Setting unrealistic expectations for your loved one in recovery from an addiction to alcohol and/or drugs by constantly pushing them to reach impossibly high standards that no human could possibly meet isn’t practical. Surrendering complete control might not arise as such a simple matter but the process of the action may gradually allow you an exit from the insanity as you migrate from being so strict on standards for yourself and your loved one. You’re not in control and the sooner you can stop trying to mandate how you think your life and your loved one’s life should look, the sooner you can reconfigure your perception so that you’re content with the way life is no matter what circumstance you and your loved one are in. When you continue to set high expectations for you and your loved one that you know you both cannot meet, you easily set yourself up for failure because you may find reality doesn’t match these unrealistic expectations, which can leave you in great disappointment.
Preventing yourself from creating unrealistic expectations for you and your loved one begins with noticing them. How do you know when you have set the bar too high for your loved one in recovery? Putting too much pressure on your loved one’s recovery process and setting unrealistic expectations even for you as a support system can overlap with a perfectionist attitude and relay signs of codependency. It can seem like all matters have to be nothing but the absolute best because anything less than this is unacceptable in your eyes. When you become centrally focused and obsessive in a mindset like this, you can easily get consumed in disillusionment. Not everything you do is going to be perfect as an encouraging supporter for your loved one, so staying stuck frustrated over what you can and cannot do to help them may not necessarily be beneficial if you continue to wrap your mind around it nonstop. It’s much better to shift focus on acknowledgment by seeing successes rather than areas of failures. Try seeing where you know you are able to help without enabling or being codependent. Don’t be so hard on yourself by acts of diminishment over where you feel you may have failed. Focusing on the positives instead of the negatives can prove to provide a far greater mindset as a result versus setting yourself up for these unrealistic expectations in the perfectionistic mindset. By putting pressure on yourself and your loved one to achieve these goals that are so high they wind up meeting criteria near unachievable, you crush the ability of accomplishing real dreams and can prevent future successes while instilling hopelessness within. Sometimes you can tell you have set yourself up for failure when you have an idea initiated in your mind of how an event will go. If you’ve been living in your head more than down on in Earth in reality, it’s a warning sign you may be in over your head.
Recovery from Addiction
Your loved one may have their own unrealistic expectations in recovery, which can be extremely overbearing for them to initially be combatting. Naturally they may want relief from their obsession to drink and/or use drugs to be removed instantaneously like the snap of a finger and although this can happen right away for some in early stages of their recovery process, it may take longer for others. It’s unrealistic to set a time and a date of when the obsession to abuse substances should be removed. Remembering your loved one didn’t become addicted in one day and that recovery is a process helps because it may take some time to get to a place where they are more comfortable in their recovery. This is why it’s necessary for your loved one to identify with others instead of compare. If you’re loved one is busy comparing, segregation may occur. This puts placement of people as greater than or less than according to their perception, which is unjust. In recovery, it can be seen that people don’t have to be compared and that each individual has the common bond of the disease of addiction to relate to.