One of the first lessons you will probably learn about yourself in addiction treatment is that there’s no shortcut to success. Though you have made a vital move to heal yourself from substance abuse, going through medical detox and subsequent rehab are only the initial steps in a lifelong journey to recovery.
In today’s always-on, instant-gratification economy, we have all become accustomed to getting what we want whenever the whim strikes. Whether you’re craving a burrito or pad thai, you can order food through your phone and someone will bring it to your doorstep. You can even buy a vehicle online and have it in your driveway a day or two later. However, in addiction recovery, you will need to let go of this mentality and embrace an attitude of patience instead.
The Virtue of Patience in Rehab
When you were in active addiction, drugs and alcohol muddled your thought processes. You got so caught up in the cycle of obtaining and using your next dose that you lost sight of what it’s like to have to wait for something you want. Now that addiction is no longer driving you, you can rediscover the value of patience.
Having patience can better equip you to cope with the emotional ups and downs that can accompany the recovery process. When you develop an inner reserve of patience to draw on when times get tough, it will become easier to forgive yourself for the mistakes you make. Patient people are often more resilient against stress and anxiety, as well.
How to Create a Practice of Patience
If you don’t consider yourself a naturally patient person, you will have to hone your skills. Fortunately, there are ways to learn patience.
- Take up hobbies that require perseverance: Developing new, healthy habits can work to your advantage in addiction recovery. You will need to find a way to fill the hours previously consumed by substance use. Try a new pastime such as learning an instrument, sewing, gardening or jigsaw puzzles, all of which take a long time to pay off.
- Meditate: Meditation is simple to understand, but can take a lifetime to master. A daily habit of meditating, coupled with breathing exercises, can help you learn to live in the moment, instead of dwelling in the past or fretting about what the future holds. Being able to meditate can also help you regain your equilibrium when you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious.
- Be thankful for what you have: On days when you are having trouble keeping on an even keel, count your blessings instead of beating yourself up. Consider writing in a gratitude journal. If you feel like you’re getting stuck in a rut, you can look back at previous entries to reflect on how much you have to be happy about.
Sober Life Is Worth Living
If you are struggling with addiction, you’re not alone. At Vista Taos, we can help you overcome your challenges and learn to manage your chronic illness for life. Contact us to get started.