What is The Difference Between Accepting and Giving Up?

By Maureen DeGarmo

What is the difference between accepting and giving up? This can be a tough distinction for those who must bear a chronic illness, so let’s discuss it a bit. Start by identifying the things which cannot be changed.

For me, the fact that I have chronic vertigo will not change. I don’t have to like it, but accepting it will help me to create adaptations for my life. On the other hand, some things can be changed, and for those areas we don’t want to give up.

Accepting vs. Giving Up Chart

For me, this distinction goes a long way to helping me decide where to focus my energy. If I focus my energy on my chronic symptoms, which can be managed but not erased, then I become depressed and frustrated. If, however, I can distract myself or focus my energy toward something positive, then I find that I feel better. This could be as simple as a few small chores for the day, or if I feel pretty good, I might do a favor for a friend or a fun activity. The positive energy of doing this helps move me forward.

What areas of your Traumatic Illness do you need to accept? What activities can you do to keep moving forward?

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8 thoughts on “What is The Difference Between Accepting and Giving Up?

  1. Sue West says:

    Your chart looks so helpful, psychologically and practically speaking.

    I’m thinking of my organizing clients who have Lyme disease or MS. Also ADHD.

    Doing things differently is sometimes easier to start with than to accept why it is necessary. But sometimes, without acceptance, people can’t get unstuck to try different ways. Yet if we don’t…

    So difficult an equation and your chart helps pull it apart. Very thoughtful post. Think you for sharing. -Sue

    Liked by 1 person

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