Day 83 – resignation isn’t the same thing as acceptance

The idea of being stuck is rooted in the belief where you are is different than where you should be.

The definition of stupid is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Being as I just last week posted something I wrote 2 years ago on taking risks and falling flat on my face, I’m an idiot. And considering after starting to come out of a major crash last week and doing too much again on Sunday, wiping me out completely now, I’m a colossal idiot. My enthusiasm forever writing cheques my body can’t cash.

As the reality of it sets in, I’m having as hard a time with it psychologically as I am physically. I was at acupuncture today, in tears, really wrecked up and not coping. As I’m sitting there, full of needles, still in tears, my mind churning with a million unhappy thoughts, my acupuncturist comes over, pats me on the arm and says: resignation isn’t the same thing as acceptance.

I use the one part of me not full of needles to flip him the bird. He just laughed, he’s known me too long to fall for my cat-spitting bravado. I wasn’t even at resignation then, I was at bitterness and anger and maybe moving into grief.

It’s the nature of the illness, it’s cyclical – good periods and bad periods. The end of every good period is a loss, a little death of who you were and what you had; it needs to be grieved. And for those of you who’ve been following all this, but haven’t known me for years: relax, I’ve been through this countless times, and yeah it hurts, it sucks, but it’s also natural and necessary. And I’m good at it, I’ve had lots of practice – and the fact I’m already starting to wrap my head around it in under 12 hrs would show I’m getting efficient at it too.

Part of what you have to grieve isn’t just what you’ve lost, but what you thought you were going to have. Perceived future vector. But it’s just that, perceived – though your mind gets a hold of it and think it owns it all the same. Part of what confuses me is I am in fact getting better. I’m in a better state than I was 20 years ago. But that doesn’t imply I’m going to get better at any particular rate, or that I’m going to get ALL better. Perceived future vector.

One of the realities is I’m 40, I’m aging. That’s not to say I’m all washed up, but it’s a pull, like gravity on a canonball. It’s a trajectory not a straight line. My metabolism will slow, healing won’t come as fast, and as I’m recovering from an illness and getting stronger, I’m also going through the natural process of slowing down and wearing out.

I spend a lot of time in a nursing home these days, visiting someone who’s very old and wearing out. Watch him struggle to come to terms with his frailty, let go of the things he can not do. His mind isn’t meshed up with his body, he can’t understand it’s no longer in him to walk on his own, he needs help; and he forgets to ask for it, or won’t wait for it. He falls a lot. And one of those falls will likely kill him.

I watch him go through this, and wonder how I’ll handle it when I’m his age. Will I be able to be any more accepting of my frailty, any more willing to let go when I’m confronted with all I can’t do. Just today I’m realizing I’m dealing with it now. I fall a lot. I suck at letting go when confronted with all I can’t do. My mind is still a little younger, more agile, more flexible. I have to get my head around this. I have to stop falling so hard.

I’m not stuck, I’m exactly where I need to be (whether I think so or not). Regardless of the trajectory of my life (it will change and contract and expand in ways I can’t predict) I know my life will never be “normal.” It’s just not in the cards this round.

My life will be a small life, a slow life, a gentle life. And in a world full of bigger faster stronger, maybe it needs a life like mine for balance. That dot of yin amid the churning yang.

I’m not stuck, I’m just not very accepting of the life I have – and probably not very appreciative of it either. I’m working on that. Working on letting go without giving up, because they are different things. Resignation is not the same thing as acceptance after all (I was listening, even if I was cursing your socks).

God I’m tired, you wouldn’t think this would be so much bloody work.

2 thoughts on “Day 83 – resignation isn’t the same thing as acceptance

  1. “Resignation isn’t the same thing as acceptance.” Another wise saying from your acupuncturist. I’ve just finished writing a letter to someone I care about. The last time I saw him was this past Spring. I almost didn’t recognize him because of his failing health. He is not yet 50, but he has the appearance and frailty of a much older person. He was skeletal and walked with such care as to indicate pain with every step. He has had a chronic illness for several years and in the last few years I think he has given up on life. He is one of the most caring people I know and yet he won’t take care of himself. I think that he is unconsciously committing suicide because his life hasn’t followed his “perceived vector”. I’m hoping that my letter will convey a love that will wake him up to how his resignation is affecting him and the others around him. But that is all I can do, show him how much he’s loved, how much he will miss and how much he will be missed. He is the one who has to find the will the live and choose to see his life in a different light.

    Valerie, you have chosen to live. At times you’ve chosen to live life to the fullest and then you crash, but you have chosen to live. You see beauty in everything, even in the crashing. You write so eloquently about this. You are an inspiration.


  2. Very true, Valerie. That whole detachment and not having expectations always manages to find me to bite me in the ass until I let go of the attachment and the expectation. Being around so many youngins’ has really made me look at where I am vs where I thought I would be – two very different things. It makes me sad that being where I am might mean not having things I wanted. Reality is still biting me in the ass, but I’m trying to appreciate what I have…. so maybe still in the resigned state, but soon my ass will start feel sore and perhaps I’ll become accepting.


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