After writing the post about the Serenity Prayer, I thought it would be appropriate to share a few thoughts about acceptance. You might not think this is really an appropriate topic for a pain management blog, but if you'll bear with me for a few paragraphs, you'll see the connection.
|Image source: Wikipedia|
What is acceptance? Wikipedia seems to give me the most appropriate description for purposes of this discussion. The first paragraph under this topic goes like this:
Acceptance in human psychology is a person's assent to the reality of a situation, recognizing a process or condition (often a negative or uncomfortable situation) without attempting to change it, protest. The concept is close in meaning to 'acquiescence', derived from the Latin 'acquiēscere' (to find rest in).
When a person is accepting of a situation or condition--it changes everything! In chronic pain syndromes this simply means that you know that a certain level of discomfort is going to be present no matter what you do. You can choose to live with the discomfort the same way you deal with other unpleasantries in life.
Suppose for example that you live on a very busy street. Cars going by all day and night, lots of noise all the time. How do you deal with the problem if you are unable to relocate? The answer is simple...you learn to block it out. Perhaps you can make some home improvements that will help to reduce noise levels inside your four walls...or have a privacy fence installed. You can also mentally filter out some of the noise. The problems are all still there...but you make adaptations so that your life goes on in spite of them.
The same is true of chronic pain syndromes. When you have gained the acceptance that there's always going to be some level of discomfort and learn to cope/live with it...you have made a tremendous advance that you will benefit from immensely!