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.
A Moodscope member.