MDAO Forum

Support for People with Mood Disorders => General Discussion => Topic started by: Dragonfly on July 28, 2017, 11:24:58 am

Title: radical acceptance
Post by: Dragonfly on July 28, 2017, 11:24:58 am
Hi everyone
I am having a very hard time accepting the fact that I can't do things like I used to. This is due mainly because of age and health. I talked about this with my caseworker (visits me every few weeks to see how I am doing mentally - works with my pdoc who I see but less frequently).

She mentioned radical acceptance. I had never heard this term before. I looked it up on the internet. I guess it means accepting something you can't change and moving on. For example I love gardening. I look out at my garden and become very frustrated. I can't take care of it the way I used to. I would like to do many things to it to make it look good. If I do it tires me out so much that I can't function well for the rest of the day. If my family comes unexpectly on that day it is very difficult to visit with them because of tiredness.

I feel very unhappy about the things I can't do anymore. Lots of things. Not just gardening. I start to have many negative thoughts about the things that didn't go well in my life.  I have been having very unpleasant dreams which I remember in the morning.

Has anyone heard of this term: radical acceptance? Can anyone identify with the feelings that I am having as to more limitations as to what they can do?

Title: Re: radical acceptance
Post by: Stenacron man on July 28, 2017, 12:20:41 pm
I have gone through something like it. in 1997 I lost a child, not to death but to the fact I married a Psychopathy female. After taking my child she pushed me over a cliff mentally. I was just becoming very unstable and my bipolar kicked in and had ended in suicide. I was revived and lived like a ghost for 20. In order to protect him from seeing me and her go head to head and her ending up dead I had to walk away to save him as her father was an excellent man and I knew he could control her. In 2009 I finally came to a point, and I started to repeat and make myself believe they died in a horrible car accident. After about 3 months I even dreamed their accident and in my mind it became real. That's is when I stopped crying everyday. I mourned their death and moved on. Since them i am still empty but for the first time content.

To make that horrible story great I met my son Dec 27 2016 and we are now best friends he is now 21 and she has no say anymore. So I can say yes a radical acceptance can be healthy but the person and circumstances should dictate whether its should be done.  It can allow you to shut down feelings and allow forward progression.   

If you have to give up gardening try changing how you feel about what you see. In other words if you look out side and see tall weeds. Learn to love the weeds. Study them read about them and come to understand they are special too. When you love what you see it makes you feel good. Love what is there not what is no longer there change can be good for the mind and heart. all living things are special.

I did it to save my own life.

Buddy Mack.
Title: Re: radical acceptance
Post by: Dragonfly on July 28, 2017, 01:05:52 pm
Hi Stenacron man,

I didn't quite understand your story about your wife. Did she die? Did she really die in a car accident? Is it your father you were talking about who was a good man.

I am so glad that you met your son and have a good relationship with him.


Title: Re: radical acceptance
Post by: Stenacron man on July 28, 2017, 05:46:30 pm
In my ("mind and heart") they died not in real life. It was a way to trick my mind into a belief that would help me move on and stop being suicidal. It goes to the old saying there is life after death. 
"He" was her father, and he is a awesome man in my eyes.

Buddy Mack.
Title: Re: radical acceptance
Post by: Pleeb on July 29, 2017, 01:17:04 am
Hey, buddy.....Glad things worked out.

I don't understand it fully, but "Radical Acceptance" is a term used in Dialectical Behavior therapy.....don't understand that fully either.

We touched on the above during a depression course my Dr's social worker gave.

Title: Re: radical acceptance
Post by: Dragonfly on August 02, 2017, 07:22:35 pm
Stenacron man,

Great way of coping so that you could move on.

Title: Re: radical acceptance
Post by: Peace on August 03, 2017, 06:22:27 am
I haven't heard the term myself, so I tried to google and read about it. The one article I clicked on was so poorly written, it triggered my OCD. A professional website posted an article with the author using words like cause instead of because, and starting several sentences with so. I digress, just needed to vent a bit to alleviate some of my anxiety.

From what I read, Peter is correct in saying it's a form of DBT.

Here's an article that I believe explains radical acceptance well.

Good luck to you, Dragonfly. I've always found you to be a lovely, caring, open woman who deserves the very best.  :)


Title: Re: radical acceptance
Post by: Dragonfly on August 03, 2017, 10:47:24 am
Thank you Peace,

I opened up that website. As you say it is very well written. I am going to try to learn from it and impliment some of the strategies. Won't be easy but will try.

