Acceptance Is Complicated

By Christine Lakin
Updated 2024-03-24 14:09:38 | Published 2022-11-24 18:17:38
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    • The Multiple Sclerosis section of the iMedix Blog is a resource rich in information about MS, covering topics like symptom management, treatment advancements, and lifestyle adaptations. It’s an essential guide for patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals to navigate the complexities of this neurological condition.

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In the column, we are reminded that accepting loss is an ongoing process, as new losses continue to arise. While acceptance is crucial in managing multiple sclerosis (MS), it is not an easy journey. It requires us to continually re-accept old losses and embrace new ones.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for people with MS

The writer questions why we should accept changes such as the loss of mobility or career opportunities. Initially, acceptance may feel like surrendering instead of fighting back. Although these are complex questions without straightforward answers, it is important to acknowledge that acceptance is necessary before we can make any changes.

Denial is a significant aspect that can hinder acceptance. Denial allows us to protect ourselves from overwhelming loss, similar to the belief that we are never given more than we can handle. However, staying in denial for too long can prevent us from pursuing opportunities for improvement and change. Denial is also stressful as it distorts our perception of reality. It is often better to work with things the way they are rather than pretending they are different.

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The issue of accepting mobility assistance is particularly relevant for individuals with MS. Some may resist using aids such as canes, walkers, or wheelchairs due to embarrassment or an unwillingness to adapt. However, by refusing to adapt, they limit themselves and miss out on opportunities. It is essential to recognize that disability does not mean an inability to do things; it means finding different ways to accomplish tasks. Accepting and embracing our new reality allows us to live the life we have, rather than dwelling on the one we lost.

Moving toward acceptance requires grieving the losses we experience. Just like in life, MS brings about losses that must be mourned. It is necessary to allow ourselves to feel sadness and to grieve, as denying these emotions will only prolong our suffering. Grief takes time, and we may find ourselves revisiting it unexpectedly. While acceptance is not a one-time achievement, we can improve our ability to accept and adapt, making our lives flow more smoothly.

The writer's personal experience with bladder problems due to MS serves as an example of this process. Initially devastated by the loss of independence, they sought treatment and adapted to a new way of living. Acceptance does not mean giving up; it means acknowledging our circumstances and finding ways to fight back and adapt.

One of the most challenging aspects of acceptance is the need for help from others. Independence and self-reliance are highly valued, but MS, disability, and aging often require asking for and accepting assistance. Learning to grieve our losses, recognizing our needs, and accepting help are all important skills to develop. In the end, it will all work out, and we can find support and connection by joining MS Facebook Support Group.

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