things, the more those thoughts and thoughts like them grow. If they are fearful thoughts we tense up and our fears get worse and then we are overcome with anxiety.

 

Eckhart Tolle was so down to earth in his approach that it really helped me to listen to him and apply basic acceptance. I never really thought of his teaching or buddhist teachings as mysticism but more as a practical approach to life almost along the lines of philosophy. Not even psychology since there is no analyzing as mind is removed from the process. To me it is just removing everything but what is happening in that moment. Thoughts removed as well. And then examining it without thoughts. Just being with it. Just being. There's a kind of qualitative stillness that comes over you when you embrace what is with acceptance of it. Everything just eases up and relaxes and suddenly nothing is quite so dramatic or intense. I guess it's like a form of detachment where you aren't getting caught up in it but just letting it be as it is. When you are caught up in it, it's much more intense, like being swept up in an undertow.

 

Acceptance is the way out of the undertow.

Edited by JanCarol
Paragraph breaks for ease of reading

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Good article, and I found some benzo success stories on that website as well. I posted the page link under Recovery Success Stories. Thanks!

 

Acceptance really works. Since I gave up fighting my neuro-emotions, mild depression, and anxiety, they've mostly gone away. I feel lots better than I did three weeks or so ago. I'm reading The Power of Now and while I dislike the mysticism the basic ideas are sound.

 

Acceptance is the key to so much of life, but most especially all of suffering and in particular WD of any sort, especially when it is a long process because that takes fortitude, courage, and the ability to endure.

 

...I really do think it's the power of the mind in that we have a symptom and we focus on it and that focus makes it stronger. It's like a mental game. I'm not saying that it's not really there (the symptom), but our attention on something seems to make it stronger. Same as with our thoughts. The more we think certain things, the more those thoughts and thoughts like them grow. If they are fearful thoughts we tense up and our fears get worse and then we are overcome with anxiety.

 

I'm reading a book right now called The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness that blames this kind of thinking for relapses. First something triggers feelings of sadness (often based on mistreatment in childhood) and then we begin to ruminate about it in mostly self-deprecatory language (Why am I like this? Oh, here we go again! Et cetera). Acceptance gets us out of that groove and the groove eventually becomes more shallow and maybe even goes away. This would fit with what I've been reading lately about neurological plasticity.

 

Eckhart Tolle was so down to earth in his approach that it really helped me to listen to him and apply basic acceptance. I never really thought of his teaching or buddhist teachings as mysticism but more as a practical approach to life almost along the lines of philosophy....

I read something of Tolle's where he attempted to explain Christianity in terms of his theory, and he seemed to mush all religions together in the context of his ideas. I think that went too far and it's why I'm a bit leery of Tolle. Then again, I haven't finished The Power of Now yet, so perhaps I'm misunderstanding.

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I struggle with uncertainty. Acceptance is tough, for me atleast, when paired with uncertainty.

 

Ho can I accept? If someone told me I had Parkinson's, I'd try to accept it.

 

I don't have Parkinsons. For a year come Febuary I've been trying to find out what's happening to me. I still don't know except that whatever it is, it's getting worse.

 

I can't accept the uncertainty either. If I'm in some middle ground there may be things I can do to influence the outcome. And my frst prefernce is to regain my health and fertility.

 

Serenity Prayer, I guess. Grant me the wisdom to know the difference.

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I struggle with uncertainty. Acceptance is tough, for me at least, when paired with uncertainty.

 

But you do have certainty, Alexejice. You have it in the present moment, which is all any of us ever have. Stop and just experience the Now and accept that it is what it is without fighting what you don't like.

 

How can I accept? If someone told me I had Parkinson's, I'd try to accept it.

 

I don't have Parkinsons. For a year come Febuary I've been trying to find out what's happening to me. I still don't know except that whatever it is, it's getting worse.

 

You don't really know that that things are worse. In withdrawal, often the worst moments mean that one's neurons are righting themselves.

 

I'm not sure how knowing what's happening is necessarily a good thing. So often medicine has no idea what to do and that's assuming they've come up with a correct diagnosis in the first place. Would it help to know you've got terminal cancer and one month to live? Would it help to be incorrectly diagnosed as having Parkinson's and being fed a lot of medication that you don't need?

 

I can't accept the uncertainty either. If I'm in some middle ground there may be things I can do to influence the outcome. And my first preference is to regain my health and fertility.

 

Is not accepting the uncertainty doing any good? Is non-acceptance making things more certain?

 

Serenity Prayer, I guess. Grant me the wisdom to know the difference.

