How to Make Patience a True Virtue in Recovery

Ever feel like you cannot get somewhere fast enough? That the person you are talking to is not giving you time to talk? Is it possible that your kid will ever get their shoes on so you can get out the door? Do you think that you will ever hit your 30-day, 60-day, 90-day, or 1-year milestone? All of these scenarios rely on patience which you may not possess any longer.

Most people in recovery have to reconfigure their patience level once they get sober. Drugs and alcohol most likely removed the golden rule out of you, along with recovery principles, when you were actively participating in your addiction. One of the reasons that this happens is because you could never get enough drugs and alcohol to fill you up and often you could not get them fast enough to feed your addiction.

Now that you are sober, relearning why patience is a virtue is important for the sanity and serenity you need in your recovery. In fact, patience is the recovery principle that is tied to Step 10, “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it,” and should be a daily practice. Patience is a virtue and here are some reasons why.

You will decrease your stress level

Instead of always being uptight about what is going on and having to be in control of every situation, you can sit back and take it easy. Waiting for your turn without frustration, waiting to see what happens next, and choosing to go with the flow will decrease your stress level in a huge way.

You will be kinder to the people around you

To have healthy and tolerant relationships, you must be able to be cooperative, reasonable, nonjudgmental, and compassionate. If you do not attempt to resemble these types of characteristics, your expectations will be high of others and you will be unforgiving when people make mistakes. Understanding that you are simply more altruistic when you exude patience, you will demonstrate that kindness to others.

You can live without instant gratification.

Knowing that everything that is substantial in life takes time to evolve will help you to actually achieve your goals much easier. When you take the “no pain, no gain” mentality and put it into action, you comprehend that time takes time. Starting a new career, for instance, takes some effort to propel you to the next level. First, you must learn the fundamentals become better at your job.

You can drive without road rage.

One of the ways you can really see if you are patient is how your attitude reigns while you are driving in your car. Everyone on the road is just trying to get to their destination. Not everyone will drive like you. In fact, you could find fault with probably every driver out there if you let yourself. There will be times which you may feel unsafe and need to exhibit some defensive driving. This is where you will literally, and figuratively, have to stay in your lane and focus on yourself to keep your patience intact.

You can wait for the right timing.

If you are consistently rushing around trying to get things done, you could be pushing yourself too hard to do something that needs some time to manifest. Trying to push a square peg into a round hole means that you would be forcing something unnecessarily due to your impatience. Start getting the indications from your Higher Power and deciphering the signs will not only slow you down but will be instrumental in you appreciating the process of getting the right timing into place.

You can try to use mindfulness.

Taking some time to regroup by using mindfulness will assist in creating the serenity you need to be patient. Breathing, existing, and clearing your mind with the things that are causing you to be restless is key. Sit still and stay in the present moment with mindfulness because you cannot be anxious and patient at the same time. 

You can make better decisions.

Instead of being overwhelmed with coming up with the answer right away, you can take your time to research and find logical solutions that will give you the opportunity to be thoughtful in making the right choice. Weigh out the pros and cons. Talk to your sponsor or therapist to get some much-needed insight about your situation. 

Putting your patience into practice will not always be easy, but as long as you are trying, you are going in the right direction. Patience means that you are accepting that things can happen in a different order that you are not in charge of. 

Offering a full range of recovery and mental health services, Valiant Living offers “Expanded Recovery” to enrich our clients’ lives in mind, body, and spirit. Through evidence-based therapy options and the endless adventure of Colorado, Valiant fosters connection, encouraging clients to get connected to themselves, their peers, their families, and their higher power. With the power of recovery, clients are restored to full health and experience life-changing healing. Call us today for more information: 303-536-5463