Title: Re: radical acceptance
Post by: Stenacron man on August 03, 2017, 12:54:59 pm
Mine likely took place long before the term came to the public knowledge arena, but it seems to be the basic idea.

Hi Peace

Buddy Mack.
Title: Re: radical acceptance
Post by: Peace on August 03, 2017, 07:41:06 pm
Hey Buddy  :)
Title: Re: radical acceptance
Post by: paulm on August 08, 2017, 02:01:33 am
Hello Dragonfly. Some behaviours we have to accept as we age or are disabled by mishap or illness, however that doesn't always mean that we have to completely accept our new plight.

 In regards to your garden, you may no longer be able to keep it looking like it once did and I'm sure that is frustrating, but perhaps you can try researching different ways to garden.

 Neither my wife nor I can garden very well these days, but after studying some I found that by putting wood chips down you can eliminate a lot of weeding and they help the soil to retain moisture, they even come in decorative colours. We also plant more bushy plants, like sweet peas and Flock Flowers that come up every yr and fewer plants that have to be replanted. If you can have your son build you a trestle ,morning glories are nice and once they start yo grow they tend to shade out the weeds and they self seed so all you have to do is hook the stringers onto the trestle once they get going.

 However I suspect that your post is more about frustrations, having a difficult time during periods of your life and lost opportunities in general than about flowers. Plus of course you are probably lamenting the lack of enjoyment and relaxation that you used to get by tending to your garden on a daily basis.

 Everyone has some wish that things had gone differently at some time during their life, however as you know we cannot change the past. We can regret it and mourn the past, but we can't change it. There are a zillion things that I wished that either had gone differently in my past and/or that I had done differently, but I can't change that.

 I can look at things differently though and realize that as bad as my life was at times, it wasn't as bad as some people's. I can also try and alter my present so that I can enjoy it more. I won't always be successful , but I do try.

 I'm sure that you try too. Perhaps you should try and talk to your doctor again about your dark moods and your lack of energy. The doc may tell you that you are getting older. but dark moods and lack of energy are certainly two symptoms of depression.  Having unpleasant dreams can also be symptomatic of the onset of many illnesses or they can be episodes of post traumatic stress coming to the surface , as can lack of energy and dark moods.

 Plus there is nothing wrong with us venting out some of our frustrations, both past and present. Sometimes it's even good for us.  I hope that you find a way to feel better again. Take Care. paul m.

 P.S. to all. The phrase radical acceptance is not new, although it is popping up again.  As Peter said it was(is) used as part of DBT which was developed in the 80's . The term may date from the 80's , but the Buddhist have been using the basic concept since the 8th century. The simplest explanation of the term radical acceptance that I know of was a prayer from the 1930's era

 "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference."

  A modified version of the above has been used by AA since the 50's. 

  Three simple lines, very difficult to implement.

Title: Re: radical acceptance
Post by: Dragonfly on August 09, 2017, 11:48:16 am
I am trying to think of the right words to use to describe my feelings.

My health is deteriorating. I suffer from chronic kidney disease. Only have 29% function. My kidney specialist tells me that I will end up needing dialysis. I am an insulin dependent type 2 diabetic. I suffer from bi-polar 2. I have accepted these health problems for the most part. I realize I have limitations due to them.

Now my limitations have increased. I no longer drive. I had 4 incidents where I could have created a major accident. I certainly do not want to hurt anyone.  I would say that I am having problems focusing and with my concentration. I have developed tendonitis in my right wrist. I have to be careful not to do repetitive things and certainly lifting. I have neuropathy in my hands and feet. My energy is less than it was before due to my health. Of course, I am getting older too. I am still living in my house by myself. I do get help with the yardwork, cleaning in my house. My kids are very helpful and supportive. I suppose it will get to the point were I will have to move to an apartment or retirement home. That frigthens me. I have lived in my survey for many years. I know my neighbors. I speak to them often when I am outside. We look out for each other.

Yes all these facts are depressing me to a certain extent. I have mentioned these feelings to my caseworker and pdoc. They don't say too much. They are trying to keep me optomistic.

It sounds like my life is not very good. That is not true. I have much to be thankful for.

