Acceptance. What a word really. It can mean a number of things. I feel it is a powerful word, as it is a declaration of what we want to do or where we want to go. We accept something and whatever that route is, it now lies in front of us. It, to me, means you can now look forward and stop looking back. You are leaving what is back there…well there…in the past. You no longer question if you are doing the right thing. You no longer question where you want to go. You have decided this new path is the one for you. You’ve weighed all the odds and didn’t make the decision lightly when you decided to accept whatever path you have accepted, especially in life. Acceptance. We have been walking down the path of our mental health journey for a while now, but have you (or I for that matter) truly accepted that this is the path you want to take?
Of course it is the path we want to take. This path is the right path, as this path we are on, started with the decision we made to change how we have been living our lives and how we have been dealing with our mental health. We know it is the right path, but have we truly accepted everything that is involved with walking this chosen path?
I think we have accepted most everything which has been laid out before us either from ourselves or from our team of mental health professionals. Together, we have determined what the path may look like, but to truly benefit from this path, have we truly accepted everything about this path?
I feel this is an important question to ask ourselves. We asked for help. We committed ourself, at that point, to making a change and doing what we need to do to make the changes work in our lives. I know I have felt fully committed, in the decision I made, to get help and implement the important changes to my life to then be able to live the best life I can live for myself. I am fully committed to doing what I need to do to finally be comfortable in my own skin instead of hiding from myself.
But I can’t help thinking about the question of being fully committed to the changes and having accepted that all of this is what I need to be doing. Enter my experience while on vacation. I decided to stop one of my anti-depressants the week before we left. It was fully fueled by a rebellious nature I have shown throughout parts of my life. I was questioning the plan as I made the boneheaded decision to just up and stop one of my medications without consulting my psychiatrist first. I felt I knew what I was doing, or at least I knew what I was attempting to prove to myself.
I thought what I was trying to prove to myself was I didn’t need all of these medications. I take other medications for other medical stuff in my life and it gets old feeling like you are “popping” pills all of the time. I would much prefer to take nothing at all. I know that isn’t realistic, but in my rebellious mind, I thought I could at least stop one of my anti-depressants and I would be fine.
My thought process through this was: we had been lowering the dose of this particular medication and I was now on a low dose of it. We lowered the dose as yet another anti-depressant was being added, a little while back, and it made sense to try and not be on too much. My doctor was playing the balancing act game of trying to find the right combination for me. I originally was all in with this plan, but it didn’t stop the part of my brain which likes to question everything regardless of the logic of it or not.
So I decided to stop the medication a week before going on vacation. Who does this? I’m going to safely assume I am not alone in all of this. It is human nature to question everything. We say we are on board, and I really think we are on board, but this doesn’t stop our brains from, well…being our brains and it allows us to question even what we know we shouldn’t question.
I do think we should question what is going on with us. I also think we shouldn’t take certain matters into our own hands without consulting the ones who know what they are doing. We can question everything, I think it keeps us safe and helps us to make the proper decisions for our lives, but some things that we question we then shouldn’t take it upon ourselves to act out what we are questioning.
So, during a portion of my vacation the question about acceptance popped into my brain. It is something I have been thinking about since. I thankfully had brought the medication I had stopped with me and was smart enough, after feeling awful, to start it back up. It took a couple of days, but I started feeling better.
I questioned why I was feeling better after only a couple of days of being on the medication. On one hand, I wonder if the medication hadn’t fully metabolized out of my system so then it didn’t take long to start feeling the effects again. Or was it really just me accepting the plan and the path I was on in more of a complete and all-in manner.
I do feel some of me feeling better after a couple of days was the medication, but I do believe it was me finally realizing, or finally REALLY accepting, what I need to continue doing and fully accepting the path I have been on is really the right path for me.
I do believe some of the reason for me being able to feel so good after a couple of days being on the medication was because of the good feeling I was now having after proving to myself that I was confident in my path. I questioned it, probably should have gone about it differently, but regardless…the move led me to believe in my plan, my path, and I believed in myself again.
I think I had lost a bit of belief in myself and what I was doing to better my mental health. I needed a sucky moment in my life to prove to myself, again, that I have to keep going and walk the path. I am not encouraging you to do anything reckless to yourself to help prove to yourself that you are on the right path and you accept your path, but I do think we need to question ourselves sometimes.
By questioning ourselves, or maybe really just stepping back and doing an evaluation of ourselves from time to time, we can then allow ourselves to see our path more clearly. Sometimes we need a reminder and a boost we are doing the right thing still. My goal in stopping the medication was not to derail myself. I truly thought I might be OK without the medication. I did. I wasn’t trying to put myself into a bad spot, especially before my vacation, but I think my logic was off. No one wants to purposefully make a bad decision for themselves, but that doesn’t mean they won’t happen.
When these not super awesome decision moments come about, my hope is we can learn from what we did and then use what we have learned to up the ante. We can then come into a more complete level of acceptance of the path we have chosen to take and we now have increased motivation to keep walking the path versus veering off and derailing our train.
Please, don’t go out and do something drastic to prove your commitment to your plan. I do not recommend it. With that said, I do think it is good and also needed, to question what we are doing. These moments may be less of a questioning period versus more of an evaluation period.
We do need to evaluate our progress and our paths sometimes. Sometimes we need to alter the path we are on. We are on a good path, but we are constantly changing, and our path can change with these changes, so we need to alter it some to fit where we are in our lives. This is a good thing. It shows how active we still are in implementing our plan. We can’t alter a plan as we need to if we are being passive in our care. The changes come because we remain active and steadfast in our plan and our path.
Take a look at yourself from time to time. I feel, each time I do it, I learn so much about myself. It’s awesome because it rarely leads to what I would call a bad change. It strengthens my resolve and we can all use some strengthening of our resolves from time to time. This is not an easy path after all and we need to evaluate where we are every so often.
Through my experience, I do feel like I have accepted my plan and my path. I am more on board now, after stopping my medication and restarting it, than I was before. I was feeling stagnant and my not-so-smart decision has re-kickstarted my drive to keep going. I feel good today. I feel confident in what I am doing for myself again. It’s a good feeling! Please, take a look at yourself. Have you fully accepted the plan? It’s OK if you have not. It’s in our nature to be leery about stuff, but I hope through your self evaluation that you can come into a more complete acceptance of what you are doing and where you are going. You are doing so good and I know I like where I appear to be headed now that I have accepted my plan.
I’m sure I will pull a boneheaded move again through all of this, but until then…I’m going to keep on keeping on. I will deal with the bonehead moves when they arrive. I can’t be worried about something that hasn’t happened yet.
I hope you are good. I hope you are all in on your plan. It is always ok to not be ok…it really is. We have to keep moving forward, though. Our lives deserve it. You deserve it! I deserve it! We do deserve it and we are worth every effort we put into ourselves.
You got this! I got this! We got this! Let’s keep walking this journey together!
Have a great day!
Please visit: Jason Kehl’s Basement Of Jams: Rocking Mental Health
A website I created to further my mission to spread mental health awareness. There you will find this blog and a podcast I do, along with some other creative expression works I have done all in the name of mental health. It Is OK, To Not Be OK. We can do this together.
Also, please feel free to venture over to Facebook. I started a group over there where we can all be lifted up and share with others who are dealing with a lot of the same things. It is a very chill group and all are welcome!