~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~it's all about the love~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Thinking Thursday - Radical Acceptance

I signed up for Gay Rom Lit in October and while I was doing it I was so excited. I swear I was one of the first five to sign up. Also, made the registration for the fabulous hotel in Albuquerque with my lovely roommate. All was good last night. 

I'm going as an author, instead of a reader like last year, which means I have to think of some swag to bring and I get to have a table for book signing - which means I have to actually have written some books to sign (there will be more on that at a later date - but it's promising at least). I signed up for a Q & A which I thought was ridiculous since there will be no one who will even know me as a writer, let alone ask me questions. My wonderful friend, William Neale, convinced me to do that one though. He said others would like to ask me what it feels like to start being published and have other newbie questions so I went for it. My MLR editor, Kris Jacen, will be running the Q & A so that's a familiar face at least.

So like I said, I signed up then went to bed, I woke up and freaked out. Not so much freaked out on the outside but my insides are scared to death now. It makes no sense really. I've been there before, I've met some of the people and they made me feel welcome and accepted but that doesn't help the insecurity that suddenly floods my entire body with thoughts of "I'm going to be the odd man out", "no one's going to want to talk to me", "I'll be a burden to those I try to hang around with". Guh. When will all that shit just leave my mind alone and let me be?

I've already made it abundantly clear that I have social anxiety and panic attacks and last year my form of therapy on an especially bad night was the encouraging words of a few friends (I'd never met) on Twitter. I got through it and I absolutely love the whole experience, and in the back of my mind I know it's useless to worry about it especially this far in advance. But as usual, my mind does not listen to logic - cue emotional mind as opposed to reasonable mind or wise mind. One of the big skills of DBT is radical acceptance and it's also one of the hardest, at least for me. 

One of the best working definitions of radical acceptance (for me) is
To accept your circumstances radically simply means that you do it from the depths of your soul and in every bone in your body. It does not mean that things will never change or that you are not affected by the realities of your life. Radical acceptance just means that you acknowledge reality for what it is. 

In some ways radical acceptance is like validation. It's validating how you're feeling and the situation/circumstances that you are in, without ruminating about ways you can fix it. It's accepting things for what they are and not judging yourself or the situation. It's being willing instead of wilful to how things are. It's about turning your mind to choose the road to acceptance rather than the road to denial. I'm not an easy skill but it's one that is important for peace of mind. 

I am in absolute love with Bob Harper from The Biggest Loser and one of his catch phrases is "It is what it is" and that is so the best way to describe radical acceptance. That doesn't mean "it" can't change or "it' is something you like or want, "it's" just there and you have to deal with it.

Another reason for my low mood is the issue that's still going on with my knee. It's been over a month of swelling and up to 9/10 pain and I'm so frustrated with the whole thing. Frustration brings on self-judgment that maybe I'm not doing what I should be doing or even - yeah, this is a weird one - that the pain is all in my head. I've been to the doctor, who assured me I was having pain,  and had X-rays and major anti-inflammatories and even stupid crutches, but it's still the same. I went to a walk-in clinic and had a fabulous doctor there but if nothing shows up on the X-ray then they don't even call you back. It's been a week and no call so I'm assuming there were no findings.

So now what do I do? Pretend it doesn't hurt and just keep keepin' on? I can't do that when I have a trip to NYC in 3 weeks. The walk-in doctor said the next step might be an MRI so do I go to my own doctor who I really don't like at all and who usually doesn't actually see me but has a resident do everything on the chance they'll do something? Last time I went, I ended up feeling small and reprimanded and the young man tried to teach me about mindfulness - of course, he didn't know the word mindfulness - something I could write a goddamn book about. Do I need to radically accept that my knee hurts and that's just how it is, and if I do that, what then? I don't believe it's going to get better all on it's own. I guess my only option is to bite the bullet and call my doctor, added frustration or not. And I could probably use a whole lot of mindfulness exercises right now, or in the alternative, I should do a lot of writing which usually helps me clear my head of all this crap.

This was much longer than I'd anticipated, not unusual for me, and I apologize if I came off preachy or out-of-my-mind. Lol that last one may be the truth. In closing, I'm going to list a few good things in my life and things I am grateful for.

- I am grateful that I've signed up for GRL, and nervous and freaking out or not, I'm going and it's going to be another awesome experience.

- I am grateful that I have a very special online friend that accepts all my bazillion emails and texts and just tells me I'm awesome all the time (even though I don't believe it). And even though she called me a dork twice yesterday, I still appreciate her. :P

- I am grateful my middle child landed safe and sound in Japan and is probably having an absolute blast. (I'm a little jealous too)

- I am ecstatic that a good friend of mine agreed to do the cover for Lucius' Bite which has tentatively been accepted for publication, along with my Lawyers in Love story, too.

- And finally, I am grateful for all the online friends I have who give me support and encouragement when I'm acting like a loon on crack and spewing my insecurities all over the web. You. Are. Awesome.

End of post. Have a good (almost) weekend everyone.


