Today I thought of a good way to explain how I feel about 'acceptance'.
It's like driving conditions.
When you live in a place where you have cold weather, snow, ice...you learn to accept that some days the road conditions are going to require extra care while driving.
Accepting that there will be snow and ice is not giving up. It is clearly seeing the driving conditions for what they are: not summer driving but winter driving.
It is accepting that care will need to be taken braking at intersections and accelerating from a stop. I can't tell you how many times I see people in front of me who do not get this simple but necessary fact. If there is ice (and there usually is), it will take longer to stop and forward progress is more reliably made by gently pressing on the accelerator rather than trying to apply more gas, which means you go precisely nowhere - except maybe sideways - because there is no traction, therefore no forward motion.
So when it comes to dealing with the reality of my health, accepting that some days I will have more energy than others, that I need to pace myself and only take on the things I can do at my own pace on my own schedule? That is acceptance. Because I refuse to give up entirely. I may give up for an hour or a day. Maybe even longer. But I do try to accomplish something that brings me closer to my goals every day, even when energy is at a premium.
Acceptance is understanding what is, not what I wish it were. Acceptance means saying 'no' at times, so that I can say 'yes' later. Acceptance is taking the medication until my quality of life isn't allowing me to do even the bare minimum, and then trying something else. (Right now it's taking nothing while the cancer appears to be 'sleeping'.)
Acceptance is not a 'bad' word. It is a word that says I am learning how to cope with what my reality currently is, knowing that things can change - just like driving conditions. That doesn't always mean I'm happy about it, or that I don't have regrets, but that I'm working on it. It's a process...