I have always struggled with patience. All my life I have been used to the instant gratification provided by either my relationships that were codependent or the instant high that my needle and drugs could give me. I have given up many life choices because of my lack of patience. In some instances, in my past, if I were to show patience I would be in a much different setting in my life today with a lot going for me. Instead, I gave all those choices up for the quick solution provided by my own will. Patience shows God’s will. Sometimes it’s hard for me to accept it, but He knows what’s best and if I trust Him, He will guide me exactly where I need to be. Although I still do struggle with patience, I have gotten much better in these two years of sobriety and clean time. I have learned to try not to rush things and take it easy. Every time I receive so much more through my higher power versus my own will. If you are praying for patience, be careful, you might just get what you wish for.
Patience is a virtue and at times it can be virtually impossible to with-hold. Through the years of active addiction and instant gratification, I found that patience was a moral that didn’t exist when I was dope sick. Although overtime I began to build a tolerance to being patient while waiting for my fix to arrive because kicking and crying didn’t solve anything in the moment. At that time being patient was the only thing I could really rely on (since I didn’t have many reliable drug dealers to keep me somewhat sane). The virtue of being patient now in recovery tends to keep me content. I can be OK with myself for weeks or months, sometimes I forget the time that passes, but there are also times where I lose myself. I feel jealousy is the main offender. Jealousy of others in recovery and outside of the program can swindle the way I feel about myself and cause great feelings of complacency. I lose gratitude and gain anger when I think or believe I should be further along in my recovery. When complacency arises, I believe it’s one of the toughest and most difficult times to pull out of. Harboring these beliefs about myself doesn’t fix anything. In fact, it’s the same as kicking and crying like in my active addiction. I know that these times of impatience tend to blow over but allowing myself the “time” eventually restores my patience. Within this “time” comes the help of my support group. They tend to reflect back to me like how a mirror would and I can see and feel the discomfort that I’ve caused. So yes, patience to me is a lesson to learn for the sake of moving forward in my sobriety.
Time flies. Time waits for no man. Time heals all wounds. All any of us wants is more time. Time to stand up. Time to grow up. Time to let go. Time. Time is a strange thing. When you're waiting for something to happen, it can feel like time is dragging on. But when you want it to slow down, it goes by in the blink of an eye. Patience has never been my strong suit. In active addiction I was always waiting for something – waiting for the drug dealer, waiting for the next shot, waiting for my next paycheck, waiting to feel better. And in early recovery, I’ve noticed my patience hasn’t improved as much as I’d have hoped. It doesn’t help that the things I’m waiting for and working towards now are much more substantial than a sack of dope. Waiting for the grief after the loss of my boyfriend to subside, waiting to see if the company I started will be successful, waiting to figure out what my living situation will be. Can I make it on my own, or will I have to move in with my parents as a new mom myself?
I think for anyone, addict or not, at times it feels like the waiting can kill you. You make a decision and then the world has to turn. The consequences unfold, out of your hands. There’s only one thing that seems clear in those quiet moments while you wait: whatever you chose, was wrong. We just want to survive the storm. We pray, please God, just get me to the other side. We never imagine what it will be like when we get there. What if, when the storm passes, nothing’s left? I always said I could handle anything. I was wrong. I was wrong about a lot of things. Sometimes the whole world seems upside down. And then somehow, improbably, and when you least expect it, the whole world rights itself again. All I can do now is continue doing the right thing, and patiently wait and pray that my world turns back to something resembling right side up again.
I spend a lot of time worrying about the future, planning for the future, trying to predict the future – as if figuring it out will cushion the blow. But the future is always changing. The future is the home to my deepest fears and wildest hopes. But one thing is certain, when it finally reveals itself, the future is never the way I imagined it.
Patience was not a word in my vocabulary before I got sober. When I was in my active addiction, I was just like any other addict, entitled, selfish, self-seeking, and had no patience at all. I wanted that instant gratification and I would go to any lengths to get whatever fix I was chasing and wanted it immediately. When I first got sober I was still the same way, I wanted to be sober but I also wanted it right away without putting any of the work in. I wanted all the material things and I wanted that happiness that I saw most other people in recovery had, or seemed to have. I wanted my life back right away and wanted that instant gratification without being patient and putting the work in. It took years for me to burn all the bridges and loose most of my relationships, loose people's trust, and become a bad person. Initially, I didn’t think it should take time to rebuild those relationships; thinking that just because I went to treatment and got sober that people should accept me back in their lives. Patience has been a great thing for me to learn in recovery because it has shown me how to work for something, how to have patience with people, and how to be a better friend, which has overall made me more calm and able to think things through decisions without being impulsive. Although I am not patient all of the time and still have much to work on within myself, I have defiantly grown a lot since first entering recovery and have defiantly become more patient with myself, my peers, my family and friends and overall everyone and every situation in my life and for that I am grateful for.