Thursday, September 16, 2010

Have you gone Mental (XVIII)

In my last blog I offered two ways to face one's difficulties with depression-anxiety. One was to fight the good fight for ultimate healing. The other was a sort of resignation to the disorder, telling oneself that "I may have this in my life for the rest of my life and I'd best get used to it. The latter is a pretty negative view.

It was brought to my attention that there is a middle ground; a more positive approach. It is called "acceptance". This means that I have to come to the point of accepting that I have this difficult thing in my life. This is how it is and this is how it needs to be for now.

The "truth" that undergirds this concept is that everything happens for a reason. In my case, as a Christian it would mean that God in his wisdom has allowed this to "happen" to me. My lack of self-care and lack of seeking help is in the picture also. It is not that God has decreed that I suffer, but for some reason it has been allowed.

I believe there is a purpose for everything in life; whether it be positive or nagative. In my case I am learning a lot about myself. I am gaining more and more empathy for those with whom I worked as a counselor over the last 20 years. I am now able to accept the ministry of others in my life. Do I like my depression-anxiety? No. Do I want to accept it? No. Will acceptance of my condition bring me more peace...very possibly. As I have contemplated "acceptance" today. I am becoming more and more convinced of its viability. I thought about the place acceptance has in the grieving process. Denial, Anger, Depression, Bargaining, Fear, and finally ACCEPTANCE. This is what makes it so dificult. It involves looking at a disorder as a process of loss: loss of self, loss in terms of self control, and loss of the pride in the humbling of one who thought he could handle life by himself. This is a grief process. It represents, in a sense, the death of me as I knew me. It is painful.

I am going to continue to contemplate acceptance. I am going to try to believe this time in my life has come for a reason and that there can be a good result for my life and the lives of others. In other words when I come to acceptance I will continue to see my life and my depression-anxiety as purposeful. This may be a tremendous departure from how I usually view my difficulties, but it is worth considering. If I can find acceptance yet do not find healing, it is my hope that acceptance would still be part of my attitude.

It is not a sure thing at this time that I can achieve acceptance. Whether I can or not I will continue the bio-psycho-social-spiritual disciplines that I think will help in my improvement of functioning. Perhaps this combination would be wise. Think about it.

God bless you all ... especially you fellow travelers on this difficult path.

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