The Sandbox Writing Challenge #66 — Passivity, Resignation, or Acceptance?

For this week’s question, Calen still has us pondering prompts from Philip Simmons’ book Learning to Fall. 


What does acceptance feel like? How does it differ from resignation or passivity?

This is a great prompt because I spent an entire year back in 2014 focusing on Acceptance. It is not about being passive because you are not just allowing things to happen to you without pushing back. It is not resignation because of stepping down from unpleasant situations. Acceptance means that you consciously recognize that a situation is out of your means of control and there is no sense in fretting over it. You quietly say inside your mind, “I cannot change this,” and allow yourself to peacefully affirm it. This releases your attachment to whatever the situation is.

Here is an example of one of my moments of acceptance. My then-husband and I were out driving around and had a flat tire. His first reaction was frustration and anger (we’d been having a series of flat tires of late, but he would only buy used tires, so what can you expect?). He got out of the car, stormed around a bit, ranted and raved and then set about changing the tire. Normally, I would have reacted to his anger with some of my own or attempt to calm him down (which never worked anyway). But not on this particular day. I’d only been practicing Acceptance for two months, but thought this was a perfect time to do so. I got out of the car and went to a tree in someone’s yard. I sat under the tree and just listened to the wind blowing (it was March) and the birds chirping. I fell into complete bliss because I knew I couldn’t change what was happening and I accepted that I didn’t need to be involved in the rants and anger. It was one of the most life-affirming things I’d ever done.

The Daily Me (Journal) Avoidance – 12/01/2016

Today’s prompt comes from 100 Inspirational Journal Prompts by Melissa Bolton @ The Mogul Mom

It also comes from my death bed, not entirely an exaggeration. Pneumonia makes you feel that way. Sitting propped up in my bed, scrambling for the words to reply to this…

Something you have been avoiding and why.

I avoid doctors like the plague, always have. I don’t like them, they make me anxious and they always want to push pills on me. Currently, I am avoiding my psychiatrist and therapist because I’ve gone off my psych meds again. I know what they will say. I know they will demand that I go back on them. And, I know they are right. What they don’t realize is that being medicated completely wipes out any chances for me to be coherent when I write, and writing is what I do. It is my life, it is the blood that pumps through my veins, and it fuels me. Without my ability to write, I have no purpose. Without purpose, I have no reason to exist. It’s as simple as that. Some have suggested that I find another purpose, like art or crafts. However, when depression hits me, I’d have no interest in those either. And I have tried to do art while medicated. Disastrous outcome.

I’ve also been avoiding a check-up with my PCP. I know my diabetes hasn’t improve, my cholesterol either. And this time of the year when there are too many temptations, I just don’t want to deal with the stress of a doctor telling me to give up the sweets. I plan on returning to my strict diet in January, so any appointments with the PCP will have to wait until around March or April.

Even now, as sick as I am, I avoided going to the ER for several days, both times. I know it has only made my health worse, but the anxiety of doctors is far worse sometimes than what’s ailing me.

So what caused my fear and anxiety of doctors? I think it goes back to childhood when I had Reye’s Syndrome. I was hospitalized for so long, and poked and prodded so often, that I just developed this real fear of doctors. I’d been in a ward with several other children who also had Reye’s and many of them died. One survivor had brain damage. I developed what the doctors called ‘a nervous stomach’, but otherwise, I was fine. I became their guinea pig, as they worked to figure out why I survived while so many had died. (I have my theory, but I am sure it isn’t scientific enough for them to handle or understand without labeling me a complete nut-case.) For a year after I came out of a coma, once a month, I had to go to the hospital and have blood drawn. I was only six years old. Strangely enough, I didn’t develop a fear of needles. Instead, I became fascinated with them, having my blood drawn and just blood in general. This was probably the starting point for my weird obsessions with all things macabre.