Day 84: Fuck Expectation

Sometimes, I expect too much.

Expectation falls into that tenuous category with future trippin’. It seems natural and logical to think and look ahead. But, I’ve found that my problem with this type of thing is, situations, people, and places end up being disappointments. I create these plans and scenarios in my head, and, when nothing goes as planned, my day goes to hell.

Even though I’ve made a ton of progress in sobriety, becoming more aware of the present moment and how to appreciate it while I’m there, well, it’s still fucking hard. I’m still assigning expectations to practically all of the events in my life. I go into situations thinking that I’ll be thrilled. Because I’ve imagined something one way and only one way, it’s no wonder that it almost never plays out how I’d anticipated.

There are days where I can manage that disappointment. I can accept that I saw a situation going in one direction, and then, well, it went the other. No biggie. Moving on.

Then, there are days where that shift from expectation into reality feels like a muthafuckin’ earthquake, and, there’s just no way to find the equilibrium that’s necessary to correct my psyche for the day. I’m sunk. And, it’s in those moments that I know that I really have to aim to use the AA toolbox. To reach in and reprocess the steps I’ve worked. The steps that I know, upon just consideration, will take me out of my own selfish head and plans and right into the solution.

Expectations are toxic. They set the stage for experiences that we have yet to have. And, while maybe our experiences will come close to what we had in mind, I think it’s safe to say, no matter what situation you’re walking into, it’s never goes exactly as you saw it in your mind. That’s my issue. Being a planner, a list maker, and a think-ahead-er, I try to predict exactly what I’m about to walk into, wherever I go. It gives me the illusion of control. I feel that I can manage my own calamity. If I make sure that events happen in a certain sequence, I can walk outside of my fear.

But, in truth, that’s all illusion. An orchestration created by my own sick mind will never mirror reality. So, rather than set high expectations on the people, places, and things that I’m going to encounter throughout my week, I strive to let it all go. To turn it over to God. To let my path fall in front of me, rather than attempting to pave it from miles and miles away.

Living in the present moment is, by far, the hardest thing for me to do in sobriety. And, I struggle with it from day to day, sometimes minute to minute. But, in those moments where I find myself in the moment, living and breathing, when I’m able to get outside of myself just long enough to see that, I’m content with where I am, no matter where I’ve been or where I’m going, I find a peace that is like no other.

To realize that I can be “ok” in just one singular moment, is pretty out of this world and monumental. When I’m not dwelling on what’s happened or planning the future, suddenly, life becomes a heck of a lot more manageable. No wonder AA hangs on so tight to the “One Day At A Time” slogan. It applies to so much more, in my case, than just drinking or not drinking. It helps diffuse the unhealthy expectations I put on myself and others.

Whenever I’m feeling out of control these days, which, is pretty frequently, I do my best to put the moments that flank me out of my mind. When I’m truly able to see the here and now for what it is, it’s usually a helluva lot better than my fucked expectations.

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