Friday, 2 November 2012

'Giving up' vs 'Accepting'

As a person with chronic health conditions/disabilities I am often told that a) I need to accept my condition, and b) I mustn't give up.

This isn't as simple as it sounds!

If I accept that my body has limits, then try to live within those limits, 'encouraging' people tell me I shouldn't give up.

If I ignore the limits and don't give up on an activity I am told I have to accept my condition and not be in denial.

I can't win.

So I redefined 'accept'
= be realistic about what to expect from my body. Recognise what after-effects will be caused by doing certain activities, likely recovery time etc. and come up with ways to minimise the after-effects, and make sensible judgements whether to do, do adapted, or not do. And constantly 'update' my expectations based on experience - not other peoples opinions.

And redefine 'Give up'
= stop looking for things I can do. Stop enjoying what I can do. Stop actively managing my condition (physio, diet, meds, pacing etc.). Stop giving my boundaries the occasional POKE to see if they've moved or can be made to move. Stop being positive about my future as a whole (i.e. beyond my condition - encompassing family, friends, happiness, hobbies, work, church etc. etc.)


I can now accept and not give up.

You may not notice it - it is easy to mistake wise, long term choices as giving up - but they aren't. And just as easy to think 'Denial' when you see me take a calculated risk, when actually I've thought it all out and reckon there should be no long term negative effects - and the short terms ones are worth it.


  1. Well said! You've managed to sum up my philosophy on life with chronic illness/pain perfectly!

  2. Great post! It can be a mental juggling act sometimes, but I like your definitions.

  3. I concur! Well said! And I love your definitions :)

  4. You have just given me the words to what my shrink and I are trying to do for me. I'm just bordering on acceptance. Waffling back and forth between saying I accept but feeling overwhelmed.

    You make perfect sense to me. Thank you.

    * Car accident Jan 2015.
    * Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia (18/18) September 2015.
    * Balancing trying to work, doctors & physiotherapy.
    * Struggling to run a home with 2 boys and a husband who are used to me doing everything.
    * Gained 40lbs having a pitty party and now taking meds.


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