How well do you accept things – mainly change? Do you adjust quickly or do you fight it all the way? Do you embrace change or close your eyes ignoring it is happening?
Since my health issues started in 2012, it has been a roller coaster ride of acceptance. When the diagnosis of MS finally came in 2017 I realized it would be physically challenging, emotionally draining, and around-the-clock exhausting with some extremely lonely times. The truth is for those who don’t have it, you can’t understand the challenges or how it is different in each person. On the surface, I accepted things. Those closest to me saw the struggles but I was still living a kind of denial.
I had been having a run of good days – when there is no brain fog, moving okay just a little slow and making it through most of the day before I was totally drained. Then there are the days which take an extraordinary amount of effort to complete even a simple task. Try going through a day not knowing if you will be able to manage another moment of fatigue, dizziness, muscle weakness, dropping anything you get your hands on, and feeling as if you don’t have the strength to hold it together for one more second. I accepted these minor challenges too… or at least I thought I did.
When I started my journey again working through my addiction, I realized I have never really accepted my MS diagnosis. Why was accepting I’m an addict so much easier than accepting I have MS. On most days I admit to those around me the limitations I have especially with memory as a result of my MS. Acceptance, right? Then, I came across this definition of acceptance in an NA reading. “Acceptance is an opening of your heart to the realities of life and to the ways in which you have been impacted by your life choices. It means you don’t fight against the realities of your life, but accept them for what they are and use them to grow as a person and move forward in life. Accepting life on life’s terms. Accepting the things you can not change while you focus on the things you can“. The truth is, I have not truly accepted my MS diagnosis.
Last week, I was told by disability “you are not considered disabled”. One of their reasons was “you can use your arms and hands so basically go to work” and instead of getting angry, I started to wonder if they were right. Then I was told by the physical therapist, I had flunked the balance test! She said “you are a fall risk and need to have a cane with you”. SMACK! She had me pegged though, she said “you still think of yourself as an independent woman who can take care of everyone else”. It took both of these things to make be realize I was still fighting the realities of my life. I continue to fight the things I can’t change instead of focusing on the things I can change. I can’t change I’m a 62 year old woman who struggles most days with MS both physically and mentally. What I can change is the way I decide to handle things………working on eating healthier, getting sleep, getting up and moving when I feel up to it instead of just sitting around then resting when my body says it is time.
Now, your struggle with acceptance could be much different. The difficulties you face may be different from mine, but I am convinced there is someone, somewhere in the world who is going through the same overwhelming moments as you. Just because you don’t hear about them or know them personally doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Believe me, I have been there.
Whatever your challenge, it’s okay to feel like you’re falling apart. Eventually things will get better and you will find new ways of coping with all the changes happening in your life. I can guarantee it, but in the moment or in the heat of the battle it may not seem like it’s even possible. I know, I am there fighting the battle of acceptance right now – with you.
It’s okay to ask for help. I’m grateful for the rooms of NA where I can dump my stuff on the floor and walk away feeling a little less like a hot mess. Find someone you can talk with about ways to help you manage your emotional chaos. There is still hope for a better tomorrow whatever your challenge may be. I believe in you even when you don’t believe in yourself.
When all else fails, repeat the Serenity Prayer and wait for an answer. Of course waiting for an answer is not one of my strong points. Answers will always come but they may not be in a way we expect them or it may not be the answer we want….. expectations is a whole other topic. LOL.
So, just for today, focus on the things you can change. Accept life on life’s terms and count your blessings.
Have a blessed day!