This is a topic we covered in depth at DBT today. It is a topic that comes up quite a bit in distress tolerance and one that is the hardest for me to grasp. Mind you I know exactly what it is, I know how to do it (in theory) and I know how it works. But fuck my life if it comes easily to me. I sit here listening to a playlist I made on Spotify for one of the many manuscripts I am writing and I have tears dripping down my cheeks. The only saving grace is that I already cried off all of my eyeliner in the last hour of the group, so I am not going to look like a raccoon after writing this. I am sitting here staring at my phone, not paying attention to the keys I am pressing, knowing I can just auto correct this in Grammarly and repeating to myself “Radical Acceptance Shaye, do NOT pick up that phone, don’t do it, you are stronger than this…”.
The principle of radical acceptance is that things happen in life that is painful, stressful, hurtful and sad and you just have to accept them. You accept that these things happen and move forward. You can’t change them, you can’t change the emotions they cause so you accept them for what they are and you go forward in your life. Easy right? For more things yes, yes they can be considered very easy. Sometimes, accepting things comes very easy to individuals and sometimes they are very hard. My therapist put it this way. There is a difference between pain and suffering. It is like stepping on a nail. You can feel the pain and take your foot off the nail and move on, or you can keep your foot on that nail and continue to feel the pain…THAT is suffering. The point of radical acceptance is to not let yourself suffer. I have radically accepted a lot of things in my life. But one thing, in particular, I have realized I have accepted but I am still suffering because my foot in some small way is still on that nail. That is why the tears fell from my eyes for an hour discussing this principle in the group. I have still not radically accepted the biggest change in my life. And I really want to but I don’t know how.
I have radically accepted –
My diagnoses’ of BPD, BPII and all the fun stuff that comes with it
My 5 autoimmune diseases
My divorce from my ex-husband
My inability to lose weight without a medical intervention
The fact that my miscarriages were NOT my fault
The death of people I have loved so much
I have accepted –
That I have lost the one person I have truly loved
I am having trouble radically accepting the three facts above. I having trouble with accepting them because I don’t know if any of what happened between us was real. I can not radically accept any of those emotions because I don’t know if anything he said was true. I don’t know if he meant all those pretty words that came out of his mouth. I know he has said them to her and who knows if he said them before me. He said forever and always and he didn’t mean them or he would still be around. He promised me family and children but that’s out the window too. They say karma’s a bitch and he hurt me so he will be hurt. But I don’t want him hurt, and if I got hurt that badly who the hell did I piss off in order for me to be hurt that badly in the first place? Is anything I am saying make sense or am I snowballing down a treacherous slope? The thing is I am healing, I have moved past it, but a song, a word, a memory creeps in and I doubt the things that happened. I doubt that the year of my life made any impact on anyone except my children and I. Why bother wasting a year of your life if you never meant the words. You moved on from the pain like you felt no pain. You left all the pain for me to feel while you can go and give someone else the promise of forever when you have known them not even a fraction of the time you knew me. And you said I gave you the meaning of love. And what sucks is that I don’t know if anything you said was real. Except goodbye. I know that was real. And you couldn’t even say goodbye, it was just silence. With an apology to someone else. I can’t radically accept something that has no ending, no closure. It was all a fantastical daydream that turned into a nightmare. And it left me with the one thing that I never have. Regret. I regret it and you How am I supposed to radically accept regret.
I hope I understand it soon. I hope I can radically accept it soon. I hope boxing the rest of it up and getting it out my house helps. The memories, the pictures, the pieces of our handfasting, the pieces of your mother that you left with me…Why? Why keep what was a lie? One big dream. One last nightmare. Faerietale suicide.