 

I don't mean to belittle your situation, which has been far worse than mine. I just want to, if I possible can, point you away from resistance. Accepting what is and staying in the present moment is tremendously freeing. I only hope to give you some peace.

 

Hugs across the miles, Alexejice.

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I think you make some terrific points, Jemima. I agree about uncertainty generally. I certainly went through my life with out much appreciation for the now, certainly never acknowledging that I could die at any moment and all I had is the Now.

 

Being in the Now presents some challenges for me also. My tendency is to look past the present because the present is painful.

 

It's true that you are not in my shoes like I am not in yours. I don't like my shoes, not at the moment. The problem is I see all the ways I could love my shoes but the ways are unreachable. But I still wouldn't change shoes with anyone else. I have to get out of this hole in my own shoes. That is the reason for doing things.

 

I can accept that right Now I am in a hole. The rest of the solution seems less clear to me.

 

best,

Alex

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How can I accept? If someone told me I had Parkinson's, I'd try to accept it.

 

I don't have Parkinsons. For a year come Febuary I've been trying to find out what's happening to me. I still don't know except that whatever it is, it's getting worse.

 

You don't really know that that things are worse. In withdrawal, often the worst moments mean that one's neurons are righting themselves.

 

I'm not sure how knowing what's happening is necessarily a good thing. So often medicine has no idea what to do and that's assuming they've come up with a correct diagnosis in the first place. Would it help to know you've got terminal cancer and one month to live? Would it help to be incorrectly diagnosed as having Parkinson's and being fed a lot of medication that you don't need?

 

Yes, this is a terrific point.

 

Frequently, I bemoan the uncertainty. Then sometimes I get some answers. Answers versus uncertainty is tricky.

 

I'd prefer to not get news that I have one month left to live. But, playing with the metaphor, if my doctor suspected advanced cancer and sent off a biopsy, the waiting period would be quite unbearable for me. If the tests comes back ALL CLEAR, then the wait was the worst. But if the test comes back, ONE MONTH TO LIVE, then the answer is the worst.

 

It's only a metaphor, the cancer bit.

 

I am grateful to have this forum to talk these things out, that's for sure.

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One last:

 

Acceptance is a big theme in Alcoholics Anonymous. If anyone is familiar with the short stories in the AA text (aka The Big Book), the most well known is based on acceptance.

 

Even though we are not alcoholics, I recommend the story if anyone is interested in more discussion on Acceptance. Like i said, it's the most well known story in AA, other than the story of the founder Bill Wilson.

 

And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation some fact of my life unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.

 

- From Acceptance Was the Answer

 

http://www.aa.org/bigbookonline/en_theystoppedintime16.pdf

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How can I accept? If someone told me I had Parkinson's, I'd try to accept it.

 

I don't have Parkinsons. For a year come Febuary I've been trying to find out what's happening to me. I still don't know except that whatever it is, it's getting worse.

 

You don't really know that that things are worse. In withdrawal, often the worst moments mean that one's neurons are righting themselves.

 

I'm not sure how knowing what's happening is necessarily a good thing. So often medicine has no idea what to do and that's assuming they've come up with a correct diagnosis in the first place. Would it help to know you've got terminal cancer and one month to live? Would it help to be incorrectly diagnosed as having Parkinson's and being fed a lot of medication that you don't need?

 

Yes, this is a terrific point.

 

Frequently, I bemoan the uncertainty. Then sometimes I get some answers. Answers versus uncertainty is tricky.

 

I'd prefer to not get news that I have one month left to live. But, playing with the metaphor, if my doctor suspected advanced cancer and sent off a biopsy, the waiting period would be quite unbearable for me. If the tests comes back ALL CLEAR, then the wait was the worst. But if the test comes back, ONE MONTH TO LIVE, then the answer is the worst.

 

It's only a metaphor, the cancer bit.

 

I am grateful to have this forum to talk these things out, that's for sure.

 

I'm coming in late here but would add... "what will you do with the information?" (You being anyone, not just Alex). I have collected alot of neuroendocrine diagnoses throughout withdrawal from Pristiq. Aside from the brain lesions, all of the lab values are very likely altered in some way by the presence and/or withdrawal of drug in my body. Nobody knows. Hydrocortisone is the treatment for adrenals which are severely effected by SSRIs and withdrawal has been likened to glucocorticoid withdrawal by some sources. I reacted very badly to hydrocortisone (suicidal intrusive thoughts upon wakening-almost *commands*).

