There are many assets that can aid recovery, and patience is one of them. Merriam-Webster defines patient as “bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint, not hasty or impetuous, and steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity.” While patience can benefit all humans, it’s especially beneficial to those in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction.
In our addiction, we are used to fast acting drugs or alcohol changing how we feel. We drank and we immediately felt a change. We did drugs and we immediately felt a change. We work the steps and expect to immediately feel a change. We go to treatment and expect immediate change. While change does happen in recovery, it’s not instantaneous. It’s a process.
In recovery, as in life, we face trials and tribulations. When we can face these calmly, we increase our odds of handling them with grace and dignity. The emotional upset of responding with anger or passion can lead to relapse. It can also lead to actions we will later regret. The remorse of regret can also lead to relapse.
The definition, “steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity” summarizes the gains from 12 step recovery. In the steps we learn to admit our faults and take action to right our wrongs. As imperfect human beings this cycle is ongoing. It takes courage and patience to keep living based on spiritual principles one day at a time.
Recovery is a journey, not a destination. Many in recovery get through detox and are anxious for the old life to end and the new life to magically begin. The book Alcoholics Anonymous states, “We trudge the road to happy destiny.” It doesn’t say we sprint there or we magically transform overnight. We change step by step, day by day. This requires patience.
Patience is a gift that keeps on giving. We learn to pause when agitated or upset, rather than just reacting. We learn to listen intently when others are speaking. We learn to take our time to learn new skills at work, rather than expecting promotions after a week or a month. We learn to follow all of the instructions, instead of cutting corners.
Patience is a gift, especially in recovery. When we cultivate the virtue of patience we change. We become more in alignment with our divine purpose. We become of service. We stop focusing on ourselves and focus on what we can contribute. It’s a new way of living.
Addiction affects the whole family. Design For Change, a residential treatment facility and recovery services program in Lancaster, is a place for hope and healing for all those affected by addiction. If you are ready to start the fight for sobriety, choose a program that will help you come out victoriously. Freedom is yours. Find it today by calling us for more information on our longterm, student, and customizable treatment programs: (877) 267-3646