Patience is a virtue, albeit one hard to attain for many people. Particularly for those who have a history of addiction. Everyone in recovery knows what it means to, ‘want what I want, when I want it.’ Knows firsthand about seeking instant gratification, and becoming upset when pleasure needs be waited on. While it is not a mindset wholly unique to addicts and alcoholics, it is certainly a pervasive trait among such people.
When you embark upon a journey of recovery, the eternal act of recreating oneself for the better, you find out pretty quickly that you’re not the center of the universe. That time does not belong to you, more importantly: you are not god. You are not the most important person in the room. You learn right off the bat, life happens on life’s terms and your once inability to accept that reality contributed to your downward spiral.
Thus, a change was needed, if you were going to make it in recovery. You would have to re-learn what patience is, remind yourself of its value. Because, if you cannot wait for the miracles of recovery to present themselves, you’d likely return to the banes of addiction. Whether you like it or not. If you are new to the program, there will be many realizations in the coming weeks, months and years. After all, recovery is a lifelong endeavor, we don’t wake up one day and think to ourselves, ‘voilá, I’m recovered.’ Whatever vehicle of recovery you choose to take the ride in, it’s a journey that should not stop. If it has ended, one of two things has occurred: relapse or expiration.
Practicing Patience in Recovery
To be sure, patience is not inherent or innate, we are not born with the virtue; one need only observe the movements of a child to see that for truth. No, we learn it along the way, and like anything you want to get better at—practice makes perfect. With that in mind, a good approach to improving your ability to exercise patience is to ever remind yourself (as cliché as it sounds) that everything happens in its own time and that everything happens for a reason.
In early recovery, it can be easy to convince yourself that because you are sober now, windfalls are on the near horizon. While it is great that you have chosen to embark on a new path, much work is needed before the blessings of recovery (usually) occur. For many, the wreckage of one’s past is extensive. A great number of people walk into a meeting for the first time with few resources. Homeless, unemployed and financially destitute. Others have significant debt, that will need to be paid along the way. The list goes on, but you get the point, surely. It is impossible to determine when one’s lot will change. But, one thing is certain, things will never change if recovery is abandoned. And, it is worth noting that your worst day in recovery is far better than your best day in active addiction. Why? Because you have options in recovery, whereas…
If you are willing to do the Work, good things will come your way eventually. Recovery is a process, it takes time for improvements to be seen. Which is OK. This is not a race where speed is the most important attribute one can have. There’s much to be unpacked mentally, emotionally and spiritually, if long-term recovery is to be obtained. Both your higher power and sponsor will be there for you along the way, if you let them. Ever remind yourself that you are no longer running away from yourself, you’re running towards. With a clear head and clear conscious the miracles of recovery will inevitably present themselves to you, often when you least expect. As long as you can remember that there is nothing to be lost by staying the course. Those who drift away from the program stand to lose — everything.
“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” — Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Let Addiction Treatment Guide You
In addiction treatment, much time is spent learning how to ground oneself in the present. Exercises in how to cope with situations that could send one down an unhealthy path. Learning how to trust. Not just another, trust in yourself. If you are ready to begin the process of addiction recovery, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea today. We can equip you with the skills and tools for successfully achieving long-term recovery.