 

My thinking about this topic has evolved. I was relieved to have diagnoses at first. Now, i am questioning them, wondering (hoping) which are valid and which are my body adapting throughout recovery. It's been a brutal mindgame (scuse the pun). It really screws up the acceptance process. Acceptance of damage that may not improve is one consideration. Another category is damage that may get worse if unaddressed, a new disease (NOT psychological disorder). Even the doctors who acknowledge withdrawal and damage triggered by psych drugs don't know how to treat.

 

Lastly, i question what treatments i would proceed with if diagnosis is rendered. Extremely few.

 

All things that i started going round and round with Alto about 1.5 years ago and have come to see her (and others') way of thinking. ;)

Just my 2 cents.

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Barb, I think you are speaking to the uncertainty which I alluded to earlier.

 

It's hard to accept the reality when it keeps changing, in ways that almost nobody understands. Some element of serenity consists of letting go. Obviously, due to things that have happened, there is a legitimate fear, I know I feel it, that letting go is suicidally risky. There are professionals, talking of doctors specifically, who have certain biases based on their valid experience with other people, there is fear that they are incompetent to manage my case. Additional damage may soon yet occur. Or it may not. It's week to week, so it's hard to settle into accepting the moment because, well, it's no way to live indefinitely.

 

Like, an example:

 

A person can lose a limb. After that, they can find some measure of acceptance. Or in withdrawal, a person may suffer terrible anxiety. This is horrible, I know from experience, but as time passes there is some adaptation to the new emotional experience. For me, my symptoms on my 25th day following d/c were not largely different from my symptoms on my 99th day. But day 99 was better. I learned ways of coping, though symptoms were still very bad.

 

Ok, so the limb is gone. But then the next day it is 20% back. No doctor can explain it. Then the next week it is 50% back. Then the next week, it is gone again. There is drive to figure out how the limb came back 50% and try to recover it all. The situation is tough to accept because of the uncertainty. And the uncertainty in this case is not analogous to other kinds of uncertainty faced in life. Every week is new information. I don't know who is right or wrong and the facts to accept are so far unstable.

 

I don't know. I am twizzled thinking about this, frankly.

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Forgive me if I don't seem on point as I am having a hard time with reading due to my horrific fractured sleep last night.

 

Regarding acceptance, the issue is easier to deal with concerning everything that has transpired as the result of my sleep problems. Unfortunately, it doesn't work regarding my inability to stay asleep on my cpap and have no idea why.

 

I mean I find acceptance as hard as hell when I can barely function and have no clue as to what the next step is. Unfortunately, I feel my current sleep doctor is not helpful.

 

CS

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I think the issue is that to have acceptance, you have to let go of future expectations and even the past that led to the present. That is what being in the NOW is. Present moment only. All things that led to it don't exist and all things that extend from it are irrelevant.

 

Now, I'm sure there will be a lot of debate among those points but to be fully present in this moment you cannot dwell on the past or concern yourself with the future. It is about the quality of your life right now. And here is the interesting thing. Right now is all you really have. Right now is where your actual suffering is. It is not the suffering of the past that makes WD and recovery difficult. It is getting through this moment. It is not the future because you don't know what it is and actually then the future is what you fear.

 

So you have now brought an unknown variable of what COULD happen into the scenario and it is most likely a fearful one since what I'm reading here in this thread seems to have an awful lot of fear about the future. Now, you are presuming the worst. You've got the worst bouncing around in your thoughts. You've had difficult times and so the past is now triggering you to fear the future. But that is wholly illogical. The past, at this moment, exists in your mind. It's not tangible. You cannot change it. You can not do anything about it. It is what it is and so the only alternative to keep you from more suffering is to let go of it. Challenging, yes, but if you do not, clinging to the past is going to keep triggering issues in the present. Do you understand what I mean by that?

 

Especially emotionally charged things like how you ended up here in this situation. For me, I've let the past go entirely since I cannot change the past. I could be angry, but the thing is that I don't know how I could change it. I've seen a lot of people in this forum expend a lot of energy on the past and how they got here. Anger is a primary component. Feeling like a victim is also a primary component. I was there to for a bit, but then I realized it was blocking me from acceptance because I cannot accept where I am if I am too busy being pissed and placing the blame on things and people from my past.

 

I am where I am. I cannot change that. So the best thing for me to do was to get busy with letting go of that, stop being angry and focus my attention. The easy way for me to do this was that I value myself and my recovery far more than I value being pissed at the doctors and big pharma. In fact, they messed up enough of my life. They deserve no more of it.

 

So I took it back and just decided to let go of it and accept the past as just something that was painful and led me to where I am or was since I have improved since I did this, and then move forward from there by living in the present, not being fearful of the future, which again, because it is unknown it can serve as either a place of hope or a place of fear, but either way, it serves as a distraction that keeps you from the present and an utter waste of time dwelling on it.

