Acceptance is the Answer
And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation – some fact of my life – unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God’s world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I can accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes. -Paul O.
So here’s the situation: I am involved in general outpatient therapy, which consists of a weekly group session and a weekly one-on-one counseling session, both of which cost me time and money that I find totally unnecessary. I have been attending these sessions faithfully for close to 5 months, and, my personal feeling is, enough is enough. Now, to be fair, I probably had that feeling at the outset, but I have been giving it my all since I started.
About a month ago, when I first broached the subject of my “graduation,” she had indicated the end of February. I have been waiting for follow-up from her ever since, and every week that she has refrained from updating me on my progress was another notch on my belt of irritation.
Back to the present, I had my group session yesterday, waited to see if she would update me, still nothing. So I resolved that I would take the bull by the horns in today’s individual session and have a discussion about my end date. This decision led to a solid 24 hours of worrying, playing out every possible scenario, and subsequent anger at all of her possible reactions.
Here’s my problem in a nutshell: lack of acceptance. I believed it to be fair and just that my therapist stick to her original time frame, or at least give me an updated reason why she is choosing to lengthen it. This was my expectation, and I found any other scenario unacceptable. Each week that she did not approach me with the answer I wanted, I grew more and more irritable, and more and more resistant to the whole point of the therapy.
So my approach was to ask for what I wanted (a date for finishing the program), and, if the date was further out than I liked, I would express my feelings on the subject. Sounds simple enough, but for someone like me, this kind of assignment causes a lot of anxiety. The final piece, and the hardest part, was my resolution to accept the outcome, whichever way it went.
Of course, I waited until the last possible moment, but I finally summoned up the courage and asked the question. “Hmmm,” she says, glancing at my paperwork, “I guess we have done everything on your treatment plan, and you have been here several months longer than anyone else in the group, so why don’t we do it at the end of the month?”
“That sounds reasonable, and something we discussed previously,” I say. “Are you aware the end of the month is next week?”
“Oh, is it? Well, let’s just wait then until the following week, that way I can start my month with a positive discharge.”
(Whatever the ?!@? that means).
So the good news… I got my official date, my question was answered, and reasonably close to my personal satisfaction. The better news: I communicated calmly but assertively, and I initiated a conversation that has been troubling me for weeks. The best news: I have accepted the outcome, and will look forward to my last four sessions, despite the fact that it is longer than I would have liked, and for questionable reasons.
Showing restraint, with my words, my facial expressions, and with my tone of voice, as I had this conversation!
Another miracle: That I wrote out the conversation above, but did not add in my sarcastic commentary (well, alright, I did one comment, but if you knew how many more were floating in my head, you would deem it a miracle)!
Posted on February 20, 2013, in Recovery and tagged 12 step, 12 step program, 12 steps, AA, Addiction, Alcoholic Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, Alcoholism, Clean and Sober, Higher Power, Mental Health, Recovery, Religion and Spirituality, self-development, Sobriety, Substance Abuse, Support group, Support Groups, Twelve Step, Twelve-Step Program. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.