The Virtue of Patience in Recovery

Table of Contents

Patience can be a valuable asset, especially during recovery, which can be a challenging time. Many people view patience as simply the ability to wait for a result we would like to happen without getting upset. This is partially true, although it only covers a piece of what true patience is. 

Patience is a combination of controlling your emotions and resiliency. These two traits can be vital during the process of recovery, which takes time and will have setbacks. Those who possess patience have the mindset they need to overcome these setbacks and reap the rewards of recovery. 

Why Patience Is Important 

Patience is so vital during recovery because this is a time of growth, challenges, and changes. People tend to enjoy when things are stable and comfortable. Even when changes occurring are positive, we tend to get anxious about all of the possibilities. Some days you may be excited and happy about the changes made, but negative emotions and memories can rise to the surface and change that. If we allow these emotions to get out of control, hopelessness can quickly set in. 

Overcoming substance use disorder (SUD) can be a challenging task. However, it is a tremendously positive accomplishment. Often, when a person wants to change, they want it to happen quickly or they may get frustrated or depressed. 

Try to keep in mind that living with SUD is far more chaotic and painful than being sober. There are some tough journeys in life, but turning back is a worse option than pressing forward. Change is scary at first, but it gets easier with time. Eventually, after going through the adventure that is recovery, sobriety and growth can become your norm.  

The Patient Mindset 

Patience does not mean building a tolerance to frustration and ignoring emotions. Patience is a mindset in which an individual allows themselves to feel and recognize their emotions while not allowing them to define themselves. There is a quote that displays this idea well: “Never reply when you are angry. Never make a promise when you are happy. Never make a decision when you are sad.” 

Our emotions are our body and mind trying to communicate with us; they are not who we are. Some days we may be suffering greatly and feeling depressed, but that can change very quickly. Other days we may feel happy and become overly optimistic to the point of losing a bit of reality. 

Patience means taking these emotional messages in but continuing to focus on our actions and goals. Some of the most heroic people to ever live felt miserable at times and thought that they should give up. Their actions are what ended up defining them, not how they felt at one time. 

After fostering this mindset for some time, resiliency will begin to develop. A resilient person healthily addresses their emotions while continuing the pursuit of what is important to them. Keep in mind this does not mean that there will not be tough days and setbacks. It also does not mean that it is ok to ignore problems and keep grinding forward. 

Resilience also means self-care, venting emotions, and healthy coping mechanisms.

Tools for Building Patience 

Patience is not an emotion; it is a skill that can be trained. Mindfulness, for example, is a practice that goes hand in hand with patience. Mindfulness teaches us how to live in the present moment and to experience our feelings without judgment. By not judging how we feel, we can start to understand our feelings more. Understanding can then lead to self-acceptance. Mindfulness can help maintain a mindset of patience and allow us to stay focused on our goals. 

Hobbies may also be an asset for maintaining your patience. One of the greatest challenges we face in staying patient is the feeling that we are not progressing enough. Even if we are doing a great job in recovery, it can feel like our goals are far away. Having an activity that you can improve at may give you a sense of progress while also providing fun and relaxation. Whether your chosen hobby is creative like music or art, or physical like martial arts or hiking, you may be surprised how much it can benefit your mind.  

Finally, one of the greatest tools in the pursuit of patience is therapy. Having an unbiased professional to listen to your feelings and offer advice can be powerful. When your therapist is listening, you often can come to conclusions you would not have otherwise. This is because having a person who is disconnected from your feelings listen to them helps you see them from a different angle. Your therapist may also offer useful advice and ask thought-provoking questions which can help you grow. 

Through exploring your emotions, patience can be easier to foster. Human beings often fear what we do not understand, and if we do not understand our feelings, we are far less likely to be patient with ourselves. 

During the recovery process, taking time to build patience can be valuable and increase the chances of success. Through setbacks in your recovery journey, patience can help you control your emotions and find more meaningful mental rest. Although it takes time to learn, in time, patience can become an important part of life. If you or a loved one wants to begin their path to recovery, Everlast Recovery Centers is here to help. At our home-like facilities in southern California, we offer treatment for SUD and related mental health issues. Our caring staff is well trained. We realize that in treating addiction, mental health is just as important as physical health. Alongside our treatment programs, we offer therapies including cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, and trauma therapy among others. Each plan is tailored to the individual needs of our clients to ensure they have the best chance of success. Give us a call today at (866) 338-6925 to learn more.      

Table of Contents