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Resistance & Acceptance

When someone is diagnosed with an illness, be it acute or chronic, he or she determines the best strategies to fight the disease. It’s part of our social script: People get sick, but they fight their diseases and get well. OK, some people do live with chronic illness, but only once they figure out how to eliminate their symptoms. These illnesses lurk in the background, not wreaking havoc on their lives.

Does this idea sound familiar? It certainly does to me. In The Not-So-Gentle Art of Acceptance ChronicBabe Editrix Jenni Prokopy describes her resistance and considers the role of acceptance in her chronic illness. Here’s an excerpt from her beautifully written and encouraging piece:

“The idea just seems so shocking; the concept that my body, with fibromyalgia, is in a state of wholeness? That’s crazy talk. The idea that my body is full of wisdom? That those symptoms — those signals — are the easiest way my body has of maneuvering me into a place of total self-care? Whoa. (I’m crying as I write this. This is not an easy concept for me to wrap my brain around.)

“I have always resisted the idea of acceptance, because I always felt my body was flawed. That I was broken in some way. Who wants to accept that? And I have spent many, many years searching for my “fix.” Because it is just so damn unfair, so wrong, there has to be a solution. And I am surrounded by people (and their books and stuff) who believe they have the answer and are willing, for a price of course, to reveal to me their secrets. So it’s very tempting to search and search for the answer. Because it feels like if you stop searching, you’re giving up. It could be right around the corner! I’m no quitter!”

2 Responses to Resistance & Acceptance

  1. Wow, what a post.

    Sometimes I think it’s a matter of being “comfortable with the tension”. If I’m stuck with this forever, it doesn’t mean I’m less of a person, or less important, or less valuable or effective.

    Then again, I have to be willing to accept the fact that I could be better someday. It’s a constant tension that somehow we have to learn to live with.

    We certainly don’t need to be “fixed” – in the sense that our lives will be failed tragedies if we die with migraine (or whatever it may be)! And sometimes I think that’s the line we’re sold. Happiness is just a product away…

  2. Kerrie says:

    Hi, James. When you’re in pain, it’s reassuring to believe that, as you say, relief is just a product away. I believed that until I ran out of options. I’ve felt so broken that it seems natural to try to fix myself.

    Thanks for posting about The Daily Headache on your blog. My e-mails to you have been bounced back – I think your e-mail filter thinks I’m spamming you.

    -Kerrie

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