Contents of this article on Acceptance of Illness, chronic and severe:
Acceptance of illness can be confused with resignation.
"But if I accept the illness, aren't I giving into it?
Won't it make it more likely that I don't recover?"
To be resigned is a heavy feeling:
"Well this is just how things are and will always be. Nothing will ever change."
Acceptance is a falling into the present moment, a willingness to accept yourself whether you have an illness or whether you have health.
Both resignation and acceptance have their place when coming to terms with illness. And both can be turning points in learning to stop putting your life on hold and deciding to live life just as you are, at the level of health you have.
(More of a thought-bite than a poem!)
When I became ill with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome /Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, I didn't experience much support from those around me.
Because of this and because of a natural inclination to keep busy - I know that many of you will relate! - it took me quite a while to move towards acceptance of illness.
I was still working initially. In order to manage to do so, I chose not to talk about feeling so ill. This probably added to my denial of how ill I had become.
Later on I became suddenly more ill, had to stop work and became mostly housebound. At this point I realised that I had to accept the illness in order to find a way to adapt to it and to set up life in a way that would allow me to survive.
Two years after having to stop work I became even more severely ill. I was then bedbound with severe CFS/ME.
Illness at such a severe level felt like a bad dream
from which I kept hoping to wake up. In a way it feels like that is
what happened. It still seems a little unbelievable that I am walking and
talking and doing the wonderful things I am doing.
I still don't accept CFS/ME at this new level in the sense that I still feel like a fit, active and busy person in a body that doesn't live up to that description!
Nonetheless, I continue to move forwards with accepting the significant restrictions of Chronic
Fatigue Syndrome with which I continue to life.
With greater acceptance I increase my ability to celebrate life at my current level of health :-)
There are 7 stages of acceptance that you are likely to pass through time and time again as you move towards feeling more at peace with a life lived with chronic illness.These stages of acceptance can also be called the stages of grief.
You are very welcome to claim my free ebook - The 7 Stages of Grief of Chronic Illness.
Reading about the 7 Stages of Grief is one way to help yourself raise your level of self compassion in a time of chronic illness. Another way to find compassion for yourself is to give yourself new permissions - for example to say no when you need to, or to ask for help. Click through for advice on giving yourself new permissions.