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On Radical F*cking Acceptance

OK, a while ago I wrote a poem “The Struggle of Finding the Right Therapist.” That was an instance where I felt like change was dumped on me, and I didn’t have any choice but to fire those therapists.

I’ve also written “What Radical Acceptance Means to Me,” and how challenging Radical Acceptance can be. Every one of us has difficult things that we must accept in life! It’s part of living; it’s part of being human! Is there something that you have to Radically Accept?

Well… I didn’t have a choice of finding another therapist this time either. However, this time was different — she was retiring. We did do some good work together, so I didn’t want it to end! She had told me months before that she was retiring, and eventually told me the date. I was dreading it! I “auditioned” a few therapists, until I finally found one that I hoped would work out — and she has!

Here is my process of “Radically Accepting” this change…

Radical Fucking Acceptance

Yeah, many of us have heard of “Radical Acceptance”
So what do I mean by “Radical Fucking Acceptance”?
That’s when that acceptance feels like it goes
Waaayyyy beyond the scope of being just “radical”
I have to radically accept one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to accept…
The therapist that I’ve been seeing for two and a half years — is retiring

I know, you may be thinking — so what?
Why am I making such a big deal about this?
It’s very simple — because my recovery, my healing didn’t even start
Until I started working with her — and has continued since
I had worked with two therapists prior to that
With absolutely no progress whatsoever!

She has walked me through some very hard
Very challenging and scary things, like PTSD…
Like accepting Dissociation, and “inner parts” in my mind
Boy, did I fight that one hard!
I couldn’t face that I am not one, single individual person
But a collection of “mini me’s”! Yikes!

I’ve gotten mad at her, I’ve yelled at her
I’ve grown very attached to her, I’ve loved her
(Yeah, I know… we’re not supposed to love our therapist!)
But through all of this, I was finding the childhood attachment connection
That I don’t think I ever had with my own parents
(But I didn’t realize this until my new therapist pointed it out!)

My last session with my old therapist was heartbreaking
I cried, I sobbed, I wanted to reach out through that damn screen
To give her one big, wonderful hug — but I couldn’t
It’s impossible to hug properly across the internet!
I cried the rest of the day… and night
I didn’t sleep well at all… and the next day I felt physically ill

***

So… what about this new therapist?
I’m slowly starting to connect with her
I’m really trying to not resist this process
Because truthfully I don’t have a choice now
I must either connect — or find someone else
Yuck! I don’t want to go through that again!

Finding someone who has the skills I’m looking for
Someone who I can connect with — and feel comfortable talking with
Telling my innermost thoughts and secrets to — is no easy feat!
I have a better idea now of what works for me — and what doesn’t work!
It’s ‘testing the waters’, talking with her, asking (and answering) questions
Plus one thing of key importance — staying hopeful and exploring possibilities!

I will see her again… but can she help me get through this sadness?
This mourning, this grieving process?
Damn! I hope so! This is really fucking hard!
Can I ever have the hope of healing again?
Of working my way through the only “breakup” I’ve ever experienced?
I truly hope so!

Do you see why I am calling this “Radical Fucking Acceptance“?
Because I am (once again) fighting this situation
A situation I can’t change — no matter how much I want to change it
And fighting it only causes more suffering — Damn!
I must go into her office feeling hopeful — no, being hopeful
With an open heart, an open mind — open to possibilities!

***
(four months later)

OK, I’ve now been seeing my new therapist for six months!
She is definitely helping me to work through this grieving process
She has emphasized that grief is part of life — Dammit!!
But she says there are strategies for working through grief, too!
She recently gave me some homework… to write about it… I can do that…
To answer these four questions and dig deep into my heart, soul and mind:

1. What are you angry about?
2. What are you missing?
3. What are you learning?
4. What do you need now?

I’m still working through it… a little at a time
#1 helped me blow off a lot of anger! Whew! That felt good!
#2 helped me to remember the good things — thoughts, ideas, connections
Plus there were many good times that I will definitely miss!
#3 I’ve only just started on, but she taught me a bunch — I did learn a lot!
#4 I haven’t figured out yet — it’s still a puzzle

So I’m working through this homework assignment…
But I’m also learning so much with my new therapist!
She has such a different perspective on so many things!
Many of which are perspectives that I’ve never thought about before!
It’s helping me to learn more about myself and how my mind works
… and that I might not be as crazy as I think I am!

Yes, I still do miss my old therapist — but it doesn’t hurt like it did before
It is possible to make that difficult change from one therapist to another
Yet continue to grow, change, and learn new things!
For a little while I had a kid’s perspective of it being the “end of the world”
But it’s not… we all have to grow a little… learn a little…
There’s one consistent in life — Change!
This is “Radical Fucking Acceptance”!!

If you too are on a trauma healing journey, visit The Tie Dye poet’s website to see more of her work, and check out her book here.

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