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The lifestyle in my head in no way resembled the life I was leading. Therein be the conflict. And the alcoholism.

A Month of Promises (pages 83-84), sentence 12: We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

My thoughts were always in terms of expectations: mine, yours and theirs. High or low wasn’t even the point. The fact that they existed: that gave the brain something to gnaw on. And whether I worried I was the grasshopper or the ant, both insects continued chewing. The understanding that a good 90% of these expectations were self-imposed simply didn’t exist. There was no other way to live. Life was about going from one thing to the next and attempting to live up to… I wasn’t sure anymore.

And since I wasn’t sure, and without a definable goal, it was assured I’d always come up short. It’s hard to know whether or not you accomplished something left nebulous and undefined. Drink made everything more nebulous and undefined. Cut to the Just-Getting-Through Years.

Today, I try to get out ahead of things. And by things, I mean my thinking. The program has brought far more self-awareness, and not in the myopic, up-my-own-ass way. I’m starting to recognize the little tremors that come before the insane thoughts, which can lead to insane actions.

Labeling the expectations helps. They’re usually tethered to a long-standing fear. Also, understanding what aren’t expectations: dates, meetings, deadlines. Sure, got it. Follow through on what I say I’m going to do. Show up on time. These things aren’t expectations. These are things normal people accomplish on a daily basis without a big whoop-de-do.

Today, I try to keep my expectations on myself, for myself. I expect to remain right-sized. I expect to breath before all responses. I expect to be mindful, and grateful, and loving, and suddenly realizing all day long.

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