 

Recovery exists in the present. You cannot recover in the past. You cannot control the future since you don't even know what it will be. It's only speculation and generally that speculation is based on a few things - paths you've seen other people take (which is insane to use as the basis of anything because everyone is different and therefore whatever you've seen take place for another is not true for you as you are unique and there are going to be enormous differences between you and that or those people) and the second is using your past as a guide.

 

But your past does not determine your future. It is irrelevant. Now I'm going to use a few examples to help with the future and past issues.

 

First, the past. I was raped decades ago. PTSD from it was horrible. I was a mess from it. Could barely function. Could barely sleep. Flashbacks galore. I ended up seeing a counselor for the whole summer during college to help me. Once a week I would sit there and we would discuss things. Improvement came somewhat. Not much. I was stuck on the rape. I was a victim and I feared the future because of it because my sense of safety, the inherent sense of safety that we all should have that we will not be brutalized in such a way, was gone. I could not function like that. I lived in terror. I carried the past with me. It was not until one day in my counselor's office when I had a moment of clarity and I realized that what was done was done. I had no control over it. It happened. I could not change that. Bad things happen to good people. Bad things happen. Things that harm us in terrible ways happen. I have no control over all these things. I can do what I can to keep them from happening, but total control? No. So I could carry this with me and feel victimized and lose all sense of control and power to it or I could accept that it happened and let go of it. I choose acceptance in that moment. Amazingly, after that point, the PTSD essentially stopped. In fact, it was the last time I remember having any form of PTSD because I chose to no longer carry my past with me and let it define my every waking moment.

 

Regarding the cancer option that was presented by alex, here is an interesting way to look at it. If you discovered you had only that one month to live, how would you choose to live it? Would you want to be angry and upset or would you aim to make the best you could of all the days you had left? Each option will change your experience. You can either aim for peace and acceptance that you are going to die from that cancer and thereby free yourself to live in the present more fully and make the best of it or you can be stuck in anger and whatever else you would feel from that diagnosis but how would that change your daily existence for that month left to live? My guess is that it would pretty much suck. So you have a choice: accept what is and find peace in your last days and even some contentment or fight it with anger and waste them. This is often a turning point spiritually for many people when they choose acceptance as they free themselves from the past and then it all becomes easier and they become capable of peace. As for the future, what you experience now extends into the future in the same what that your past has extending into your present moment.

 

All that suffering has led you here, but now you have the option to let go of that past and begin new. Start where you are, which is here in this moment. Do you wish to be that person who carries the past suffering and anger and fear that will negatively impact your quality of life? Remember, you do wish to feel better today and in the future, do you not? So carrying those negative feelings then becomes illogical if you would like to diminish your suffering in the present and quite likely alter your future in a positive way. The choice is yours. Nobody is forcing you to do anything. However, remember that your present extends into your future. Your response, your choice in how you handle your present will affect how you feel now.

 

Acceptance will mitigate suffering. Mitigated suffering will then extend toward your future where you will remember those better days and less suffering giving you less to fear. People often don't think of that, but it is there. My PTSD is a perfect example. I accepted the past, what had happened, and was no longer a victim of it and recovered almost instantly.

 

This has led me to postulate that it is not what we 'do' physically that changes things as we are often led to believe, but it is what we do mentally and emotionally. Clinging to pain from the past or letting go of it. Accepting the present moment as it is or fighting it as if we have control over it and it must be as we want it to be because anything less is something to fear.

 

You can fear your future, but it is not helping you in the present. In fact, it is adding to your suffering and yet, it is generally speculation, even when you have facts about certain things like a disease and how it is expected to unfold. That keeps you stuck on worries of the future and not in the present moment where you do have control over whether you choose to accept what is right now or jump like a time traveler with an awful lot of baggage in the form of worries, anger and other unhelpful things from the future to the past and back and forth never really landing in the present long enough to just sit with what is and accept it.

 

There have been studies on monks who mediate daily. They don't spend time in the past or future. They live in the now. Things have been postulated about them. Things regarding healing and changes in their mind and how it works. Thing regarding brain plasticity and its ability to change and recover.

 

Every time you choose to live in the present and accept it as it is without dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, you are helping yourself recover. You have a choice right now. You always have a choice. Every minute you have a choice. Do you choose to live in the present and accept it and release baggage of the past and fears of the future or not? You can choose to feel more at peace now and accept what is and begin to mitigate your present suffering or you can choose to not accept what is, but not accepting what is as it is seems a bit like choosing to suffer as most of us have been down this road already and know it has not changed things for the better. It has not helped a lot, has it? Progress has been minimal. Even halted.

