Why I Believe 'Radical Acceptance' Is Important With Chronic Illness

It’s time for some serious talk. This is going to be a topic that will likely be controversial among this community of people because we all have widely varying opinions, but I am going to step up on my soapbox and give y’all my two cents. Acceptance of our conditions and struggles is critical in being able to live a life coexisting with chronic conditions. Why is acceptance critical for existence when you are faced with chronic conditions?

First, I want to tell you my definition of what acceptance is – more specifically, what radical acceptance is. Acceptance is basically acknowledging where you are, what you’re doing in the moment and being OK with it. Not judging it or yourself. Just acknowledging it. Simple as that.

Radical acceptance is very similar, but it is acknowledging who you are, where you are, what you’re doing in the present moment and you accept it with you heart, mind and soul. This is me and my journey with chronic illness and acceptance:

I have been diagnosed with a chronic condition that will likely affect me my entire life. I have simple, daily tasks I struggle with every day. But this is my life, and I am at a point where I am OK with the hand of cards I’ve been dealt.

My life may not be ideal, nor will it ever be what I had once expected, but I have learned a lot and it has shaped me to become more than I would have ever thought. It has brought me new friends, a chance to come across and begin writing for this wonderful site and overall it has given me a new perspective on life!

This is radical acceptance. I know who and where I am in life in this present moment, and I accept it with my entire being. I also accept my past and how it has shaped me into the person I am today. For a long time I struggled with trying to justify why I was going through what I did, but acceptance has allowed me to just take my life as it is and find new ways to be “successful” in it.

My life is far from easy, and my road to recovery is just beginning, but I am OK with this because I have learned radical acceptance, and I am able to live my life with what it is.

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Thinkstock photo via Poike.

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