Radical Acceptance

Accepting what is, completely and totally. To stop fighting what is.

There seems to be moments on the trail, where I really come into contact with why this works in my treatment plan for CPTSD. Today was definitely one of those days, where something just suddenly “makes sense” in an emotional way, not just the intellectual way.

For many months, radical acceptance has been a topic of discussion in therapy. There are many things, I am perfectly content with radically accepting most of the time. There are some, I am not. I can radically accept that I fell victim to a covert narcissistic sociopath. I can radically accept that I will NOT get another winter 4k in this season. I can radically accept that my husband will never, ever put his clothing IN the hamper, despite that I placed it 3 feet away from his bedside. I cannot radically accept suffering children and injustice to women and children. That’s my limit.

Mt. Kearsarge Winslow Trail

Today, I was ascending Mt. Kearsarge on the Winslow Trail. I had radically accepted that snow season is over for me (much to my dismay), and didn’t have any spikes in my pack. There seems to be something magical that happens at 2k feet…. today it was ice. Mud on top of and under ice. I was wearing glasses, not contacts and I just don’t trust my depth perception with them. I slipped a few times, realized it was a mistake to not have traction. I planned the next few steps carefully as I pressed on. I was not far from the summit.

Determined to make this happen, I took a couple more steps, not so carefully thought out this time and caught myself before I got hurt. Thankfully! I decided at that point, it was time to bag it. As a solo hiker, you have to take into consideration that if you get hurt, it’s you, you and you on the mountain to get down.

This wasn’t an easy call, but wow. So relatable to many sessions with my therapist. I had a choice to make, to fight what was before me, ill prepared and risk seriously injuring myself (and potentially others who would have to come rescue me) or accept that today just wasn’t that day and hike down in 1 piece.

So many times I have pushed forward in life, without pause. Without time to reflect and plan the route with the best possible outcome. There are two lessons in one from the trail today… radical acceptance is hard, and sometimes life saving. And, take time to pause and plan before taking any actions.

What can you radically accept? What might you struggle with accepting? Do you look before you leap? Check the path ahead first?

It’s all about balance I suppose… these mountains never fail to teach me what I just need to get and am not somewhere else.

Complex PTSD

There is some cliche saying about complex problems requiring a complex solution. For many years now, I have felt “unsolvable”. Broken beyond any sort of hope of repair. Living with a brain that has been chronically traumatized, can at the very least be a challenge and in a difficult time, be downright debilitating. Therapy helps, if you have the right therapist, and correct modality of treatment and good supports. But, what if nature can heal us? Or, at very least support us immensely on our journey to healing deep, often old and scary wounds? Seems maybe a simple solution maybe helpful, at least in this instance.

If you had asked me a year ago, if I thought I’d become an avid hiker who prefers winter hikes, up really large mountains in the White Mountains of NH, I would have laughed and provided some sort of witty sacasm to accompany it. Buuuuut…. here I am! Yes, I hiked at another time in my life. No, never this degree of intensity or enjoyment.

I am also a photographer. I feel that what’s unfolding for me, is a really cool and helpful mix of in office psychotherapy with a great therapist, specific support for coparenting with a narcissistic sociopath, with another great therapist, nature therapy and art therapy by myself.

I began an Instagram page for my photography a few years ago, and find that some of my best paradigm shifts and healing moments take place on the trail. I began to blog a bit there, but feel like it’s time to take that further. I will transfer some of the posts from there to this blog, with their original dates as time allows.

Here’s hoping something in these pages will empower someone else out there to find what works for your healing journey.