 

Einstein said the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Perhaps not accepting 'what is' is form of insanity since denying it or rejecting it seems totally illogical as it is how things are. It cannot be ignored or avoided into something different than what it is. It is as it is and therefore to not accept it is futile. Yet, once we accept what is we open ourselves to options that have previously not existed as those paths were blocked because we could not, would not accept life as it is.

 

Sorry that this is so incredibly long, but I had a great deal I wanted to share, all of it having to do with my experiences related to acceptance and accepting what is. It seemed relevant to not leave the important stuff out. I don't mean to offend anyone for being where you are with anger or lack of acceptance. I'm just sharing what I've learned through experience.

 

I was also in anger many times over my past and refusing to accept my present as I did not like it and also fearing my future. I very rarely do any of those things now. I live in acceptance as best as I can. I avoid thinking of the future as much as possible and I avoid pondering things in the past. To me, they are not relevant. Only my present moment exists as it is where I will either suffer or find peace, where I will become stagnant or where I will flourish. I choose to flourish and to find peace.

Edited by JanCarol
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Ok, so the limb is gone. But then the next day it is 20% back. No doctor can explain it. Then the next week it is 50% back. Then the next week, it is gone again. There is drive to figure out how the limb came back 50% and try to recover it all. The situation is tough to accept because of the uncertainty. And the uncertainty in this case is not analogous to other kinds of uncertainty faced in life. Every week is new information. I don't know who is right or wrong and the facts to accept are so far unstable.

 

I don't know. I am twizzled thinking about this, frankly.

It is hard to accept because now you are beginning to 'time travel' as I like to refer to it. Your thoughts are time traveling. You are not in the present moment. You have seen these changes and now they have become unsettling. But why are they unsettling? Because you are no longer in the present moment. You are comparing each moment to a past moment and then postulating into the future what those moments mean.

 

In this case, it's the issue of the limb not being there, then growing back a small degree, then more, then gone. Great analogy for WD and the windows and wanes or variations in how we experience it from day to day, BTW. The point I'd like to add is that with acceptance, the past of what has transpired with the limb is wholly irrelevant and future expectations and fears work against you because they are impossible to predict.

 

However, you can accept each day what has happened with that limb while not letting it mean anything other than there has been some change. The key to acceptance is to just accept what is. It doesn't really matter if there are changes. Going through WD means there will be changes in our daily experience at times and other times we will stay the same for a bit. But ultimately, acceptance is about what is in that moment, each moment individually or each day individually. So the changes become irrelevant as it then becomes about how to best get through each day.

 

Ruminating about the changes is rather useless in that sense and actually leads you away from acceptance because you are now locked into time traveling thoughts of the past and then postulations and fears of the future, are you not? At the crux of this matter it is all about the changes that have occurred in the past and what they mean for the future. Well, they instill confusion and fear. At one point when the limb is growing back it instills optimism. So that is now the focus. But when you begin to focus on that healing too much it becomes an expectation. Then when the limb is gone again, it becomes a point of negative emotion be it fear, anger, loss, etc. The core idea of acceptance from my experience is that each day is new. What happened before and what may happen in the future is irrelevant. As they say in AA - ODAT or One Day AT a Time. I think that is something we all could benefit from here. I think that is something all people could benefit from, but especially people who are suffering.

Treat each day as a separate entity. Treat each minute or hour as a separate entity if the day is too much. AA has much to offer in this respect. Focusing on the present moment, while it's never really called that, is very helpful. None of those pesky fears about the future or issues with the past come into play. It's all about dealing with what is in that moment.

Edited by JanCarol
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Choices we makes today effect the future. The mere act of tapering is a way to control the future, is it not? The testing and medical decisions that Alex and I (and others) are facing every day are "living for the future" in a sense. Some doctors will say that we MUST treat diagnosed conditions even though we know they may abate on their own. I can't get an impacted tooth pulled without going back onto hydrocortisone because of risk of death in surgery. But hydrocortisone causes suicidal thoughts. I don't have acceptance of either choice at this point.

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Also, regarding anger... i suspect I'm not the only one among us who DIDN'T GET ANGRY ENOUGH or appropriately throughout our lives, turned it inward in an unhealthy way and are now suffering the consequences. Learning (and unlearning) those patterns can be the key to some degree of mental health in the future. This is part of the Buddhist philosophy that turned me off in the past. There is a tremendous difference between 1) experiencing, expressing and acting appropriately on anger and 2) holding onto it to an unhealthy and destructive point.

