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My Story, Pain

Acceptance

When do you stop believing in miracles? When do you understand that miracles probably won’t happen to you? When do you just say, to yourself, this is it?

At some point every chronically ill person looks in the mirror, or into themselves, and stares into the vast, terrifying thing that is “chronic.”

I once said to a friend,

Until you accept you may be sick for the rest of your life, you have not accepted your illness. Until then, you can not begin to heal.

Was I being cruel? I didn’t think so then, though they exploded at me. Accept!? NO! They would keep fighting, force their body to heal, drag it into submission. Let me tell you, that didn’t work out for them.

I have never found the just-keep-pushing philosophy worked when it was shoved smack up against an illness. Dear, sweet sick people, for your own happiness, do yourself a favor.

Accept that you are sick.

Fibromyalgia has taught me patience. My patience is vast, quiet and un-manipulative. I can wait this flare out, because I know it will pass, and then come back again. There will always be limits. There will always be things I can not do without hurting myself. I accept this. I am patient because of it.

I accept that I may be forever debilitated by this illness. I accept that things will probably get worse before the day I die; may it be long away from now but before the pain takes away all that’s worth living for. One sweet day, this dysfunctional creation I live in will just stop working and the pain will pass away with my soul. I neither dread nor look forward to this day. I will welcome it when it comes, knowing my suffering in this life will end.

What a blessing that acceptance is.

I hope that one day, following lots of really fascinating research, we will find exactly what causes auto-immune disorders, fibromyalgia and other interesting illnesses. I am glad I get to be alive while we do that work, to participate in it as well as get to study it. Maybe after that we’ll find ways to treat, cure or turn off these illnesses, or how to prevent them.

I accept that it’s likely the best treatment is prevention: lifestyle changes regarding stress management, diet and exercise. I accept that these things may help me, but that no matter how hard I work to prevent flares, I am ill, remain so, and will likely continue to suffer despite my hard work.

I accept this. I accept this pain. That it and I will be forever companions in a way I will never be with anyone or anything else. That it is a part of my body, that it is what I started this life with, and will leave here when I pass on.

I accept that I will know pain in all it’s intricate, intimate ways, better then I could ever know a lover, partner or friend. I live with the pain and it lives with me.

We might as well just accept it.

Hope is wonderful. Hope for a cure. Hope for answers. Work for answers, research and to pay awesome doctors to help you mange your disease(s).

Pray for peace, for me, for you, for those who love, care for and treat us. We all need the good energy.

But don’t confuse prayers for a miracle for acceptance. Don’t confuse hope for a bright future for acceptance.

To get somewhere else, to move forward, you need to know where you are.

And the sooner you accept what you have, where you are and what is happening to your body, you can begin to move towards healing.

Discussion

8 thoughts on “Acceptance

  1. I will write you a post on my struggles to accept- which I have not yet done- and how I am working to overcome them :)

    Posted by Janice | April 21, 2011, 12:08 pm
  2. I don’t know if you’d say I’ve accepted my pain or not. On one hand, I know I will never get all better. The most I can hope for is to get somewhat better, and even that is a pretty far reach. But when I think about the fact that I’m stuck with this for the rest of my life things tend to get a little dark. I’ve never been either a religious or optimistic person. I look towards the future and see days, weeks, months and years worth of pain. The pain isn’t even the worst part though. I suffer some side effects from medication that I’m not entirely sure will go away. I shake and have muscle spasms constantly. And my brain has suffered so much. I can’t remember anything and my attention span (which I admit was never all that good) is ridiculous. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever get past any of that or whether I’m going to be a braindead vibrating kicky monster forever.

    In the end it’s just easier to try not to think about it. Besides, I’m not sick I’m just a little broken. ;)

    Posted by onnawufei | April 21, 2011, 2:31 pm
    • Thad is a vibrating shaky monster, too. I think it’s one of his meds that make him do that, but no one is sure. I don’t mind him kicking me in bed as much as I worry about him. It scares me.

      Posted by Tory (lifewitharedhead) | July 21, 2012, 3:32 am
  3. I love that quote

    Until you accept you may be sick for the rest of your life, you have not accepted your illness. Until then, you can not begin to heal.

    I truly believe it is true. I don’t have Fibromyalgia, I struggle with candida which I have read, can lead to Fibromyalgia. That quote can work for any illness. Thank you fro a great post… Terry (My Journey With Candida

    Posted by Terry | April 25, 2011, 9:58 am
    • Thanks! I think it stuck with me because when I said it I got blown up at and the silent treatment for a few weeks.

      I agree – it applies to any chronic issue.

      Posted by Summer | April 25, 2011, 1:33 pm
  4. I finally took the time to come to your blogs. You’ve inspired me through IG, but I make that obvious, I think. On to what I think about the post, or my experience, rather: when my husband was at St. Jude being treated for his cancer he told me he always told himself that he wasn’t sick, that he couldn’t be like this, he has to press on. He said that if he let himself think he was sick he never would have gotten through it. 5 years later I’ve seen him break down more than ever. He is in a constant battle with himself, trying too keep holding onto that notion that he’s not sick… But the way he feels, the pain, the meds, the new symptoms, new problems, they all force him to start thinking differently. I don’t think he wants to accept it and say that he is sick, and he will be this way for the rest of his life. It scares him to death. He just does not want to believe that a 23 year old can have so much wrong with him, and a lot of people around him don’t believe either. They say, “oh you’re young you can do that”, and really, he can’t. How do you help someone find their way of accepting it? Do they have to find their own way, or is it possible that a loved one could help him?

    Posted by Tory (lifewitharedhead) | July 21, 2012, 3:26 am
    • I think having support helps. You can’t force someone to accept it, but it does get easy once they do.

      Letting him know you’ll love him, despite what comes, can help. You can’t lie and say it’ll be okay, but if you actively cherish every day you have that’s a good start. It’s hard to accept, and many don’t want to and fight it for years… I have always lived with this.

      It’s even trickier now, then when I wrote this, because now I am sicker if better able to live. I also have the DNR now, which means that if my heart or breathing stops that’s it. Now more living. So I am keenly aware each day could be the last… but I can savor days now, which is much better then before when I was fighting against my illness. I still struggle, you know that… but I live side-by-side with my diseases more then I survive, fight or suffer from them.

      That’s a journey every takes differently. I hope your hubby can come to peace with his health.

      Posted by Summer | July 21, 2012, 12:46 pm

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Disclaimer

I am a patient and a massage therapist. I am not a doctor. Even if I was, you'd be silly to change your wellness plan based solely on my blog.

This information is for information only, not diagnosis, treatment or assessment of your health. Before you make any changes to your treatment or medications, speak to the appropriate doctor in charge of your care.

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