Marsha Lenahan is really important to me, sometimes. This morning is one of those times. Again: blog = coded messages. Today I've been thinking about "splitting" as a mental process. A way of processing information and social experience. It's not a very good way to do it, but it is a habit. People being elemental, good or bad, friend or foe. But not me. I'm just caught bouncing in-between the two. Like: how can you like me and be my friend, when at the same time say mean things to me when we're out in public together? How can you want me to be happy, to like you and then try to sabotage my happiness and start a fight with me? Aren't aggression and empathy mutually exclusive? This is so hippy-dippy.
Often Bobo or JJ or Pico or Jenny or Jiddy (inner circle) will be listening to me complain about someone. Some stable of frienemies who constantly upset me. And they all always ask "Why are you friends with him if all he does is be awful? Why do you keep hanging out with him?" I am trying to parse this out. I don't know anymore how much bullshit I want to sift through, just for the occasionally nice remark.
But back to Lenahan. Today's DBT Skill Lesson is the most difficult and advanced of the cycle, Radical Acceptance:
"Freedom from suffering requires ACCEPTANCE FROM DEEP WITHIN. It is allowing yourself to go completely with whatever the situation is. Let go of fighting reality. ACCEPTANCE IS THE ONLY WAY OUT OF HELL WHICH MUST NOT BE INTERPRETED AS APPROVAL OF THE DISTRESSFUL SITUATION. Pain creates suffering only when you refuse to ACCEPT the pain. Deciding to tolerate the moment is ACCEPTANCE. ACCEPTANCE is acknowledging what is. To accept something is not the same as judging it to be good. By stopping your self from fighting, the rage or anger you feel will dissipate as long as you continue to accept your condition or your faulty perceptions to events or interpersonal communications difficulties. You will be amazed at how much better you will feel when you are able to accept."I'm working on knowing conflicting truths at the same time. Living with disparate feelings and not, y'know, judging that. Or more realistically, not letting when people around me judging that bug me so much. Having conflicted thoughts Finding common ground with enemies, and being able to fault my friends. There is a lot in the world that falls into the category of "nuance" and I want to be able to appreciate some of that stuff.
In the brilliant New Yorker piece this week, Cindy McCain talks about her addiction to painkillers. She said that during a Senate hearing in which both she and her husband were being indicted, that the cushion of Vicodin made her feel "euphoric and free". So, in the spirit of accepting conflicts, at least we seem to have something in common.
Our ever-insatiable yearning for freedom, and the drugs we take to get it.