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TOPIC TITLE: Acceptance
Created On 9/17/07 6:27 PM
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HopefulMommy
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9/17/07 6:27 PM
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Have you learned to accept your condition and love yourself despite it?

I find that when I don't get symptoms for a while, I am in a much better mood. But when I get a lot of symptoms I start feeling negative about myself, I feel like a failure, and that makes me more depressed, and then it becomes a cycle. How do you accept the fact that you have a mental illness and like yourself anyway?
 
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gad
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9/17/07 8:50 PM
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You didn't create yourself. So why blame yourself for something that you didn't do?

I think that when these thoughts occur, that there should be an immediate approach, and also a general outlook.

The immediate response would be to push the depressing thought or memory out of one's mind, and instead to think happy and productive thoughts. (Because if we dwell on sad ideas or memories, it can make us sad and depressed, and it can make it more difficult to accomplish good things.)

The general outlook is that we believe that everything comes from G-d, and G-d is good, and everything G-d does is ultimately for our benefit. And when something sad happened in the past, we believe that it is for our benefit, even if we don't yet understand how. As for the future, we trust in Him that everything will be good in a revealed way. And this optimism enables us to do good things and to make our lives meaningful and productive.

So knowing that G-d loves us, and knowing that by persevering and doing Mitzvos that we are making Him happy and bettering the world, this can give us much reason to be happy, and to feel proud of the G-dly soul within us, and to be happy that we are able to accomplish amazing things.

May you and your family be sealed for a good and sweet year.

 
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HopefulMommy
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9/17/07 11:32 PM
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Sometimes I feel that Hashem doesn't love me. For all I know, I might have committed some serious sins in my previous life. Maybe that's why this life is so painful. I guess I still get a second chance, but often I feel that I'm failing.

How do you trust that in the future everything will be good in the revealed way? Isn't it deluding yourself? I can understand that we have to accept whatever happens, but based on previous experience, what happens might be very painful.

I guess part of my issue is that in the beginning, when I first started therapy and all that, I thought that eventually I will be cured. But now it seems that I will be dealing with mental problems for the rest of my life. And that's a very depressing thought for me. I guess I'm not on the madrega to say that everything Hashem does is for my own good, when it's so difficult and painful.

Thanks for responding and gmar chasima tova!
 
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gad
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9/18/07 1:50 AM
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This is to address your first paragraph.

The Torah says many times that G-d loves us.

When Moshiach comes we will understand and appreciate the suffering. But right now we don't know why people suffer. But we do know that it is for our ultimate benefit.

We can't say that someone who is suffering is failing. Because as mentioned before, we don't know the reason for suffering. And as for failing, only G-d can judge if someone is failing.

Furthermore, a feeling of failing leads to sadness and depression which leads to inaction. By ignoring and jumping over these depressing thoughts, we are better able to accomplish good things and fulfill our mission. I guess an example would be a soldier who is on a mission, and he starts to think morbid scary thoughts, and he starts to remember sad events in the past, and starts to blame himself. Suddenly he remembers his mission, and he firmly tosses all the sad thoughts away, and just focuses on his mission, because he is determined to fulfil his mission, and he is determined to not let the negative thoughts deter him and discourage him in any way.
 
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gad
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9/18/07 2:07 AM
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Quote

Originally posted by: HopefulMommy
How do you trust that in the future everything will be good in the revealed way? Isn't it deluding yourself? I can understand that we have to accept whatever happens, but based on previous experience, what happens might be very painful.


Let's say an athlete decides that he will win the race, no matter what. He knows deep down that he may not win. But he decides to become totally optimistic.

So we see that it is possible and even reasonable to have such an attitude, even if there is no guarantee.

Even though the past may not have been so pleasant, a Jew still has the power to trust in G-d for the future, and to be completely optimistic that it will be good in a revealed way. And quite often, as a reward for trusting in G-d, one can merit a speedy salvation.
 
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gad
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9/18/07 2:24 AM
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Quote

Originally posted by: HopefulMommy
I guess part of my issue is that in the beginning, when I first started therapy and all that, I thought that eventually I will be cured. But now it seems that I will be dealing with mental problems for the rest of my life. And that's a very depressing thought for me. I guess I'm not on the madrega to say that everything Hashem does is for my own good, when it's so difficult and painful.


The advances being made in medicine, especially DNA, is amazing.

Right now we don't understand how everything is good. But we believe (which is higher than understanding) that it's for our good. And one day we will understand.

In the meantime, I wish you good health, and that things should soon become easier for you, and that you have much Yiddishe Nachas from your children.

Hope to hear good news. Gemar Chasima Toiva.

 
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HopefulMommy
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9/19/07 4:46 PM
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Thank you for the good wishes.

I am not sure that it's better to believe that a cure will come rather than accept the condition as my nisayon in life. Maybe that is my test -- to be able to accept something that I would rather not have.

How do you know when to press on looking for a cure and when to stop and say that this is Hashem's will and I will work on accepting it with love?
 
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su7kids
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9/19/07 6:06 PM
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Personally, I don't think you have to stop looking for a cure and help if you accept the fact that the situation/condition exists.

The acceptance part is largely an attitude, in my opinion.

Rather than keep on saying that "it shouldn't be like this" "its not fair" "i'm a bad person because of this", you accept that this is what you are dealing with at this time/ in this life, and find ways to make it easier.

Its like, when you have a broken arm and you're in pain, you can either say "what an idiot I am for doing xyz" or you can say "ok, I have a broken arm, let me go to the doctor and see what he can do for me."

Acceptance means you can take it from where you are and move along and deal with it, it doesn't mean you have to be complacent about it, and you have to stay that way forever, its just an attitude change.

Its like "this is what I have" rather than "this is who I am".


-------------------------
Proud Mom of 7, MIL to 3, Grandmom of 4!
 
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Dr. Lynn
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10/10/07 12:56 AM
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Hopeful-
I agree with many of the things su7 is saying- especially keeping in mind that having a mental illness does not mean you are defective as a person, just as a physical illness does not mean the person is defective. Many people make global statements about themselves. I once woked with a guy who was the owner of a multi-million dollar trucking company. The only thing was, he was dyslexic and could not read. He used to tell me he was "stupid", and it took a long time for him to adjust his thinking that having a learning disability did not mean he was stupid- it meant he had a disability that he had to compensate for and in some ways overcome. I think sometimes the goal is to persevere by compensating for some deficit, and other times, the goal is to eliminate the problem. I am reminded of the "serenity prayer" in the 12-step programs; to ask the RSO to grant us the strength to change the things we can, the serenity to accept the things we can't, and the wisdom to know the difference.
a lynn
 
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