What do you think about acceptance? is what I think about acceptance but I have problems staying in that state of mind.
I think of it this way. Acceptance is where I want to be and sometimes I feel the ‘vibe’ of it and even the ‘rational’ of it but then certain things impede my existence in that state of mind.I grasp this is the pain I will have for the indeterminate future and I have to cope with that. We all want to accept, cope and manage our pain while at the same time looking for ways to improve upon the current status quo. This is the ideal. The acceptance. But I think it is also natural to encounter road blocks to this. Or it is for me. I am in a better mental place than I was due to a) some moderate pain management and most important b) depression medication.
For me what impedes this my daily level of acceptance and therefore my capacity to cope Well are:
My depression is now managed by medication which is a Vast improvement over it Not being managed by medication. Not to mention anti-depressants that I was on for chronic pain actually made me suicidal. So once that was put a stop to I was in a better mental place. Nevertheless, I have depression related to chronic pain. It creates a negative feedback loop in regards to chronic pain and there are simply days when I do not view this battle in a good way. And I am not talking about that I Should be all fuzzy wuzzy with positive thoughts. Because that isn’t happening. I mean the depression makes the thoughts the most negative thought humanly possible and then magnifies it by about 10% on top of that and then extrapolates that horrific though into the Rest of My Living Days of Eternal Pain and Suffering. That is what I mean. So what I want are realistic thoughts. Makes me fight my brain a lot to downplay what it wants to think and sometimes that really doesn’t work for acceptance, at all.
Frankly, the higher the pain the less ‘accepting’ I am. And pain is variable. Even through the day it is variable, as I am in less pain in the beginning and far more at night which is why I am prone to darker thoughts at night. Nevertheless, there are high pain days, weeks or months where I have a real hard time just existing. There was a time, a really long time, when this was my life… just a really hard time existing. And it still is a massive factor because my pain is not very well managed. My FM is moderately managed with slow release tramadol. But the chronic migraines are not managed with anything at all. Except some occasional temporary dampening of the pain with triptan abortives that I can take 3 days a week… they tend to dampen the pain for a window of 2-4 hours so I save them for work. Nevertheless, it is a lot of pain to deal with and it tends to amp up as the day progresses leaving me with a great deal of painsomnia at night. The more pain the more I battle with my mood, my outlook, and my depression. I seem to have an overall better general outlook and since my depression is quite a bit better managed I do not fall into these severe depressive episodes when the pain is severe. My mood would plummet like a rock with the pain. Now it definitely takes a nosedive, but not to the depths of despair. I have been able to look at the overall picture more. But the pain is definitely something that is an obstacle for sure. It used to always be an obstacle, now it seems to be more when it just won’t quite for too long that I really seem to have some issues. Nevertheless, I understand the pain is going to be there every day, but when I am in high pain I am less accepting of this fact and less able to cope and adapt to it as a result. So what I have done is adapted a pain plan to do when I am in high pain, when I can, and stick to that. Just follow the pain and get through the pain. And of course, manage my mood in any way feasible because that is always a high priority.
A barrier to acceptance is also not following the rules. I know them. They make perfect sense. I know if I follow them I live a better life. Then I do not follow them. And pacing is a major one. I accept I need to pace. I accept I need to live a moderate life. But I feel the pressured by life, society, work and myself to do things. And inevitably I push through the pain to accomplish too much and end up in this boom and bust mode they warn you about in the pain clinic and pain management. And simply one we are freaking aware of from experience. We push too hard, and the suffer the consequences for days. Then we feel a bit better so we do More, then we bust again. And the cycle repeats. Over and over. Boom. Bust. And the only way to even out the pain is to pace. Well, even it out as much as it can be, because migraines don’t even out and some flares are not dependent on what you do. So acceptance is a fine attitude that I have been trying to maintain, through obstacles, but it doesn’t work so well when you don’t follow the coping strategies you Know work. I have other things I know work and don’t follow them all the time too. Partly this is lack of motivation from the depression… it is an energy monster, just sucking all the motivation out of you. Partly it is just this sense that I feel nothing works so why do it… which I feel when I am in high pain and just not in an accepting mood. Because one thing never works. A lot of things done regularly can all help a little. And doing them helps me feel like I am doing Something. But I have to play by my rules. And sometimes I get into a great routine… then massive pain or bout of deeper depression and routine is gone for a month… and I have to start all over again. But that is normal. Things happen. We have to be in self-care mode when things get rough and then get back to our routines when things settle down again. Nothing to feel guilty about.
That is what directly interferes with my level of acceptance. Like I said I am better than I was, but I have things I have to manage all the time. Things that make acceptance more difficult. Things that make it harder for me to cope and adapt. Things I have to focus on and try to help myself find ways to manage those areas. How to manage the pain when it gets high. How to manage the depression when it gets worse. How to stick to my routine despite lack of motivation. Those are my struggles.