“GREAT EXPECTATIONS” (I borrowed the title from Charles Dickens!!)
When we come into recovery, we can have a lot of expectations from recovery itself, our own motivations and ability to stay clean and sober, and from the other people in our lives.
Unfortunately, we can set these expectations too high and when they are not fulfilled, we can easily feel sorry for ourselves and even go so far as to use it as an excuse for relapse.
For myself, I have to remember that recovery is a process and it will take time to build a new life. If I expect this to happen overnight, I know I will be disappointed. Also, recovery is not easy and if I expect it to be, I am deluding myself and can easily become complacent and lose motivation to continue the fight.
When I first came back into recovery, I was guilty of setting expectations of family and friends too high. I found myself depending on them to always be there for me, and in the beginning they were. But as my journey in recovery progresses, I realize that this is not always possible – they have their own lives and priorities. It is unrealistic to expect them to just drop everything when I need or want to talk or be with them. I should not be angry when this happens, because resentments as we know are very unhealthy.
The lesson I learned is that everything is not always about me and I can’t control what other people think and do. I have found that if I keep my expectations of myself, my recovery, and of others reasonable, it is easier for me to see the world around me objectively and not selfishly.