One of the things that my therapist, Karen, and I have been working on recently is the concept of radical acceptance. Actually, she’s been working on burning the concept into my brain and I’ve been working on trying not to forget.
If you are not familiar with the concept (I wasn’t), she explains that just because we accept something, doesn’t mean we have to like it. We all do it all the time, but we don’t always do it consciously. For instance, I am Mentally Ill. I hate it. I do not want to have Bipolar Disorder. But no matter how much hate I throw at the situation it is what it is, and while I hate it, I accept it. There is no other choice. It is what it is. Whether I am happy about it or not.
Depression comes after hypomania or mania for me. I don’t have periods of stability. I’m hypo or I’m depressed. It is the way my bipolar works. I’m working on radical acceptance for this and I’ve been working on it hard for awhile. The fact is, the depression scares me, but I’m working at accepting it even though I hate it. I’ll get better at it. I have to. The new med seems to be keeping my highs and lows less drastic and hopefully that is something that sticks, as it will make acceptance easier. But, it is a radical acceptance. I hate everything about it.