Practicing Patience

Those of us living with addictions and mental health issues have often been struggling with these things for many years, if not most of our lives. We can feel depressed about our situations and frustrated with our lack of progress. This can cause us to be impatient with ourselves as we’re trying to recover. Impatience actually hinders us, though, and can prevent us from moving forward. Recovery means healing our relationship with ourselves, and practicing patience can be one of most important changes we can make in how we treat ourselves.

Remind yourself that with everything in life, recovery included, it’s about progress not perfection. When we hold ourselves to unattainable standards of perfection, we only stand to disappoint ourselves. When we don’t measure up, sometimes we’re inclined to just give up. Instead of striving for perfection, let’s look at all the ways we’ve made progress. Perhaps you’re no longer perpetuating some of the same unhealthy patterns you once were. Maybe you went to therapy today, or researched treatment centers, or called a friend for support. Practicing patience is about taking inventory of all the positive changes you’ve made, both big and small, and congratulating yourself for them. We can’t hope to make all the changes we want to make in one fell swoop. Recovery doesn’t happen overnight. It is a series of changes, choices and decisions that accumulate over time and that contribute to our getting better. Don’t expect yourself to be fully recovered overnight. Be patient and celebrate your progress.

As we work towards healing, we will inevitably make mistakes and experience setbacks. How we respond to them determines whether we allow ourselves to learn from them and do better moving forward, or if we beat ourselves up and keep ourselves stuck with self-disparaging criticism and judgment. How do you view your mistakes? Be patient with yourself. Remind yourself that every mistake is a part of your evolutionary process, every setback is an opportunity for expansion, a chance to look at things differently and try again.

Having patience with ourselves is an important part of self-love and self-acceptance. Are we aiming to be perfect or to be at peace? Affirm to yourself, “I am getting stronger. I am learning. I am growing.” Whenever things come up that make you feel frustrated or impatient, actively practice choosing patience and understanding instead. “I choose to treat myself with kindness and patience. I choose to see myself as a work in progress. I choose to be patient with my process.”

We are here to support you on this very important journey. Call (800) 871-5440 for information on how we can help.