Robert Augustus Masters has many writings on this subject that hit home with me. He expresses it far better than i do (and i bet he's more of a morning person :o)

 

It's hard for me to draw parallels between 1) a horrific but defined incident (abuse/PTSD) and end date, opportunity for closure, acceptance and healing and 2) a situation that has not only not ended but may also be worsening with time due to original incident. One of the most difficult concepts to explain to people, including doctors, is that merely stopping these drugs does not reverse or stop the damage from progressing.(as in autoimmunity, theoretically).

 

I accept that i chose to take the drugs. I don't struggle with anger at docs who gave them to me because i believe that they honestly did not know the dangers and most still don't. The docs selling the detox facility are a different story.

 

Lastly, with Alex's hypothetical cancer scenario there is an opportunity for acceptance and closure because there is a diagnosis and prognosis. It's defined. Tangible. The stages of death and dying apply.

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Also, regarding anger... i suspect I'm not the only one among us who DIDN'T GET ANGRY ENOUGH or appropriately throughout our lives, turned it inward in an unhealthy way and are now suffering the consequences. Learning (and unlearning) those patterns can be the key to some degree of mental health in the future. This is part of the Buddhist philosophy that turned me off in the past. There is a tremendous difference between 1) experiencing, expressing and acting appropriately on anger and 2) holding onto it to an unhealthy and destructive point.

Robert Augustus Masters has many writings on this subject that hit home with me. He expresses it far better than i do (and i bet he's more of a morning person :o)

 

It's hard for me to draw parallels between 1) a horrific but defined incident (abuse/PTSD) and end date, opportunity for closure, acceptance and healing and 2) a situation that has not only not ended but may also be worsening with time due to original incident. One of the most difficult concepts to explain to people, including doctors, is that merely stopping these drugs does not reverse or stop the damage from progressing.(as in autoimmunity, theoretically).

 

I accept that i chose to take the drugs. I don't struggle with anger at docs who gave them to me because i believe that they honestly did not know the dangers and most still don't. The docs selling the detox facility are a different story.

 

I wasn't speaking of you or anyone in particular regarding anger. It's just something I've noted in general about the ADs/psych meds and getting off them or having been put on them. I've seen some people have residual anger. Anger in and of itself is a healthy and normal coping mechanism. What I was suggesting was that at some point, like I've seen with my mother for example, people cling to the anger and it keeps them stuck in a terrible state. I've also seen my mother move past anger and then begin to seem better, more peaceful, and then something happens and she does the same cycle. There are a lot of us who hold onto these awful feeling emotions like they've got a handle. I've done it quite often. It was the norm for me for many years. Then I began releasing it and feeling better. Anger itself is healthy until it is something that cannot let go of. Then it keeps you in an unhealthy place.

 

Regarding comparing the end date of what I went through to what you are going through which seems to be getting worse, then there can be no comparison beyond that at the time, during PTSD, I did not believe there was an end date. I believed I would feel like that for the rest of my life as I had been in and out of PTSD for a few years before it came out full force far worse than I could have even imagined it possible. There are people who suffered abuse and/or an assault who are still living through PTSD now decades later. I know this because after a serious health issue (autoimmune - lichen planus) came up back some years ago, due to the nature of it and location, it triggered me to remember the rape and PTSD. I went to a few forums for it and read possibly a hundred or more posts from people who still dealing with PTSD and other issues related to their assaults decades later. So it is possible for it to be quite open ended. This is why I say that focusing on the future is not helpful. At the time, I thought I would never get past the rape and fear and PTSD, but I did. Yet there are people who have not decades later. I had a friend whose sister is one of them. She struggles with it daily. My point here is that I've read posts and updates from people who went through WD and thought it would never end and a few years later it did. Some took longer than others, but of these posts and from these journals I've read online, I've realized that during the process, it seems like it will never end, and yet, it does end for plenty of people. They recover. During recovery however, they did not believe it would end. They felt like it would go on forever but they are now recovered.

 

I'm sorry if I have upset you. That was never my intention. My only intention was to share what helped me and how it did or the reasons why that made it possible. I don't want to cause you any distress. I only meant to offer something that could help maybe someone. I'm not pushing this on anyone. I'm just explaining what I know and have experienced and learned. If I upset you, I will leave as it is not my intention to upset anyone.

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Starlitegirl,

 

Your posts and views are always of great value and thought-provoking. We may not agree, but that's the beauty of discussion and debate. Don't you dare go anywhere!

 

I'm in a position that it feels like i need to make a decision on a daily basis. Or decide to not decide on action or treatment. You seem to have a sense of peace since realizing that K was the culprit of your mood and have a plan in motion to stabilize and taper. I haven't been keeping up with everyone, so correct me if my perception is wrong.

