What is acceptance?

Firstly, acceptance does not bring instant relief. It just doesn't work like that so sufferers look elsewhere because they demand instant results. They carry on searching for the cure, the magic pill to make it all go away. Unfortunately, it doesn't exist so searching is futile and just keeps feeding your anxiety.

Fortunately, a friend lent me a book by Dr Claire Weekes ( I still have it...oops) which teaches acceptance and my own research led me to a website called AnxietyNoMore.co.uk which advocates the same path to full recovery naturally. I strongly recommend both if you are serious about recovering which I think you probably are!

I learnt that fighting to get better was a complete waste of time. It only served to send me deeper into the anxiety cycle and keep the myriad of symptoms coming such as the intrusive thoughts about anything and everything, depression (i prefer to say depletion of emotional reserves which can be replenished by acceptance), and stress that was so intense, it was distressing. I now know I was searching for the elusive cure, googling symptoms (not good, it just fed my anxious mind even more) but never found it. I never found the one thing that would just make it all go away. My GP prescribed SSRIs and I thought great! Pop a few of these over the next few days and all will be well. You know, the same as taking anti-biotics for bacterial infections. I was so wrong. In fact they made me feel worse and stopped taking them.

Getting back to acceptance, the following analogy might help to explain what it means which I know can be hard to grasp when you cannot see the wood for the trees.

Imagine a person who had injured their knee out running and had an operation. The surgeon has advised against him to rest up and quit running for a few months, allowing time for it to heal. Obviously, it will be painful for a while so the runner accepts what the surgeon has told him and gets on with his life, hobbling around in pain ( which I know is worse for a man).

Now, instead of just getting on with things, imagine if our jogger spent weeks looking for answers to make the pain go away instantly, continually searching his mind and the Internet and/or looking for a doctor that could make it better instantly,. Imagine him fighting to control the pain all day, every day, thinking and obsessing about it. Do you think all of that would make him and his leg feel better? No, didn't think so.

He is trying the impossible and will have to just accept that his leg will heal in good time, knowing that it will be sore and stiff for a while and fully expected under the circumstances. Mother Nature and time will do the rest.

This is the the same attitude sufferers need to have to recover. Admit defeat and accept that anxiety will be part of you for a while and learn to roll with the punches and not punch back. By not doing anything to get rid of the anxiety, you are giving your mind and body the space it needs to get better, naturally.

The above has been said many times before but just want to reinforce the message as it seems lots of people are refusing to allow themselves to feel the way they do and keep asking questions about symptoms.

I used to wake up and monitor how I felt and then spend all my day trying to do something about it. I finally accepted that when I woke I would feel tired and anxious, that my mind would probably race, that I would feel odd, detached, stressed for most of the day, I would not ignore it or pretend to like it, but for once I was not going to try and do anything about it, I still felt awful all day, but for the first time I was giving my mind and body much needed rest. Up until this point, I had been trying to cure myself of a stress related condition by stressing about it. Doh!

By stepping out of the way of yourself, your mind would be breathing a huge sigh of relief because you are giving it the rest it has been waiting for. Your mind has been exhausted and the reason why your mind has been racing, thinking has been slow and hard and you've probably felt out of it or detached. Your mind has simply put itself into safety mode to prevent further damage through worrying about it.

The moment you admit to yourself and genuinely accept that anxiety will be part of you for a while will be the moment that you begin the recovery process and start moving towards peace. Those people who refuse to believe this or don’t want to are the ones that stay stuck in the cycle, trying to rid themselves of something that needs to be left alone and getting nowhere, fast.

Recovery lies by doing the exact opposite and leaving it be. Otherwise, you will be the injured runner who continually prods, picks and pulls at the stitches and getting stressed about his leg not getting any better.

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4 Replies

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  • You make so much sense, Claire Weekes books sit at my bedside and explains so well the state that the anxious person finds themself. Your posts have such a ring of truth and i want to get well! Your words are good food for my soul.

    Thank you!

  • Mine is so worn, it is held together with cellotape. Keep reading it until facing, accepting, floating past and letting time pass becomes second nature. The more I read it, the more I related the symptoms she wrote about to those I was experiencing and all a gross exaggeration of a normal emotional response. It is the exaggeration that shocks us into a response, normally a fearful one and the reason people stay stuck. By accepting, you change your attititude towards the thoughts and feelings and stop reacting in fear and treat them with indifference. Once fear is taken out of the equation, recovery is inevitable.

  • Claire Weekes writes "however distressing your symptoms may be, i assure you that every unwelcome sensation can be banished and you can regain peace of mind and body. "

    Hopeful

  • It's true.

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