  1. Re: your knee, I completely understand your frustration. It really reminds me of when I first started getting my headaches. Chronic pain is hard to get used to -- even in your case, where it's hopefully temporary until your doctors get their asses in gear. It's also hard to recognize the limitations it imposes, and to learn to work with it instead of against it. I know for me, it look me a long time to learn what I could and couldn't do when the headaches showed up. I kept trying to do everything I could on a normal basis -- no mere headache was going to stop me! But pain wears you out more quickly, and it makes it harder to deal with everything else. It can be insidious, so that you don't even notice how much it's wearing on you, too.

    Uh, now I'm getting talky. ^__^;; But definitely pester your doctor, the one who took the x-ray. There's every chance they forgot to call you or he hasn't even looked at it yet. When I was going through all my diagnoses and tests way back when, it sometimes took repeated calls before they even looked at results and were able to tell me anything.

    Also, I really, really like this post. I really like the explanation of Radical Acceptance. It's something I feel like I knew, without knowing the technical terms for it? It's neat that other people have thought about that and created vocabulary and discussions on it. ^__^

    And now I've slacked off day job work long enough, and must return to my slaving. Sorry if I'm preaching to the choir above, too. ^__^;; <333

  2. I'm with Sasha about pestering your doctor. I don't think you should just accept the pain in your knee. Bug them until you get an answer. If it's something fixable, you shouldn't have to just bear it.

    I knew what Radical Acceptance is without knowing that I did. It was good to see any explanation for it, though, and like Sasha said, that there is an actual term for it. Interesting.

    And! *hugs* Yay, GRL! It's going to be awesome. You'll see. :)

  3. I agree with the other two about your knee. If nothing shows up on the x-ray, definitely have a MRI done. My mom is going through something similar with her leg right now. No one seems to know what's causing her pain. I think she has an appointment with a pain management specialist(whatever that is).

    About GRL, I'm sure you are going to have a great time. I'ts alright to be nervous, but know that you will have lots of support there with you. I see the comments you get. You have a lot of people that care about you and many of them are fellow authors. So, just think of all the fun you are going to have. :D Take care. {Hugs}

  4. Oh, boy, does this sound familiar. "Nobody knows who I am" - check. "Nobody will talk to me" - check. "Panic attack" - er, that was during the riverboat signing cruise... I'm so there right with you, honey. You and I will face down the demons and... wait a minute... they're smiling... they're saying "OMG I loved your book!!!!"... Because last year, you were one of the ones who came up to me and said HI! when I thought nobody would talk to me. So you're not alone, people will love you, and I can't WAIT to see you again in New York.
    As for the knee--yeah, I get it. If nothing else pans out, try a chiropractor or naprapath--they use alternative methods of pain control, and sometimes can figure out what regular doctors can't. Regular western medicine isn't focused on pain control; it's focused on diagnosis and cures rather than long-term management. I'll tell you a long convoluted story about a chiropractor and my brother in New York (YAY!!!)

  5. Babe, it's like what they have all said. Call the doc back. If the pain is still there, then it is still there and there should be a way they can fix it. The situation reminds me of a nagging cough my dad has had for over a year. He went for x-rays twice and they said nothing was wrong with him. Until he went in again about three weeks ago and they discovered that it was Pneumonia and they started treatment. Thankfully, he is feeling much better now. So, I will say again, go back, until they figure out what is wrong and how to treat it. You are not an hypochondriac. If you feel pain, then there is pain. Don't let anyone tell you different.

    GRL would go great. I can bet it. And I am sure when you return, you will have tons of good things to say. You have a lot of fans and friends K-Lee and they will be there asking you questions and making you smile. You'll see.

    I hear you about Radical Acceptance. Damn! That is something I have problems dealing with and accepting because sometimes I think I was just born to worry. Hopefully, we will both continue to trudge on till we accept it in our lives.

    Your partner in crime :D.

  6. Hi there,

    Any progress with the knee? I'm with everyone else's comments, keep pestering them, for whatever reason doctors don't seem to be as willing to listen to their patients nowadays, and I can identify with that frustration!!! So I hope things are improving for you there!

    As for GRL - you encouraged me to go, and I'm going! Registered and room booked, although I have no roomie yet so good thing I have time to save!
    I'm glad you are doing the Q&A because think about it, last year you went as a reader, maybe someone else is going as a reader but wants to write and you just may be the inspiration they need!

    In other news, I'm sorry something happened on Twitter to make you sad and I've missed your posts, but I did send a few messages on reasons I hope you stay - I first heard of your writing through TA Chase's retweets and from that I bought your first MLR book as I was not familiar with Goodreads - now I am on Goodreads, and even getting involved in some of the groups! So, in essence I "met" you on Twitter and you have encouraged me in so many ways, although I don't know as I did as well in return, and I wish I had done better.

    I think you are amazing, I'm proud of you because not only are you Canadian, you are local to my part of the world, it sounds like you have amazing kids that you support in being true to themselves and all this while dealing with your own "stuff". You are an inspiration to others!

    Take care and I hope to talk to you soon! Maybe we can fly to GRL together or just meet up for a coffee between now and October!

    **Hugs and Squishes to you**