In their last episode before their summer break, Chip and Veronica discuss dealing with disappointment, how it feels when others are disappointed in you and how expectations and grace are the two things that help us navigate things that disappoint us.
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Disappointment is a part of life.
As great as sobriety and recovery are, you also need to be prepared for the fact that there are going to be disappointments.
I struggled with handling disappointment, fear, and loneliness and they were a big part of why I turned to alcohol.
In an ideal world, healthy coping mechanisms would be role-modeled for children, especially through our parents.
Unfortunately, so often this is not the case.
In this episode, Chip and I are talking about why disappointment hits us so hard, how it feels to disappoint others, why it’s important for your sobriety to learn to deal with disappointment, and more.
“All good things must come to an end.” – My mother to me, a disappointed and crying 10-year-old
Disappointment is an unavoidable occurrence but nobody taught most of us how to deal with it.
Some of my happiest childhood memories are around going to stay with my cousins during school breaks. In my eyes, they had the perfect, “normal” home life and I finally had other children to play with.
When you grow up in a difficult situation and recognize for the first time that there are people with happy families and not everyone is brought up like this, it’s quite devastating.
Of course, when it was time to come back to my lonely, only-child home life, I was crushed.
My mother would always respond with “Nevermind, all good things must come to an end.” Needless to say, that did nothing for teaching me how to manage those difficult feelings.
Disappointments became another emotion that I learned to bury inside of me.
Disappointment hits us quickly
Frustration can change excitement to rage in a very short period of time.
If you’ve ever been at an airport when a flight gets canceled, you know exactly what we’re talking about.
You’ll put up with delays, changing gates, and all sorts of things by telling yourself it will all be worth it once you get to your wonderful destination.
But to then be told that you won’t be going anywhere at all? All the excitement for the journey morphs into equally passionate anger.
In the early days of Chip’s recovery, he experienced deep disappointment when he saw other people in rehab leaving and then relapsing. For him, they were his support system and role models and his expectations were high. To see them fail made him feel like maybe that would happen to him too.
For the sake of his sobriety, he had to learn to observe it from the outside, fight through that disappointment and make sure that it didn’t become his reality.
Accepting that it’s going to happen is one of the first things that will help you deal with it.
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