Key to Happiness – Lower Your Expectations

I have been in a funk. It has been for a while now and seems to be getting worse instead of getting better. And I just can’t figure out why exactly. I mean, I have some basic and daily struggles, but overall life is actually pretty good. I have no real reason to feel as low and sad and … empty … as I have been feeling.  Honestly, looking back over the last year and a half … these last few weeks I have been just about as low as I have been during any of that time. The problem with manic depression is that you can fall into these pits and not really be able to identify what pushed you there. So dealing with that while also having a touch of OCD and perfectionism … that’s a bad cocktail of feels.  I feel 100% empty and alone and I don’t know why, which makes me kind of angry, so that layers on top of it. It’s a big ball of ugly that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

I have always said the biggest hurdle to dealing with and living with and managing mental illness is acceptance and understanding. Both for myself and anyone I let into my life. I accept and understand what I deal with and what I need to do to get by on bad days. And I now only let people in my life that also are able to understand and accept this. So, I fully realized that I was spiraling and needed to do something about it before I hit the bleak, dark bottom. It became time to step back and evaluate what the hell my brain was trying to do to myself. Luckily … part of my spiral always includes the fun addition of crippling insomnia into my daily schedule. So bonus – plenty of time to think. It became a matter of constantly re-focusing my brain to something productive and not self-defeating. As I was reading through some affirmations and articles and trying to drill down to what had triggered this mess I realized that it is all me. It is all my own brain self-sabatoging. that pesky brain. At it again.

See … I made a very major change in my life not coming up on almost a year ago. I decided I had enough of being as unhappy as I was in a situation that, realistically, was not going to change. I spent a good couple of years working through all of it before deciding on the change that I made. And I was instantly happier and lighter and … better. I was me again. 100% me. Able to live my life as me and not as someone wanted me to appear to be to everyone else. No more guilt. No more censoring. Just me. And in doing that … my brain got greedy. It decided to start setting some expectations for my life that, honestly, are just not really possible. I mean, they may be at some point, but not right this second. Which is what my brain wanted. It wanted everying it wanted and it wanted it NOW. My brain is Veruca Salt.


My problem is I have some unrealistic expectations and a brain that doesn’t want to wait on anything. And let me tell you … it is true … all of those quotes. Expectations can really fuck things up.

Now. Now I get to try to self-talk my brain off the Great Expectations ledge. Convince it that my life is just fine like it is.

Hey Veruca: All those things you think you need for happiness … you really don’t. You don’t need a prince on a white horse to make you happy or take care of you. Take care of yourself for crying out loud. Prince Charming doesn’t exist Veruca. Everyone has issues and they don’t need your stupid issues on top of theirs. The key is working around both sets of issues without throwing temper tantrums because you didn’t get enough attention. Shut up Veruca. You are just fine. Take your neediness and lack of patience and go sit in a corner until you can use your indoor voice. You have a life that is just fine. A little hardship and growing isn’t going to hurt you at all. Suck it up lady. I know you got a taste of the potential your life holds and you’ll get there. Just be patient. I know you want the Golden Goose. You want the happiness and harmony, and you’ll get it. Eventually. And maybe you’ll learn a few things about yourself on the way. Knock off the temper tantrums. Quit kicking your own ass in the dirt. Get over yourself … and get back to yourself. You have you and you are pretty awesome. You don’t need a bunch of things or people or stuff to make you happy. Focus your expectations on yourself and what you can control. Stop setting us up for disappointment for crying out loud. It really sucks when life doesn’t deliver the rediculous things you demand. And I’m getting tired of feeling like this.  So for the love of all that is holy Veruca, lower that bar a bit and enjoy the life you have.

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