acceptanceIn one of my recent posts, a fantastic poet who reads my blog said:

I think sometimes, looking back at my own life, it is a resistance to accept something deeper or especially, depression itself. When I fully accepted depression, treatment, and sometimes the insanity of it… things began to lift from me in new ways. But that is my personal experience with it at times.

This was interesting, but perplexing. After I learned as much as I could about Bipolar Disorder, it seemed somewhat easy to accept. It was a diagnosis that made sense, it explained so much about my past behaviors and diminished my self-hatred and shame for most of those actions. Accepting depression, however, seems like failure. In my mind (this was in my response to her comment), if I accept that I am depressed then I stop fighting and give up (which equals suicide). But then she put it into perspective:

Thing about depression is, it can suck us into believing that the symptoms and situations within clinical depression is a part of ourselves somehow rather than what we are struggling with. And others will do that too, relate our symptoms to who we are or our ‘attitude’. It is just not true. So in some ways, it is accepting what it can do, what it does to our emotions or thinking sometimes. But accepting ourselves in the depression is a wonderful release of its hold.

In your post you said, that it was not fun for you or your family so you have to re-read positive posts. It just reminded me of how much I had put into trying to ‘change’ it because it was uncomfortable and discouraging and sometimes hard to feel accepted by others in it. Then I accepted it, and myself in it, and the help… what a difference it made for me.

This is a very hopeful way of thinking, but for some reason it is still perplexing to me. It’s so difficult to get past the thinking of accepting (in this case) = defeat. Honestly, I’m reading her words (maybe half a dozen times), but they’re not being absorbed in to my brain.

So I’m asking my readers who may have missed this insightful comment, what do you think of this idea of acceptance as release?

Tagged: acceptance, depression, mental illness

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