 

My point is... when you felt trapped in imipramine protracted withdrawal and without an action plan, it was difficult to find closure or acceptance. As tedious as tapering is, i think it is some ACTION that offers a sense of control and light at the end of the tunnel...?

 

Please know that I am VERY GLAD you!

 

Hugs.

B~

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Starlitegirl,

 

Your posts and views are always of great value and thought-provoking. We may not agree, but that's the beauty of discussion and debate. Don't you dare go anywhere!

 

I'm in a position that it feels like i need to make a decision on a daily basis. Or decide to not decide on action or treatment. You seem to have a sense of peace since realizing that K was the culprit of your mood and have a plan in motion to stabilize and taper. I haven't been keeping up with everyone, so correct me if my perception is wrong.

 

My point is... when you felt trapped in imipramine protracted withdrawal and without an action plan, it was difficult to find closure or acceptance. As tedious as tapering is, i think it is some ACTION that offers a sense of control and light at the end of the tunnel...?

 

Please know that I am VERY GLAD you!

 

Hugs.

B~

 

During protracted WD I did find days of acceptance, but it's a daily thing. I had trouble when they were worse. Fear for my future and if I would recover made me quite suicidal as you can see if you scan through my thread. But that was part of the time. Upon the discussion of the K being the issue, I began to feel a bit less fearful regarding the AD WD because it gave me a reason, but with that reason as I realized the very serious issue with the benzo, it made me more fearful. So as I stabilized with the K and improved, I became fearful of the K issue. It began to put quite the terror in me as I read some of the horrors people had gone through during benzo WD and that I had already experienced many of them and had used K to help them which only made it worse. Yikes! So I knew I now had ANOTHER long journey ahead of me because I had no idea that the K would cause the issues it did and now I have to taper from a much much higher dose than I was originally taking. I am using acceptance to cope with that. I am currently on my 5th day of my K taper having started it five days ago. I am doing far better than I could have imagined. I wonder if it will last or if I with hit some wall at times but then I let it go and think how for five days I'm actually having a smooth ride. In fact, at moments I wonder if tapering, for me, was the smartest thing to do because there are times I actually feel better than when I was at the 3.5mg. I think acceptance has a lot to do with that. I think it is making it easier because I don't spend time on fears. They pop up and then I soothe myself with calming thoughts or just let go of the fearful ones. I'm taking it one day at a time. One moment at a time when the fears come up. That's the best I can do for now and I'm aiming to keep at it and improve my acceptance. I do believe though that my taper is going well at this time because of acceptance because when I switched to titration, I had more notable issues than I'm having now. The only thing I can attribute it to is that the acceptance helps (or I am some strange and lucky anomaly where the K taper won't be bad for me as I never had issues taking it and never had issues increasing dose as needed for a few months at a time then going back to my original dose).

 

That aside, I'm wondering if maybe we discussed your choices a bit if that would possibly help you come to a place of acceptance on which choice feels better to you. I had written something to you about it then saw the later post and decided I probably shouldn't and just reply to the later post. But now I'm thinking after this post that maybe part of why it's so scary for you is that you really aren't having an opportunity to talk it through with anyone or have chosen not to because there is so much fear around these choices, but if we can address some of those fears (because fear is always the block to acceptance from my experience) then maybe that can help abate the fears and help you remove some of the distress.

 

If you wouldn't mind, could we talk about the hydrocortisone? I know you said it causes suicidal thoughts, and for some reason I'm thinking you've taken it before (perhaps I read that in your journal) and that is how you know that. If that is the case, I'm wondering how intense they were, and how much hydrocortisone you'll need for this and how long you'll have to take it. I'm asking these things because if you were on the hydrocortisone before, you made it through the suicidal thoughts and are here now. How did that happen? I'm sorry if you've explained this already somewhere, but like you I don't keep up with everything on the forum. I'm just wondering how bad it gets because while I would NEVER suggest to anyone to take anything that would give them suicidal thoughts, you seem to be in a position where it is either that option or risk death or perhaps do nothing and live with the impacted tooth though it seems that isn't an option if you are considering these two choices. So it seems you have to make a choice. So in the interest of being a sounding board, could you tell me about your experience with hydrocortisone as I'm guessing you have been on it before. Would you like to do that? Maybe someone to talk to about it would help. I know that when I talk with my best friend about stuff that scares or concerns me, it often helps soothe me and helps me gain a better perspective on options or makes it easier to make decisions. So if you want to try that, I'm more than happy to be a sounding board.

