When we’re struggling with addiction, our approach with ourselves and our recovery is often one of harshness and strictness. We’re aiming for total abstinence and complete sobriety, and while these might be what we need in order to recover, how we go about accomplishing them can be problematic. We are extremely hard on ourselves. When we falter, we beat ourselves up. We grow increasingly frustrated and impatient with ourselves. Impatience in particular is a very destabilizing emotion. It adds to our anxiety, our restlessness and uneasiness. When we’re impatient with ourselves, we also tend to be self-deprecating and belittling of ourselves. We don’t acknowledge all the progress we’ve already made. We don’t see how far we’ve come, how many changes we’ve already implemented, how much work we’ve already done. We feel ashamed of ourselves and disappointed in ourselves for the ways in which we’ve held ourselves back and impeded our own progress, for the mistakes we’ve made and the times we’ve relapsed. What if we were to be more patient with ourselves? Would that help us achieve sobriety.
When we’re patient with ourselves, we’re softer, gentler and calmer with ourselves. We’re not adding extra tension and angst to an already difficult situation. The quest for sobriety is a huge undertaking. It’s a massive endeavor that requires all of our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual strength. If we’re chipping away at our strength by being impatient with ourselves, we’re holding ourselves back and limiting our ability to develop and improve ourselves. We’re knocking ourselves down rather than uplifting ourselves. We’re stripping ourselves of the courage and resilience we need to make important changes in our lives.
Patience is like the balm we can apply to the wounds we’re trying to heal. It can soften the approach we take with ourselves. It can make us more compassionate, more understanding and more forgiving with ourselves. Approaching our sobriety with this kind of energy, rather than an energy of frustration, impatience and anger, can help us make greater strides because we’re actively working with ourselves, not against ourselves. If we can stop being so impatient with ourselves and stop making ourselves feel worse about ourselves than we already do, we have a chance of growing our self-esteem and self-confidence, both so helpful in strengthening and empowering ourselves for recovery.
Riverside Recovery understands all of the emotional challenges of addiction recovery and is here to support you. Call us today for more information: (800) 871-5440.