The Cycle of Change – Part 2

14 Apr 2016
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Following my blog 'The cycle of change', 8 April 2016.

So, how have I reached Lasting Change, the final stage in the Cycle of Change?

Firstly I decided that I wanted to reach Lasting Change. I was determined. I just kept on; I refused to give up. I wouldn't even consider the possibility of not reaching my goal.

Secondly, I forced myself to be brutally honest with myself about where I was in the Cycle. This meant coming to terms with the woman I had become. And it was tough. It took me a long time. It was also tough having to revisit time and again earlier stages. But I came to recognise more quickly when I was slipping back, and gradually it meant that I could move through the stages more quickly.

Thirdly I found Louise Hay's work on affirmations really helpful.

(I used her book 'You can heal your body' – it's challenging stuff.)

Fourthly, annotating my Moodscope graph helped me become more objective about my low moods, and highlighted for me when they were down to simple fatigue, or to over-doing things.

So this process has taken me months, in fact well over two years. And the most important part of reaching Lasting Change has been the change in my thought patterns, and my new-found ability to accept myself as I am, here and now, in this moment, on this day...

For me, the key to reaching Lasting Change has been the affirmation "I choose to accept myself as I am just for today". This particular affirmation came about following a physiotherapy session; my lovely, gentle physiotherapist talked about hearing a holocaust survivor explaining that they chose to forgive the Nazis a day at a time – some days they could forgive, some days they couldn't forgive. This meant that they became empowered by the knowledge that they could choose to offer or to deny forgiveness and in doing this they ceased being a victim.

I have found this 'just for today' phrase incredibly liberating, since it allows me the option of choosing NOT to accept my condition sometimes. I can rage against it (and I do, believe me!) I can cry about it. I can and do have days when I need to stop and rest for longer periods. And I have begun to accept that thanks (yes, thanks) to my condition, I have become much more accepting of myself and of life in general; I have also learnt so much thanks to this wonderful Moodscope community, which has been a HUGE help to me in coming this far, in reaching Lasting Change. Actually, shouldn't that be "in reaching Acceptance"?

Thank-you, one and all.

Frankie

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. Posts and comments on the blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.

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Comments

Orangeblossom

April 15, 2016, 5:55 a.m.

Hi Frankie, I can echo your words & thoughts. I find self-acceptance & being gentle with myself as an ongoing process. It is a daily decision to accept my life as it is today. Thanks for your blog, for reminding me that is what I need to do.

Reply

Frankie

April 15, 2016, 7:13 a.m.

Thank-you Zareen. Good luck! Frankie

Andrea

April 15, 2016, 6:39 a.m.

Hi Frankie, I am still in the struggling stages of accepting who I am. I just want to say thank you for this post as I see hope and peace that comes with this acceptance. I'm crying inside! *** bless you!

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Frankie

April 15, 2016, 7:19 a.m.

Thank-you Andrea. Yes, hope and peace do come with acceptance. Can you look for today's blessings and opportunities? And will crying "outside" help you release some of your sadness and regret thus allowing you to move towards acceptance? Good luck! Frankie

Hopeful One

April 15, 2016, 7:10 a.m.

Hi Frankie- Congratulations!This is such a heart warming tale of so many things- motivation,resolve ('never,never,never,never give in - Winston Churchill),determination,gratitude and much much more. You have found the tools that suit you to manage your condition and that victory is priceless. Today's foray in to the world of laughter. A 54-year-old accountant leaves a letter for his wife one evening which read: "Dear Wife, I am 54 years old, and by the time you get this letter I will be at the Grand Hotel with my beautiful 'sexy eighteen year old secretary." When he arrived at the hotel, there was a letter waiting for him that follows: "Dear Husband, I too am 54 years old, and by the time you receive this letter I will be at the Savoy Hotel with my eighteen year old boy toy. Because you are an accountant, you will appreciate that l8 goes into 54 many more times than 54 goes into 18."

Reply

Frankie

April 15, 2016, 7:21 a.m.

Thanks Hopeful One. And thank-you for the jokes, which always go down well here! Frankie

Mary Wednesday

April 15, 2016, 10:27 a.m.

thank you so very much for the giggle this morning. You have made me feel so much brighter!

Hopeful One

April 15, 2016, 7:16 a.m.

Hi Guys-- Has RATG moved on?

Reply

Mary Wednesday

April 15, 2016, 10:34 a.m.

Still struggling with acceptance sometimes. But - other people have it worse, and at least I still have the words - which are a great comfort.

Reply

Frankie

April 15, 2016, 10:53 a.m.

Morning Mary; yes, it can be a daily struggle - but your word "sometimes" indicates that you do reach acceptance - sometimes - and each time we reach that final acceptance stage, it makes it easier to do so in the future, I believe. Frankie

Dolphin

April 15, 2016, 10:59 a.m.

