Radical Acceptance for Change (NOT a New Year’s Resolution)

I’ll talk about New Year’s Resolutions, and why this is most definitely not one of those, in another post. My previous Art Journal post “Holidays in a Vacuum” gives some idea. But for now, it’s enough to state that, despite the time of year, this is not a “New Year, New Me” type of post. It is (I hope) much more than that. And the time of year is purely coincidental.

This post is about my decision to attempt to use Radical Acceptance (RA) as a vehicle for change.

Please be aware that this is based on my interpretation of RA from having attended 18 months of DBT as a patient, and is only one aspect of RA, so won’t necessarily reflect a “textbook” approach. Neither is it intended as a “how to” for anyone else. I’m only sharing my story. If you want to know more, feel free to contact me!

So, dressed in this super appropriate, RA themed tshirt, that was a Christmas present from my lovely sister, I’ve been planning a new approach to try and achieve some positive change, based on RA of my current situation.

I’m sick of stuckness and my belief that to change I must change everything overnight is a definite maintaining factor in my stuckness.

So I am trying a new approach.

Back to basics.

I can’t change the world (or myself) overnight.

And when I’m struggling with basic self-care, any other goals have to be put on the back burner.

I’m sick of going to bed resolute and waking up to failure. Because the goals are too big and the timeframe I set, too small.

So I am going back to DBT, back to radical acceptance and the big acceptance for me right now is that I am back at square one in a lot of respects.

And that’s ok.

It was a necessary part of my process. But I don’t have to stay there. And being pissed off because I’d moved so far from there and now I’m back is NOT the solution.

So I’m starting again.

One day at a time.

One new thing per day.

Today’s new thing: shower, brush teeth and put on clothes that aren’t pyjamas.

And I rocked it. Because it was small enough to achieve.

And now, I have a sense of accomplishment not failure.

The only other things I have to achieve today, are all the things I did yesterday.

Which is easy because they were all the things I was already doing every day (I’ve done most of them already).

So this very small step for mankind, is hopefully a giant leap from stasis to forward motion for me.


So, it’s Day 3, and I have experienced my first “failure” already.

But I’m coping well thanks to my “I’m going to make it as hard as I can for ANY of the others to find a way to sabotage this one” plan (thanks Tilly, with input from some of the little ones – hinderers shall not be named and shamed, they are only trying to protect us).

But anyway, yesterday, Day 2, I didn’t manage all the things.

But that’s ok.

Because accepting that these things are hard for me, means accepting that I won’t always manage them all.

And that’s not failure, it’s part of the process!

So no! We don’t need to give up now “because it’s all ruined” and we don’t need to add in loads of extra things, overtly “to catch up” but covertly as a punishment and a subversive raising of the bar, under the guise of “helping” making us even more likely to fail.

You guys, you know who you are, I call bullshit on all of that. You’re just gonna have to sit this one out and take a leap of faith along with the rest of us.