Self-Care: Acceptance

I began my recovery journey 28 years ago, when I decided to sabotage myself in the only way I knew how at the time. Little did I know that I made a decision that would change my life so drastically.

At the time I only wanted to end the insanity and get help for my son and myself. I am a recovering drug addict who enjoyed mixing methamphetamine with alcohol. It worked until it did not.

I learned to live the 12-steps of recovery beyond what was intended. I discovered recovery was paramount to my life, not merely “getting sober.” I sought therapy for my youngest son and myself. Regretfully there was nothing I could do for my two oldest children. “I am sorry” is not adequate.

The first step allows for us to internalize the concept that alone there is no hope of sobriety, let alone recovery. The next two steps bring us to a belief in something other than drugs/alcohol/self-harming behaviors/addictions of all ilk. If one takes this to heart, a new path into life is created. Not an easy one to be sure. Secrets, resentments, the wreckage of our past is present and must be dealt with.

One essential tool I discovered was acceptance. “When we accept a person, place, or thing exactly as it is at that precise moment… Acceptance is the key to my problems today.” (Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous: Acceptance Was the Answer, story #16) Not an exact path each day, I have fallen away from this tool on more than one occasion. Reacting rather than responding to the stress in my life.

I am a thriver today, not merely a survivor. I used what was available to self-medicate because “the system” failed me. I called the suicide hot-line more than once, only to be told there was nothing that could be done to help me. I only hope those hot-lines have improved today. I went back to self-medicating, being homeless and dragging my youngest through the muck of the streets, putting him in harms way. I made an amends. Choices were not healthy, though at the time…

Acceptance has played a huge role in my life. Without it I would not be where I am today. Accepting life as it is at that moment, accepting events as they are at that moment, shifts your perspective drastically. It requires not providing a story, justifications, rationalizations, judgments, or views. Raw emotion without a story is empty and resolves into the sphere. Shifting and changing into a fuel to bring you to a place of healing.

Breath is an added key to acceptance. Taking the moment to listen, feel and tune into self. “I accept…” is as powerful as “I am…”

I am… Woman, victim to survivor to thriver, recovered and recovering, influential and ignored. Eye rolls, and huffs are heard many a time, because I do have an opinion on pretty much everything. I am not perfect, but I develop resources, inform myself, search for the truth. Reminded to accept all as it is at this precise moment.

May you find the tool that works for you, may you rise to Thrive and find what lies beyond.

Your turn, what tool works for you?