When Expectations Overshadow Goals (Opinion)

I’m the type of gal who always sets a bar.

Expectations. Signs of achievements, progress, and not feeling like I’m in the middle of the lake with only one oar.

If you don’t set some sort of bar for yourself, it’s difficult to to monitor improvement, and to keep a small spark of motivation. Keeping a level of challenge with expectations proves to the internal voices yeah, you can do this.

This week, I’ve been reflecting. My symptoms are all over the map. I’ve had to start a hold (when I want to continue). I can’t make it through half-way through the day without crashing. I’m lucky if I can make it through my exercise regime.

The goals I’ve set for myself? I’m barely hitting the bare minimum.

What’s happening? Why do I feel like things are going backwards?

Oh. Right. I’m in a constant state of withdrawal. A state that has no timeline, no predictability, and no control.

The-Valium-Withdrawal-Chart
From addiction blog.org

I’ve come to the realization that I need to lower, hell even abolish, all expectations. They’ve created this big black cloud around my perception that the goals I’ve set for myself aren’t happening. It’s eaten any ability to acknowledge even the small achievements, which I believe can be more powerful than the big stuff.

It’s as if expectation creates denial, false hope, and misgivings to this process. It eats at your psyche feeding depressive and anxious thoughts.

It’s not a cop-out, or an excuse to give up. It’s the reality I need to face in order to push back. I need to start telling myself be proud that I finished a task, even the smallest of thing. Maybe I’ve set some of my bigger goals a bit too high. I realize that I have burned the candle at both ends of the stick: it doesn’t end well.

It’s a fine line. How do you find the balance? A part of my denial is this internal gnawing that I don’t have time, and loads of people aren’t defined by chronic pain, illnesses, or even their recovery. They all have full lives. It slips away from me, and the longer I’m in this state, the more of it I’ve wasted.

Reality tells me that no, this time isn’t wasted. You’re recovering: look at that damn chart. Look what you push through on the daily. Look at these small achievements. Everyone starts somewhere.

I wish that voice was louder.

In time, maybe I’ll start seeing as small achievements as shuffling forward. Shuffles eventually turn into steps.

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