Patience isn’t a virtue that you would bestow on an addict. Every moment of every day is dedicated to scoring, using or thinking about scoring and using, as swiftly as possible. Anything that stands in the way of that will be met with a short, sharp outburst that reverberates impatience. As soon as the addict gets the hit, they are almost instantly taken away from the place that they despise the most, the real world. They will move heaven and earth, as quickly as possible, to achieve their brief escape. That is until the next time…
In recovery, everything gets turned on its head. I was told ‘everything about my addict being needs to be changed, everything. But it won’t all happen in one day, so easy does it’. The old way of thinking often resurfaces, particularly when I am going through a difficult phase, and I will become instantly impatient, which can swiftly turn to a resentment (another luxury I can ill afford in recovery). I remember after 6 months of clean time, and after lots of recovery work, the old addict in me raised his head – ‘I have done all this work, poured my heart and soul into the 12 steps, and regularly attended meetings, so surely I should feel better than I do, why aren’t things changing for me!’ It was a train of thought that stayed with me for far too long. I started questioning everything – AA, NA, sponsors, the recovery community, the program. I wanted to escape my mind once again, and got incredibly close to picking up.
Thankfully, I found the strength to speak up before it was too late, and thank the universe that I did.
Patience truly is a virtue in recovery. The destination, and the expectation of what lies there for me, is unimportant today. Just for today all I can do is keep taking those steps, enjoy the scenery, and take the good days with bad days and know that this is life. I work hard on my patience, although I can still let the guard down and get frustrated at times. But thanks to my new-found sense of self awareness that recovery/ sobriety has given me, I am able to accept these frustration, deal with then rationally and logically, and simply just let them go.
Try it today, just focus on what you are feeling impatient about, accept it, look at where it is coming from, maybe be even share it, and then let it go.