I talk about self-acceptance in my recovery guide, Live Life Well.
I'd like to detail this in here because it is the root in my estimation of having a successful recovery.
Recently, I read a book I recommend everyone read: The Diversity Code by Michelle T. Johnson. She tells us that the ideal is the goal of "viewing diversity as the highest form of honoring individualism."
Stigma is a flaw of society because at heart it is a manufactured screening out and rejection of people who differ from a norm. I can debate all day about the value of passing for normal in a world where "normal" is the holy grail yet that would do a disservice to others.
The goal of embracing diversity in ourselves and others is only noble.
I submit that we need to honor each individual who embarks on the road of recovery and celebrate each other for being our original selves.
I've experienced firsthand stigma by other people who have diagnoses. It's sad that people in recovery sometimes have no room in their heart for others traveling down this road. Even with all I've done, if a line was drawn in the sand, I would stand on the side of those of us who experienced brain dis-ease and were cast out of society.
The concept of radical acceptance is useful as it relates to what happened to each of us. Martha Beck in her column in the Oprah magazine suggests that acceptance is the foundation of change. You need to accept what's going on and once you accept it you can begin to move forward to change it. She uses the analogy of an overweight woman who refuses to weigh herself on the scale.
Denial of what's going on serves to halt you from achieving your desired result. It's the classic technique of burying your head in the sand and hoping something will go away because you can't see it. Only: what you resist persists.
I'm a big fan of the book The Diversity Code because in the one sentence I quoted above Michelle T. Johnson gets at the heart of achieving a win-win in your relationships.
Honoring individualism, unfortunately, is not the norm even in relationships where people don't have brain dis-ease. I make the case for honoring individualism.
A second quote makes this perfectly clear courtesy of a greeting card I bought and framed in a picture frame: "Who cares what everyone else thinks. Be true to yourself."
Accepting that you have a faulty brain is different from thinking there's something wrong with you because you have brain dis-ease. It's easy to run 100 miles in the opposite direction to try to prove you are normal. After I was hospitalized the second time, I had to confront the truth. This was the turning point that enabled me to see that I had a faulty brain and the only way it could act like a normal brain was if I took the medication.
Would it be presumptuous for me to state that most people fear there's something wrong with them if they have to take medication?