EXPECTATIONS

jeff - 10A mom wrote to me: We had so many expectations for our children and us. Then, like a puff of smoke, they were gone. 

My reflection: I know this feeling of loss. When Jeff was young, he was a strong student, vice-president of student government, talented athlete, wonderful son and brother. We never dreamed that addiction would find its way into our home. We lost Jeff to drugs for fourteen years, but I thank the Lord that it was only fourteen years and not a lifetime. This journey steeled us together in a new way. A stronger way.

Today’s Promise to consider: Expectations, for me, are dangerous. Many of my biggest life’s disappointments stem from hopes I had for my children, myself or for others I love. When I release my expectations and accept life for what it is, I feel gifted with a renewed sense of peace. Today, I will pray for acceptance. I will relaxed my grasp on expectations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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pat nichols
pat nichols
8 years ago

Having unrealistic expectations continually pushed my own recovery date further and further into the future.

This post is an excellent reminder of the danger expectations can create in our own recovery as well as our addicted children.

Today, I focus my full attention and gratitude on my son being clean. I am enjoying every moment with him without the fear of what the future may hold. It is today I am living and I will rejoice in every moment of this gift.

My son will celebrate one year being clean on March 20th. He has never been clean for one year in his 22 year battle with addiction. I have learned not to focus on this potential milestone because addiction has taught me that my expectations have the power to rob me of my own peace and serenity which I received from my relationship with God and working my own program – the Twelve Steps of Families Anonymous with a sponsor.

By the way, the Twelve Promises of Families Anonymous are all true.

My continued prayers for my child and yours.

Barbara
Barbara
8 years ago

Dear Libby,

I agree with what you said, “expectations are dangerous”. Expectations are a figment of my imagination and are full of disappointments.

We all never dreamed that addiction would come into our lives. But, when it hits, it hits hard and with a vengeance. We must fight it. We must fight for our own lives.

When my son was alive and in the throes of addiction, my life was chaotic and in a whirlwind of constant expectations and disappointments. I had to “let go” of him in order to survive, myself.

Addiction is so complicated and complex. We as parents can only survive when we release the expectations, and not feel guilty about it.

My love and prayers to you, Libby, and to all the parents who are in the throes of this disease. I’m so thankful for all of you who come to this forum. Together, we can help each other survive the expectations and disappointments we all bear, because of drug addiction.

Barbara

Jane
Jane
8 years ago

Hello my friends
I agree with everything said. My expectations were born long before my children were born. They were there as dreams at the beginning of the pregnancy and blossomed over the years. So, grief stricken when addiction stole them from me. Truly it was a loss of great magnitude at the time. I could not be in a room when anyone was discussing their children and happy events as it was too painful to hear for me. Time does heal those wounds and I expect nothing now. I pray for wisdom, courage health and strength for us all but no outcomes. I leave that to God.
Working a program hard helps one to accept. Tincture of time gives tincture of comfort
Love to my Thursday night group!
Jane

Jane
Jane
8 years ago

Pat
I am so happy for your sons gift of 1 year! A milestone that came one day at a time!

Laura
Laura
8 years ago

When my son was little, I knew that he would struggle with life’s obstacles, because he just wasn’t the kind of kid that had an easy time with things. So I didn’t have great expectations, only that he would live a happy life. My husband did have higher expectations, because he saw a special athletic talent in our son that he had in himself, and had relied on for his career. But when addiction and anxiety became apparent, my husband began to let go of his expectations. Unfortunately, harm had already been done.

Over the course of my son’s 14 year addiction, I have gradually let go of my expectation that he will get better. In my ignorance about addiction, I expected it to happen. Maybe not overnight, or without a few mishaps, but it would happen. It took years before I realized that it wasn’t a guarantee or even likely.

Today I no longer expect it, but I still hope for it, and I still feel the disappointment each time he misses an opportunity for recovery. I am hoping that as I continue to grow in my recovery, that will subside. I am feeling OK right now, despite the fact that my son has been in jail for the past month. So I guess it is subsiding. I have not sent him anything since he’s been there, other than a letter asking the judge to send him back to treatment. It’s not easy when the phone rings and I know that he is calling to ask me to ease his discomfort while he’s in jail, but I am trying to change. And I am trying to let him see that he cannot expect anything from me anymore.

Thanks to you all for the positive, insightful comments that help me beware of those insidious expectations.

Ray
Ray
8 years ago

This message has come at a very good time for me. I to had expectations and as my daughters clean time increased, so did my expectations. My daughter had been clean for 2 years and my expectations of her were more than I should have ever expected. She recently relapsed and I believe its because of my expectations of her. In my opinion I have now realized that with an addict that its not fair to them to share your own expectations with them. They need to work their own life and have their own expectations. God be with you my child as you struggle with your addiction, I can only pray that you yourself have set your own expectations as to how or when you decide to seek help. Thank you for a powerful message and thank you for allowing me to share

Sue
Sue
8 years ago

I had so many expectations and dreams for my children. All the things I wanted to do but never had the chance I wanted them to do. As addiction took hold of our family I continued to hope and encourage changes. Each time my daughter seemed to be doing well I set plans and timelines to fix all the financial problems she had incurred so she could get back to the normal life of a young women, school, friends, family and a happy relationship. In hindsight now I realize my denial and ignorance about addiction only prolonged our agony.

Like you Jane I could not listen to people as they talked about their children and all their accomplishments. I always remained quiet, felt so sad, never asked about their kids, or left the room. It is only now that I am able to accept that our children’s paths will always be different and that’s OK, still hard but OK.

My daughters birthday was Wens this past week, 29, and it has been six months since I have heard from her. I still hope everyday but my expectations have changed completely. I try not to have any. I have finally learned to let them go and that has allowed me to rejoin life without shame, guilt or embarrassment.