All, Lifestyle

The chronic illness series (1): letting go of unrealistic expectations

I have never been a very optimistic person, but I am a bit of a dreamer. I want to become good at things, really good at things. I’m talking about drawing, cooking, social acquaintances, my job,… I will spend hours and hours thinking about how to become a better person, how to excel. I will dream about being where I want to be, in the habit of eating super healthy, doing regular exercise, sleeping at least eight hours a day, being a social butterfly, being on top of things, not spending so much money, drawing and reading everyday, and not being sick. Not being sick…

For years and years I’ve been working towards becoming this badass mythical superwoman. Some things have been improving, like spending less money, eating in a more healthy way and getting enough sleep. The ‘not being sick’ part however has not worked out so well.

The past month has led to a new insight. Constantly thinking about a future where I do not have to deal with illness anymore has put me of off really dealing with it in the present. I feel as though I have been postponing my thoughts.

Hope can become a way to avoid the now. A sort of escapism. I am by no means saying that being hopeful is a bad thing, but unrealistic expectations are. If the gap between your expectations and the probable reality of your future is too big, it sets you up for disappointment. Letting go of these expectations is a very painful and difficult thing to do, but it means less disappointments and more living in the now.

I am now in the process of doing this, letting go of my unrealistic expectation of miraculous healing. I have to start accepting the fact that this is how my body is wired. The future will not change this. I can still dream of having this perfect life and strive to become this badass mythical superwomen, though be it a chronically ill one.

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