I want to share the notes I took in rehab on ‘radical acceptance’ that actually changed my life. I used radical acceptance towards myself when self-love was too far out of reach. I now have a much more clear understanding of what it means to ‘accept’.
Acceptance is acknowledging what is.
to accept something is not the same as judging it as good.
Pain creates suffering only when you refuse to accept the pain.
Deciding to tolerate the moment is acceptance.
Freedom from suffering requires acceptance from deep within of what is.
Radical acceptance is:
- not about me
- taking things as they are
- being non- judgmental
- looking at facts
- describing our situation
- acknowledgement of situation
- changing perspective
- understanding what we can and cannot control in life
- letting it go
Radical acceptance is not:
- condoning behaviors
- being complacent
- giving up your needs
- giving power away
- changing who you are
- denying or ignoring the situation
- understanding ‘why’ or ‘why not’
- never speaking out or asserting thoughts and feelings
- judging things as good or bad
- using ‘shoulds’ or ‘should nots’
- aggressive, passive or passive-aggressive
Acknowledge what you cannot control: the past, others reactions and feelings, your emotions, your first thoughts.
Focus on what you can control: your actions, what you choose to do and say.
It’s about tolerating distress, repeat and practice, practice.
” I can have anxiety and still cope with this situation.”
” I’m strong and I can deal with this.”
” I’ve been through many other painful experiences and I survived.”
” I run my life, not my thoughts.”
” This too shall pass.”
“Who am I living for? What am I doing this for? Who am I trying to impress? Why do I feel empty?” -K.Z @manifestationbabe
So I read that the other night and felt the chills of spirit run through me. ‘I have goals and dreams so what are they?’ I thought. It hit me I was like ‘true who tf am I living for?’ I realized the profound truth of my answers to those questions after thinking about it. My dream is to be successful and wealthy. I want all the material things that I never believed I could have. I never knew it could be possible for me, I just decided one day that I’m worthy and realized anything we dream of is ours for the taking. I just want to live in the moment, to feel happy, free and inlove. My true dream is to help others heal and positively impact the world in some way. ‘Who am I living for?’ I’m living for me, for the ones who’ve believed in me, and for my higher power who’s kept me alive for reasons I’ve yet to fully understand. I’m living for addicts like me who’ve touched my soul and the angels (and hellboys) who didn’t make it. What am I doing this for?’ I’m doing it to honor those who’ve passed from addiction, those who pushed me to be where I’m at now and all the pain/ effort it took. I’m doing it to hopefully make my coaches and mentors proud. Most of all to make myself proud. My relationship with me is the closest thing I’ll ever have to real.‘Why do I feel so empty?’ I’ve felt empty at times because I lost sight of those reasons of why I’m doing this for. I remembered I do have a purpose, even when I’ve forgotten what that is for me. I believe in myself. I believe in other addicts whether they’re in recovery or not. We are far more stronger then we remember. We’ll overcome this pain and find all that we’re looking for.
LOVE. ~ Haley
Spring break of 2013 I was 17 years old, with my best friend at Deerfield Beach in Ft. Lauderdale. I adore that beach, for whatever reason it just feels like home. My best-friend Brittany and I were so young and reckless. Some of my most absolute favorite memories were spent there. I’m writing about it now because I remember listening to Lana del Rey everyday during that trip especially, with my girl and we really connected with her music. They were sad, beautiful songs that went so well with where I was at emotionally back then. When I was 17, I was in a dark place. My reality was a world of pain, confusion and heartbreak. I was experiencing a lot of emotional, and sexual abuse not knowing it was abuse/trauma because it was normalized into my reality so I kept quiet about it. I was drinking heavily and using other drugs, trying to drop out of high school but ended up switching schools instead. It was a chaotic and stressful time in my life. I felt like I belonged no where. Maybe that’s why I loved that beach so much, because I could lay there in the sand and I was allowed to just exist. I remember laying under the stars by the water, I wished I could just stay there in that moment forever. When I look at the stars nothing makes sense yet everything makes sense… if that makes any sense. So anyways, Lana del Rey’s old songs give me a strong sense of nostalgia and I’m going to her show tomorrow night. It came to me, that this show can be a way for me to celebrate my beautifully tragic past. So that I can let it go. I feel like by honoring my past, even though some parts of it were really dark times; feels like maybe it wasn’t just all that pain for nothing and that it served it’s purpose. It’s hard to let go sometimes I think, but it’s time to start over and live a life that feels better. Laying on the beach will always feel right, I’m looking forward to more of that someday. Xo Haley
I am a 21 year old recovering heroin/crack addict alcoholic. Today I’ve made it 90 days clean and sober. Wow! I was in intensive out-patient recovery for 6 months and I relapsed about half a year ago. It happened when I was feeling an unbearable amount of guilt and shame for plenty of justifiable reasons. I felt unworthy and hopelessly lost, part of me didn’t want to be found. At the time I was so severely depressed and suicidal, the idea of overdosing seemed ideal. I felt like dying was the only way out of what I was feeling, because the drugs obviously weren’t able to fill my void.
I was blessed to be sent off to a rehab in TN, I had no idea that I was going to go through a major transformation or that my life was about to change dramatically. It was hard letting go of the drugs, they sadly held more value then human relationships in my world of active addiction. One of the hardest parts for me getting sober was facing myself again, facing the many painful experiences I had put myself and others through. In the process of being brutally honest with myself; I realized/ experienced self-acceptance and self- love for the first time. I was able to acknowledge myself for everything I endured and for surviving it all. No longer did I need acceptance or acknowledgement from anyone other then myself. From there I started to truly forgive myself and it made recovery possible for me. Self-love was the only thing that began to fill my void.
So how do I feel now, being 90 days clean? I’m baffled that I’m here! There’s too many times I should’ve died even aside from my substance abuse. It’s wild to have this chance to live, something that I take for granted sometimes until I think of all the other addicts who’ve passed. Rip. I’m grateful! Not just to have the opportunity to live but on a journey of self-love, which I now believe is the only way that life is worth living. Overcoming my depression and PTSD on the daily has been a huge sense of accomplishment. I have more inner work to do but I’m just happy to be here! I appreciate the little things in life more then ever. I’m grateful to have made it to this point, I see myself as a success everyday for how far I’ve come. So hallelujah! Thank God.
“May flowers always line your path and sunshine light your day.
May songbirds serenade you every step along the way.
May a rainbow run beside you in a sky that’s always blue.
And may happiness fill your heart each day your whole life through.”
~ Irish Blessing
I'm unsure where I'm heading with
this but the possibilities are
infinite. I love to journal & write
my thoughts & insights. So I guess
I'll just blog away! I hope that
this can help me in developing a
stronger sense of self. Xo Haley