Expectations Hurt

The past few months have been overwhelming to say the least. I am overjoyed that I’m making the physical progress that I am. I am ecstatic that the reality of pursuing my dreams is so much clearer in my future. However, my mind doesn’t stop racing, I don’t ever stop thinking about what I could’ve done or could be doing differently. I often think about those who have it worse off, and I forget about battle I’ve been fighting, which isn’t necessarily healthy. Perspective needs to be kept, but credit needs to be given and recognized.

I have goals and standards that keep me accountable for daily progress, but sometimes those goals turn to expectations, which become destructive. Finding a middle ground between pacing myself, resting, and passionately pursuing my goals is a battle.

This battle is finding a balance and letting go of all expectations. Expectations are dangerous, and living with Chronic Lyme Disease allows us have all types of expectations. Expectations cause unneeded disappointment; they cause unnecessary stress and build a wall between reality and goals – which should always work together. Figuring out how to get healthier/stronger/smarter and to remain sane is something lots of us have dealt with, even if you haven’t had a chronic illness. We fall into the trap of wanting to see a result that was reached in a specific order of steps. We need to let go of the expectation of how things are done, and just focus on our goals. Expectations cause us to think with a closed mind. They don’t allow us to see other possibilities. Goals allow us to see the end result, but with many different paths to reach that end result. Expectations are should’s and supposed to’s. They shut down creativity and authentic thoughts. Expectations cause conflict and put a filter on original character. I hate expectations. I hate the idea that one thought defines what I should do or who I should be.

I am overwhelmed with the progress I’m supposed to be feeling, the things I’m supposed to be doing, the goals I’m supposed to be setting, and the plans I’m supposed to be making. When in reality, what I’m doing right now, is enough. My faith is enough. My hope is enough. My strength is enough. It’s all enough for right now. Change is good, and with change comes growth, it’s inevitable. With growth, my faith will get stronger, my hope will grow deeper, and I will be even closer to the woman who God plans for me to be. I know that as I grow physically and mentally, His plan for me is changing, He is molding my mind, sculpting my path and preparing even more opportunities for me to go after. But for now, it’s all enough. God breaks down all expectations, and for that I’m forever grateful.

Expectations have been destructive in my healing process. Having expectations unrealistically outlined my healing journey of what, when, where and how. This healing journey has been a rollercoaster of emotions and symptoms, and having expectations has increased my anxiety. I know that my expectations need to be broken down, I need to let go of the unrealistic ideas, I need to accept my progress in my health journey and keep moving forward. Lyme doesn’t control my future anymore. My goals are important and they’ll be achieved, but I won’t over-analyze how I get there, I won’t ‘helicopter’ over the what’s, when’s, where’s, and how’s. I am in the right place, for the right now. I am always enough, and my journey is beautiful and dirty, and that’s a glorious realization.

I’m constantly thinking of what’s next. My future plans are sneaking up on me rather quickly, my dreams are becoming a reality fairly fast, and my overall well-being – mental and physical – fluctuates more and more. My life, as a 19-year-old is not ‘normal’. The expectations of a 19-year-old are not at all what I’m living, let-alone thinking about. Expectations suck. The ‘norm’ sucks. Goals are beautiful. But assumptions suck.

I am not the same person I was a year ago, mentally, physically or spiritually. I have transformed in various ways, in some ways more than others. I have began to discover passions I hadn’t seen before, I have left “phases” behind, I’m learning that expectations need to be destroyed, and goals need to be emphasized.


Brief Lyme update:

My pain is still high. I am nauseous and deal with stomach-aches everyday. The headaches don’t seem to be gone, and I still have lots of knee issues. My energy and strength has been at an all time high in the last couple of months. In February, I fell into a trap of an unneeded medication called Naturthroid, and I felt awful for a month. I started seeing the light again, I stopped taking the medicine, my life came rushing back into arm’s reach. I became more aware of what I was putting in my body, and how I was treating myself. I rarely wear face makeup anymore (meaning my skin has never been clearer), and I’ve noticed a new-found glow in my skin. I do yoga everyday, and try to raise my heart rate in one other way for at least 5 minutes. I am making noticeable progress with yoga teacher training, and am discovering my love for learning again. I got a Dexcom (continuous glucose monitor) that will hopefully make my daily duty of managing my type 1 diabetes a lot easier. And, I recently received some blood test results, and my thyroid numbers seem to be stabilizing – thanks to who knows what (it could be the low-carb diet, it could be the supplements, it could be the exercise, it could be the Lyme dying which allows for my body to stop attacking itself)!

Elise Hendrickson

“She is tossed by the waves, but does not sink.”


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