Our whole life is guided by expectations.
Whether concretely layed out or not, we all have some vague idea of what we want to do, who we want to be with, what our family might look like, what our vacation will turn out to be, and so on.
Our expectations are adjusted on a daily basis by “reality” and depending on how well we do this,our expectations will become a source of contentment (expectations met), happiness (expectations exceeded), discontentment (expectations not met) or sadness (expectations failed).
Lately, I have been having a hard time adjusting my expectations because I can’t seem to reconcile my two realities. Actually, there is only one reality for me, that of a sick person, but the former healthy self is having a hard time letting go. So there’s an inner conflict that seems to be undermining any chance I might have at contentment or happiness.
Acceptance and letting go is apparently a very hard thing to do. Deep down, I cannot seem to accept my life as a sick person. Even as I battle illnesses, fatigue and pain on a daily basis, another part of my brain seems to be plotting away at a life much more ambitious than what my health would allow for. For example, if I am able to take myself to the hospital, one side of me thinks “Hurray! Congratulations! You managed to get out of bed, take your meds, dress yourself and make it to the hospital all on your own. Bravo!!!” (Here enters contentment and even happiness), but the other side is saying “So big deal, you are going to the hospital again because you are sick, you could be doing something else with your time but you can’t. And didn’t you feel like vomiting the entire trip here?” (Cue discontentment and sadness).
Like a crazy person having conversation with herself, I am constantly negotiating my two different selves. I know that I will never be healthy again, but I can’t seem to let go of that other life, that other reality, those other expectations. The sooner I do, however, I can try working on some sort of contentment with my new normal.