Anxious Expectations: Afraid of Wanting Too Much

I’ve always been afraid of wanting too much.

I became convinced that if I told myself I don’t want it (whatever “it” is), it wouldn’t hurt when it was denied. I never believed it was “all or nothing”. Rather, I believed that it was “small or nothing”. I became content with scraps of affection, moments of tranquility, seconds of stability, because it was all I had never known. I became so used to having less than the bare minimum in life and love, that even the smallest breaks and gifts felt like gold.

Asking for more feels greedy.

Expecting more than “just enough” still feels greedy. How can I accept something I never feel like I deserve? I craved the the just deserts I worked so hard for, but whenever someone tries to give my fair share, I fear that I will choke on the bite. In my own selfish way, I want to give more than I receive. I want acknowledgement for all I do, but I cringe at compliments and wave away praise; not because I am humble, but because I fear becoming vain. If I become used to attention, I may want more. Then returning to the shadows will become harder.

I don’t want to want.

I know I am lucky enough to have more than what I need, and I am truly happy and content with that. I fear receiving more will make me want more, until even too much is not enough. I’m afraid of my own selfishness and greed. It is human to crave comfort, affection, and pleasure. But hedonistic adaption is a real phenomena that forever leaves us seeking more. I don’t want to become a slave to want.

I’m anxious of my own expectations.

I’m afraid of how my expectations will get to high, and my contentment too low. I am worried that my resentment will grow and my happiness shrink. I agonize that I will become more greedy and less giving, more selfish and less humane. Logically I understand that I have allowed this to go too fear, but I convinced myself that I was better this way. I decided I’d rather have nothing than expect anything at all. I would never allow my friends or family to accept so little, so I know I should be kinder to myself. I am trying to re-frame this anxious, self-deprivation mindset, but it will take time to unlearn a lifetime of fearing want.

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