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Thanks Star. I'm going through personal/family stuff right now that has me in extremely bad shape. You commented on my thread, but wanted to note it here also in response to your kind offer. I can't even talk right now, I'm so stressed.

 

B

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I hope you feel better soon.

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One last:

 

Acceptance is a big theme in Alcoholics Anonymous. If anyone is familiar with the short stories in the AA text (aka The Big Book), the most well known is based on acceptance.

 

Even though we are not alcoholics, I recommend the story if anyone is interested in more discussion on Acceptance. Like i said, it's the most well known story in AA, other than the story of the founder Bill Wilson.

 

 

And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation some fact of my life unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.

 

- From Acceptance Was the Answer

 

http://www.aa.org/bigbookonline/en_theystoppedintime16.pdf

 

Loved it. Thank you.

 

In case you're wondering, acceptance is a big hurdle for me as well. It's wonderful when I can manage it.

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One last:

 

Acceptance is a big theme in Alcoholics Anonymous. If anyone is familiar with the short stories in the AA text (aka The Big Book), the most well known is based on acceptance.

 

Even though we are not alcoholics, I recommend the story if anyone is interested in more discussion on Acceptance. Like i said, it's the most well known story in AA, other than the story of the founder Bill Wilson.

 

 

And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation some fact of my life unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.

 

- From Acceptance Was the Answer

 

http://www.aa.org/bigbookonline/en_theystoppedintime16.pdf

 

Loved it. Thank you.

 

In case you're wondering, acceptance is a big hurdle for me as well. It's wonderful when I can manage it.

 

Ditto what Jemima wrote. Acceptance is a challenge for me also especially when things feel their worst or I am most fearful. It takes practice and patience, and I have to keep reminding myself to stay in acceptance mode.

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Page 417 Acceptance

 

 

A.A. Big Book – Acceptance is the answer to ALL of my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation- some fact of my life- unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God's world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept my life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.

 

I change the words to Until I could accept my life I could not be happy

 

Thank you so much for your insights into Acceptance SG :)

 

It's a toughy for me, I am looking to change things, you know the Band-Aid effect.

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I know I write a lot about acceptance, but I assure you, I have periods where it is difficult for me. Old things that I have accepted but still linger with me confused as to why they are that way come back to me. I wonder about the randomness of who gets this or that to deal with and how some people seem to have been blessed while others appear to have so much more to struggle with. Then throw God into the equation and I just think that he/she/it is one hell of a sadistic bastard. The world seems barbaric to me most of the time and none of it makes sense. That's one of my key things to accept that comes up regularly - the insanity of it all and how it all is so unbalanced and how I am exactly where I need to be and that it has always been that way. Looking back, it seems that exactly where I need to be is often in some kind of craziness. Maybe my mission in life is to overcome all this with acceptance of that and acceptance that none of this makes sense or seems fair nor will it ever. I struggle with watching people suffering. My own suffering at times makes me acutely sensitive to the suffering of others. Then I see people suffering and it just makes me more upset. That's why I have to limit and even avoid all things that show me other people or creatures suffering. It's just too much for me. But I have to accept it all. Accept that this world is the way it is, that it makes no sense to me, that I am stuck here till I die, that I have to go through WD AGAIN with an even longer time frame for it (YEARS!!!). I have no choice if I want peace and the best recovery possible or if I wish to mitigate my suffering in some way. It's all a tough nut to swallow, but there's no way around it. It's a do or suffer situation and a struggle for most. I wonder if even those most proficient in acceptance have things they struggle with?

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This is such a huge issue for me.

I've been struggling the last 4 years of my life and the withdrawl is like poop icing on the poop cake.

 

I often think about myself and how I "used" to be. It torments me in a way. Especially when I think about the mom I used to be.

 

I regret going on the prozac. What I was dealing with at the time was traumatizing and hurtful and of course I would feel upset, sad and anxious.

 

When I went to the dr. I had already looked in to prozac and knew that's the one I wanted to try. I basiclly just went in and said can I have a prescription please.

The dr. I went to was a family practice dr.

 

When I'm not down of myself.....I'm down on my husband, blaming him for it all.

 

I want to accept where I am and I'm beginning see it's going to be a daily process.

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I realized that acceptance blurs with compromise and *settling* in my mind.

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I realized that acceptance blurs with compromise and *settling* in my mind.

 

I can understand that. It sort of blurs with hopelessness for me.

 

Also though reality demands respect, no matter how I feel about it. So far as I've been able to tell reality doesn't care what I think.

 

For me I exert more effort deciding what needs accepting and what just needs some time and effort. It's not always easy to know what I can change and what is unchangeable.

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