Hopefully my thoughts on these things won't upset anyone. I'm just going to put them out there and maybe they will help...
To expand on earlier thought....
"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."
How do you (anyone) determine when something must be ACCEPTED? That it is unchangeable, permanent, the best case scenario, unimproveable?
That is what i struggle with. I have compromised on many things in life to the point of 'settling'. That is related to self-esteem issues, in my case.
I generally determined what needs to be accepted when changing it has proven not possible or when change, like when you are going through WD and want it to end, will come in its own time frame. So basically, it comes down to control vs the illusion of control. Do I have control over something? True control where I can change it or is that control just some illusion that gives me some kind of false hope but in reality tortures me more because I'm clinging to the idea that I can make things better or the way I want when really, they are going to be how they are regardless of what I do or try.
I totally understand the 'settling' part. It's so hard to accept something and not feel like you are settling or even giving up, but the way I have come to see it now is that I am not settling as much as I am letting go of the struggle, generally an internal one that brings more torment than it does peace or reward. We have come to view settling as such a negative thing, as if we are short changing ourselves when we deserve more, which I think sums it up pretty well, but it's not really that we are short changing ourselves or deeming ourselves not worthy of more.
It's actually that we are looking at the circumstances and stripping away all that thinking and trying to control the outcome and all the suffering that comes along with it. Basically, we're choosing to let go of that whole struggle and let things be as they are because the fact remains that they are going to be as they are no matter what we do. We only think we can control or change them. If they are going to change, they will naturally of their own accord on their own time frame. At least that's what I've discovered time and again. I cannot force things to change on my time frame. So I have to accept them as they are.
And then in some cases, they do change when it is time for them to change. Often, we mistake the natural timing for having something to do with us attempts at controlling it. But I think that's an illusion. I think it would have happened anyway. But because we never accepted something it looks like it changed because of me, but it changed because that was what was going to happen. And when change doesn't happen it is because it was not going to happen.
Now, I'm not saying we should just give up on everything, because that's basically apathy. But we should give up struggling with things that are not in our control. We can still take some action like see a doctor for an illness and listen to recommendations and determine which is best for us. But after that, there is nothing more we really can do. We can think we can do something, but I think this is where we have to be brutally honest with ourselves and decide if there is anything that we could do that would change the situation or is it how it is going to be no matter what we do? In the later case, then we just have to let if go, mourn it if it's a loss of some kind and accept that it is how it is. Honestly, at least on that path, choosing acceptance, we now have some peace even if it comes with sadness and a sense of loss. At least we've stopped struggling which takes up a lot of energy and thought that we need to heal and recover.
I realize I can't do a lot physically right now but what are my options? It gets back to some things I can change and some things I need to accept. Of course the problem is the 3rd category - the I can maybe change but trying is risky - so I don't want to accept a misery unnecassarily nor do I want to do something stupid that makes me even worse off. Then it becomes paralyzing.
Accepting a misery unnecessarily when you think you can change it is definitely a tough call. There is the common belief that taking wrong action is better than taking no action. In some cases that may be true, but when it comes to our cases, where we are dealing with fragile health and actions that could really make things much worse, that idea really becomes a dangerous one, like choosing to cut because you've had uncomfortable WD symptoms rather than holding and giving them a chance to settle so you can stabilize.
We've seen how taking no action can be beneficial to us. Now, it might appear that we are accepting misery unnecessarily, but we are simply choosing to not take action when we are not certain of what the outcome will be if we were to cut. In that case, taking action is not the best thing. We tend to pay for our actions in spades when it comes to these choices we make because we cannot accept what we are dealing with WD wise.
Acceptance, then becomes our friend. We may experience misery, but if the choice is accepting that misery and giving ourselves some time to adapt so that the misery may pass (like a hold would accomplish), then acceptance is wise. Taking action ie: taking control of something that could ultimately end up making us worse (and we've all seen that happen here in the forums) is often the least wise thing to do and we pay for it in spades.
But this is also something that goes beyond the topic of WD. In many if not most life situations, people 'take control' and 'take action' and it does not often lead to better situations. Often it is done out of impatience and the need to feel like you are in control. That's where the wisdom part comes in.
There are clear points where taking action is the right and best choice because the consequences are clear. Don't pay those taxes, you get more problems and it costs you more. Things like that where the consequences are clear are where it's best to take action.
Acceptance comes into play when we have no clue what action to take or where we are not sure what the outcome of the action will be. In those cases, taking action would likely do more harm than good. Much like cutting when you are experiencing WD just because you feel you have to do something. But holding is really the best thing. So you accept you are in misery or discomfort and may be for a while longer than you wish, but you are not acting out of that need to control or change things or to simply do something because you don't like where you currently are.
Acceptance can be tricky and it can be a challenge knowing what and when to accept something. I tend to go by a few rules of thumb:
1) Have I done what I can to change this how I wanted it to be and has it helped or not? Generally this leads to acceptance as I'm personally not fond of feeling like a dog chasing its tail.
2) Do I know what the outcome of taking this action will be? Is it something I am doing simply because I dislike how things are yet taking the action could actually make things worse? What is my motivation? Is is because I feel I have to do something? Or is it based on information that makes it look like it could very likely be the key to improving things, like for me, stabilizing on klonopin. The information I got from several well informed and experienced people all pointed to high odds that the klonopin was causing the WD effects. While I wasn't thrilled about going on a regular dose three times a day I realized it was probable that the change would be beneficial. That caused massive improvement and proved to me that there is hope for me to stabilize.
My brain is foggy due to a medication mishap so I'll leave it at that, though it's quite long. Sorry for that. Just trying to help based on my experience. If it doesn't suit your needs ignore it. I only wish you all the best and try to help where I can.
Edited by JanCarol, 15 December 2015 - 08:57 PM.
Paragraph breaks for ease of reading