I know I am not suppose to apologize for my complaints. I do feel bad about complaining. I know other people have problems too.

Dragonfly          I am having a hard time posting this.
Title: Re: radical acceptance
Post by: Stenacron man on August 09, 2017, 10:55:27 pm

 I am speechless wish I could help. I am happy you have your children and community.

Buddy Mack. 
Title: Re: radical acceptance
Post by: paulm on August 11, 2017, 01:58:19 am
Hello Dragonfly. You are certainly going through a lot.  As our health declines and our circumstances change it is often hard for anyone to maintain a sunny disposition. However try and keep after both your GP and your pdoc.  Has your GP suggested a wrist and/or hand brace? You may already wear one, but if you don't they can really help sometimes.

 You may also want to learn more about home dialysis for when the time comes.(there are two different ways it can be done at home.)

 I'm sure that it is depressing and frightening to have to look at the possibility of an apt or a seniors home. Good Luck with all of your decisions and Take Care. paul m
Title: Re: radical acceptance
Post by: Dragonfly on August 11, 2017, 02:52:37 pm
Thank you Stenacron man and Paul for your support. It means a great deal to me. I always feel better after I have posted here.
 I hope Paul that your move in September will be smooth and not too difficult and you will settle in well with your wife.

My GP sent me to a physiotherapist for my wrist. He suggested I could try a brace. It only made my wrist feel worse. I did some physio. It didn't help much. Two of my doctors suggested it could also be arthritis. I have decided I will just have to live with it.

I have appointments with my pdoc, diabetic specialist and kidney specialist next month, September. I am going to write down a lot of questions to ask each one of them.

I would like to know more about dialysis. It is difficult to talk to the kidney specialist about everything. He is a very busy man and has only so much time. He is brilliant, caring and understanding. One of the best doctors I have ever had. I wonder if there is someone I could talk to about dialysis and kidneys. Maybe someone from the kidney foundation. I don't want to rely on the internet for all my answers. Does anyone have any ideas? I am the type of person that would like to know my options instead of ignoring the whole situation.

I am very fortunate that I have the support of my family, friends and the medical professionals. I especially enjoy my grandchildren. Besides the two of them I have aquired another one. A daughter from my son's girlfriend. I try to stay positive and live day by day.

I am going to be off the internet for awhile. I need some things done to my computer. Will get back on as soon as I can.

Take care everyone.


Title: Re: radical acceptance
Post by: paulm on August 12, 2017, 01:25:55 am
 Hello Dragonfly. The kidney foundation(CKF) is a good place to start.  A very short course on dialysis is there are 3 different kinds, although not all doctors are up on this. The main type used is the common dialysis where you go to a hospital or special unit and get hooked up to a machine 3 times a week for about 4 hrs each time. The second type is basically the same as the first, but you do it at home and in some cases you do it every night while you sleep.

 However to do it at home, means that you need someone living with you to help you out .

 The third option, is also done at home , but you do not need a machine.It's called peritoneal dialysis  Basically you have a tube implanted in your side and you run fluid into the tube (via gravity or a small machine) and then 4-6 hrs later let it run back out again and then repeat.  With this method you have to do it every day, but you can do it while talking on the phone or talking to people in person. You can even travel or visit your family etc etc as the equipment is just a bag that you hook up and is portable. Many people feel less tired doing it this way because your blood is always being cleaned 24/7.

 My father-in-law had this method for many yrs and it worked well. I have included a link to the CKF and to their dialysis page as well as to their peritoneal dialysis page. There are pluses and minuses to each type.
Title: Re: radical acceptance
Post by: Dragonfly on August 24, 2017, 07:33:57 pm
Actually I went camping with my eldest daughter for a week. We both really wanted my other daughter to come. She had to work.

My daughter and I had a very good time. Mostly relaxing, enjoying nature. She is a very easy going person. Very optimistic. She has a very busy, demanding job.

Dragon fly
Title: Re: radical acceptance
Post by: Dragonfly on August 30, 2017, 11:13:57 am
Hi Paul,
 Thank you for the for the information and websites on dialysis. I am definitely going to read them.

It may be difficult to pry out of my kidney specialist which dialysis I may need eventually. The doctors can be very close mouthed about certain things. I would rather find out information before the actual need for the dialysis to see what I am up against.