THE STAGES OF GRIEF - ACCEPTANCE (PART ONE)
Trying to be functional in life with all this pain is grueling enough. But, one cannot escape going through the intense emotions from all the losses pain causes. http://functionallivingwithchronicpain.blogspot.com/2015/04/a-look-at-our-losses.html It also throws the sufferer into the stages of grief as I’ve been posting about: denial, anger, bargaining, and depression to hopefully someday finding acceptance! (Please do a search on this blog for these posts if you have not been following).
I (with God's help, as well as my husband, my adult children, friends, therapists and a support group) am working on putting together the shredded pieces of my life caused by the chronic pain to be as functional as I can be in my new "normal” life. I am finding my way through the maze of all the physical and emotional stress this pain brings into our lives. I have felt it in my heart here and there; small bursts of peace, a light in all the darkness, the hopelessness, anger and other deep dark emotions seem to be fleeting.
Then something will happen, or someone will say something demeaning to me about the pain issues and I find my spirit crushed, grasping to find that peace again. I still struggle with gripping tightly to what my life use to be! It's just hard to let go! It’s just really hard! It is hard to shed the grief of it all when IT has such a grip on my soul!
However, after four years, I have slowly found moments of peace and joy, taking over my heart. Maybe it is because God's creation is springing forth with Spring finally arriving after a long, cold winter, but I am, at times, feeling renewed and ready to "live" again! It seems to be breaking through. I am seeking things to do, when I am able, to try and bring substance and meaning to my life.
With that being said, I am going to be completely honest! I am truly struggling for words to write about this today. It is not a joyful day; I don’t feel these feelings today. I feel just the opposite actually! I just want to go to bed and ignore the world! I want to escape all this pain and suffering! I just want to cry a bit more and grieve the crap that has happened! I guess it is the perfect time to write about this “acceptance” thing! This is the reality of it all for all of us. It doesn’t just rain down on us like fairy dust! And I am sure, for those of you in the stages of denial, anger and depression have a hard time reading about this, when in reality, your journey hasn't gone as far as mine, or many others, that are ready to find some acceptance in all this loss chronic pain causes; and reading any of this can truly tick a person off! It'd be like someone telling you to deal with it, look at the bright side, etc. Please know I have been there! It takes a long time to get to the point I am at. Please read my other posts on denial, anger and depression!
Even though I am struggling today, I cannot deny all I have been feeling the past few months that maybe, just maybe, I can find some sort of acceptance in all this. It may not be an every minute thing, but at least it is there some of the time! I’ll take that! I guess that is reality of it all! This is not a perfect world and we cannot find perfect peace all the time! This is a part of the messiness of it all!
This ‘acceptance” is the next stage of grief that Elisabeth Kubler Ross talks about.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%BCbler-Ross_model I guess it is an acceptance in knowing it is okay to have bad days mixed in with the good. Just so I don’t allow them to suck me in and smother me! In my heart I was equating it with being something good, joyful and cheery. When in reality, as I am just learning what it is all about as I am living it, it appears to be more of a peace and understanding of living with all the pain and finding and making the best of it. (Kinda like having horrid carrots in my beloved chicken pot pie. I hate them, so I take them out and eat the good parts. I know, that was goofy)! I am learning to take what is good and focus on that! Not to let the bad to overtake my soul.
I truly believe Philippians 4:8! Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.I will continue to cover this “acceptance” stuff in my next post. For I do have a lot of good things to say about it! I have really been making strides with it! But, as I said, when I sat down to write about this I didn’t realize what a struggle it was going to be today. I almost set it aside until a “good” day. But, in reality, I am glad I had a bad day with my pain and other negative circumstances! It forced me to look at the negative about it all! Whether we like it or not, that is the reality of our new “normal.” But, we do have a choice on what we do with our thoughts! It is a tug of war! How do we win?