Are you newly sober? Still in treatment and dying to get out? Well have no fear, we have all been there, and we know it gets old sometimes. However, building and practicing a certain level of patience in early sobriety is key to developing a solid and lasting recovery. It can also be one of the hardest things for a newly recovering addict or alcoholic to learn how to do.
Why is Patience in Early Sobriety Important?
They say patience is a virtue, but why? If we truly stop and think about why patience in early sobriety is crucial, it makes sense that a vast majority of addicts and alcoholics struggle with the concept. Patience is defined as, "the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset." So, regardless of when things are out of our control, practicing patience shows that we have faith, faith in the other people involved, faith in our higher power to provide us with what we need, and faith that in the end, things will be alright. For a recovering addict or alcoholic, patience in early sobriety can be torture. We love to control, or at the very least, we love to THINK we control, the things in our lives which affect us so heavily. Our job, our families, our relationships, even our own emotions. When we finally stop trying to force our control over every situation, we come to terms with the fact that sometimes, in some (most situations) it is better to just be patient, and see what comes.
How Can We Practice Patience?
There are a lot of different facets as to the reasons why we chose to exhibit a lack of patience in early sobriety over certain situations. Commonly derived by our own inability to relinquish control on people, places, and things, we find that patience is often the exact opposite of our immediate reaction. To start being able to cultivate patience, we must first learn to strengthen other areas of our recovery.
They say that understanding is to forgive, and in a similar respect, to understand is to be patient. For example, when a teacher is aware of a learning disability in a student, that teacher will be aware that extra care and attention is needed to teach the child. Similarly, when we, as addicts, are aware of the difficulties that other people may be facing, it is easier for us to be patient and loving with their behaviors.
This ties into understanding and kindness, when we stop and really think about the other side of the coin, what another person might be dealing with, it is easier for us to see how they might not be meeting all of the needs that we have subconsciously been placing on them. A thought of consideration will immediately reduce our desire to be pushy and impulsive. In early recovery, we can become overwhelmed, and we can become impatient towards our stay in treatment, or getting into that relationship that we thought we needed, but if we consider how our actions will affect others, we can often get to the root of our motives and why we are willing to rush into a situation.
This is all a double-edged sword. When we are acting out of impatience, we must always be willing to question our own motives as to why we are being impatient. For example, if we are eternally running late, yet we drive 30 mph on the highway and curse the elderly couple who is doing the speed limit in front of us, nearly driving them off the road when we cut them off, is it not really us who is to blame? We are the ones who can never get out of the door on time, while that couple is probably having a leisurely day, going grocery shopping. In early sobriety, we must always be willing to look at our own role in everything we do, and with time, this becomes our initial reaction.
Let Go of Fear
Easier said than done, I'm well aware. However, all of our character defects are really just derived out of a hundred different forms of fear. Fear that we will lose something, or fear that we won't be good enough, it runs deep within us. When we push and pull and try to control this and that and everything around us, it is because we fear the outcome of not getting our way. When we can learn to practice patience in early sobriety, it is a practice in letting go of fear, of accepting the outcome for what it is.
In early sobriety, this is something that many of us know nothing about. It all starts with trust, we trust that these crazy people in the rooms have overcome their addiction, and we trust them when they tell us how they did it. We trust our sponsors when they take us through the steps that it will work, even if we don't believe it. Eventually, our trust turns into faith. We are proven, through our own step work and the love in the rooms, that there is a solution to our problems. Of course, things probably won't turn out the way we thought they would, and people won't act the way we want them to, but we now have faith that we are going to be okay. The same thing works with patience. When we have faith in the people around us, and in our eventual relationship with our higher power, all of the previous practices tie together, and we are able to just.... relax and let life flow.
Patience in early sobriety is not going to happen overnight, and sometimes, we are not even going to realize we are being impatient until the moment is over. That is why, through practice and willingness to work this program, we will slowly but surely sense a change in ourselves, we will start to notice that we are getting better at accepting the obstacles life throws at us, we will start to let that car go around us, or we will find compassion for the elderly woman in the grocery line, struggling to pull the pennies from her pocketbook. We will begin to see life as not something for us to control, but something for us to enjoy. And if this doesn't all come overnight for you, you are not alone.
Finding the Right Treatment Center For You
If you believe you have a problem with drugs or alcohol and want to seek help, then call the professionals at Evolutions Treatment Center today at 1-800-795-8527. We can help you find the right treatment you need in order to finally overcome your addiction and get you on the path to recovery. Our trained staff knows exactly what you are going through and can give you the tools you need in order to finally overcome your addiction. So don’t delay, call us today.