A great blog and motivation for me today, and tomorrow, and the next day... As an aside - your comment about fatigue prompted me to note just how bad lack of sleep is for anyone, but especially for those who are already fragile. For several months last year my sleep was appalling and I got through the days like a gloomy zombie. Through a combination of things - being back with close friends, having a holiday, taking pills for restless legs, hot milk, and any other tip I could find - I started sleeping again in March. I felt so much more positive and better about everything. Last week we had a fright about my mother who has dementia (lots of phone calls, family and doctor conferences etc etc). So I was worried about her circumstances and then was also not sleeping in my own bed plus I was with a partner who snored and took too much space! As a result, I returned to the old pattern of little sleep and felt appalling again. Because it happened so suddenly, I was aware of the toxic effects of poor sleep. The longer period last year crept up on me so I put it down to general depression and unhappiness. I don't have any great lessons from this, except observation about dangers of lack of sleep. However, I know I am stronger now and hope this will give me the tools and courage to help me preserve peaceful sleep.

Reply

Frankie

April 15, 2016, 12:39 p.m.

Hi Dolphin: yes, lack of sleep is so debilitating - and I certainly underestimate the importance of decent sleep and decent rest. I feel for you in your current situation - snap! I sit here waiting for a phone call regarding my own mother's deteriorating health, and I can feel my stomach churning ... and I think that awareness of the dangers of lack of sleep is an extremely important lesson which I know I ignore to my cost ... Thank-you! Frankie

Dolphin

April 15, 2016, 4:56 p.m.

Sorry to hear about your mother - so many of us are in this situation. Strength!! xx

Frankie

April 15, 2016, 8:23 p.m.

Thank-you Dolphin - I really appreciate this. Events today make me wonder whether the end game is looming sooner than we anticipated ... Frankie x

Debs

April 15, 2016, 11:21 a.m.

Such a tale of courage Frankie and so inspiring! Huge huge love coming your way, I hope today is an accepting day - it should be because your blog has touched my heart and made me feel stronger and more determined. Big healing love and light ***

Reply

Frankie

April 15, 2016, 12:41 p.m.

What a lovely thing to say Debs - thank-you! It has changed from an accepting day into a struggling day - see my reply to Dolphin above ... but your post has brought a smile to my face and warms my heart - so thank-you again! Frankie

Lex

April 15, 2016, 12:28 p.m.

"...and my new-found ability to accept myself as I am, here and now, in this moment, on this day..." perfectly put, perfect - just for today. xx

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Frankie

April 15, 2016, 12:42 p.m.

Thanks Lex - just for today ... xx Frankie

The Gardener

April 15, 2016, 1:01 p.m.

Still struggling with 'reaching acceptance'. I am told, from all quarters, that I am doing all I can for Mr G. I went to the little mass in the convent today - pretty, peaceful chapel, people I knew. Left note in kitchen window with where I was and phone No in case Mr G went in the road for help - still feel dreadfully guilty if I go out - but he's fastened on like a limpet, and I'm exhausted.

Reply

Frankie

April 15, 2016, 1:48 p.m.

Of course you are struggling to reach acceptance, dear Gardener - your circumstances are particularly challenging; I know that many of us recognise and admire your determination and commitment in your tough situation. It is hard not to feel guilty, but if you can see your excursions as "shopping trips for energy" or "recharging my batteries" so that you can deal better with your situation, maybe it will help to lift the guilt, however fleetingly. Step by tiny step ... Frankie

Lesley

April 15, 2016, 4:18 p.m.

Gardener, you must have your outings. Do not feel guilty. You are incredibly brave and courageous in my mind.

Richard

April 15, 2016, 4:13 p.m.

Thankyou, Frankie. I love the concept of offering or denying forgiveness. You have a fine physiotherapist. Peace & Love, Richard.

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Frankie

April 15, 2016, 8:24 p.m.

Yes Richard, he's lovely! Thank-you. Wishing you peace of mind and heart too. Frankie

Lesley

April 15, 2016, 4:17 p.m.

Hello Frankie, Thank you for this. yes, today is today. I recognise your journey as I have gone through several cycles of this over the past 20 years. Acceptance Commitment approach is the way through. As I don't know your condition I cannot fully comment but for me the TMS Forum is useful and The Presence Process by Michael Brown. Love and Light

Reply

Frankie

April 15, 2016, 8:26 p.m.

Thank-you for this Lesley - I shall look into it. Frankie

Jul

April 15, 2016, 5:40 p.m.

Hello Frankie. The way you write and come across with your kind comments to everyone shows me what a lovely lovely person you are. It therefore seems unfair in many ways that you have had to work so hard at finding self acceptance of your condition. So many people go about their lives oblivious of how they affect the next person, even close family and never try to change or see their situation for what it is. But you Frankie are so aware of how you feel and the welfare of us all. I feel sad that you have had such a struggle to reach the point where you are now. But..it's a good place from what you say and I am glad. I too like the phrase"just for today". I can feel very different from one day to the next and your blog today has shown me that each day and each different mood is equally valid. Well done Frankie for this and for sharing your journey with us. Julxx

Reply

Frankie

April 15, 2016, 8:27 p.m.

That's so kind of you Jul - thank-you! I hope you know how much I have gained from Moodscope in general, and from you in particular. Frankie xx

Jul

April 16, 2016, 7:52 a.m.

xxxx Jul x

Reply

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