Step 1 ~ Acceptance & Hope

Its all about Balance.

Its all about Balance.

Of all the places to start I think acceptance is the most important.

It is simply a matter of letting your guard down and truthfully asking yourself Where am I at in this very moment?. Then acknowledging whatever you observe. With no judgments and no explanations. Just good old fashioned acceptance. There is great power in this.

You may find you have been struggling against a diagnosis without even realising it, ignoring your bodies messages to rest or even denying a reality in the hope it will go away.

Struggling is an unnecessary use of energy and while denial and ignorance may be easier in the short term, in the long term they only result in more suffering by prolonging positive action. Let go. Then the fun of getting better can really begin!

What acceptance looks like

One definition of acceptance is ‘the act of taking something that is offered’. I think this is accurate in the context of healing from CFS/ME. Although at times it may be difficult to see, you are being offered the chance to take stock of your life, to re-assess what is most important to you and implement positive changes that will last a lifetime.

With acceptance comes peace.

However accepting the state your in does not mean giving up hope. Far from it. In fact the act of acceptance frees up the mental resources usually dedicated to suppressing a thought, symptom or emotion. Hope is the turbo fuel in your engine of recovery. The Vodka in your martini of optimal health. The flour in your Gluten free triple chocolate fudge cake. An extra energy boost when it is needed most.

The art is to achieve a balance between Acceptance and Hope. To accept the current state of play without ever forgetting the fact that tomorrow is what you make it.

A good measure for seeing where you are at with acceptance is to gauge how you react when people ask about CFS. Do you change the subject as fast as possible? Feel a deep throbbing sadness? Or can you simply smile and give them a friendly update of where your at.

Dean Anderson who has recovered from CFS said it best – ‘I believe today that a certain kind of acceptance may be important to recovery. It is not a resignation to one’s fate as a sick person. Rather, it is acceptance of the reality of illness and of the need to lead a different kind of life, perhaps for the rest of my life.’

That different kind of life brings challenges but also untold rewards. To start living it your going to have to get educated.

Where to Next? Step 2 ~ Educating Yourself about CFS/ME

5 Responses to Step 1 ~ Acceptance & Hope
  1. The 7 Steps to Recovery | CFS/ME Recovery Path
    September 3, 2010 | 12:22 am

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  2. cort
    July 2, 2011 | 11:23 pm

    Thanks Joe. Acceptance is a great and scary place to start. For one acceptance often means pulling back. Staci Stevens has found that most people with CFS are doing too much even though most of us are already doing less than we wish. Acceptance, though, leads to relaxation and peace – a great place to be.

  3. Steve l
    March 24, 2014 | 2:59 pm

    Yeap I thought I was getting there with acceptance but juding my day today and a broken door probably not. Just found this website when I was in desperate need. Will read more as and when. Thanks!

    • Joe
      May 1, 2014 | 10:03 am

      Haha hope you’re feeling it today Steve.

  4. clara
    August 23, 2016 | 11:02 am

    Acceptance is key to peace, courage, hope(my definition of hope is Hold On Pain Eases eventually;-)), as well as being realistic in expectations. Not everyone can be free of CFS or even go from moderate severely affected to mildly so- yet, healing does not have to signify easing up of condition or exiting condition- healing can signify having peace that no matter what comes in future you can sit okay with it plus not compare yourself to others with CFS either! For me it was not someone with CFS that helped me to acceptance as a youth with CFS yet it was reading the dynamic book of the late great Christopher Reeve- his book “Still Me” that helped me to not only accept my reality yet set me on my journey to not just survive yet thrive. 20 years later still am moderate severe to severely affected with CFS & Fibromyalgia(plus have newly been diagnosed with osteo arthritis at the age of 42) yet, have come to terms with my reality plus also find myself enabling others to better live with chronic pain. Whilst am pleased for Dean Anderson- many people do not recover from CFS yet for me the truly inspirational ones are those who’s conditions remain the same or become worse yet they still live their life heroically! Though love what you said ” However, accepting the stat you’re in does not mean giving up hope- far from it”! Perfectly said!

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Welcome! I'm Joe and my vision is to empower people with the knowledge they need to take control of their health. I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/ME) in 2003 and recently added Lyme disease to that diagnosis in 2012. I'm on a path to recovery and I invite you to join me..... P.S. It's best to never take anything I say too seriously. In fact I reckon it's best to never take anything too seriously!