There are a lot of things up in the air right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For many people, this means putting goals and plans on hold. For people who struggle with addiction, it might feel like time is standing still. Becoming restless and bored is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation. But falling prey to boredom is dangerous for those who live a life of recovery. Patience, it is often said, is a virtue. So how can you learn to practice it in your daily life?
What is Patience?
The Oxford dictionary defines patience as “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.” If this is difficult for you, you’re not alone. Many people have trouble with accepting upsetting events without getting angry or upset.
Of course, there is a difference between being impatient about a line at the DMV and being upset that you have to wait at the emergency room if you’re sick and scared. However, coping with these events both come from practice.
Practicing patience is something you can undoubtedly do in life, especially during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Right now, there are so many situations that require patience, including the ability to stay home during “lockdowns.”
Patience goes hand-in-hand with acceptance. There are many things in life that you cannot personally control. You may believe you can change things, but the truth is the only things you have power over are your own actions and reactions.
Being patient doesn’t mean that you don’t feel frustrated. It merely means that you can make it through tough times without acting out in anger and frustration. Finding a coping mechanism that helps you will make you not only less upset but also help you feel more in control of yourself and emotions.
From Acceptance to Patience
When you first get clean and sober, you have to accept that you’re addicted and powerless over your addiction. Accepting that you can’t control most things in the world can lead to peace.
Learning to accept things are they are right now may mean that you have to go through the feelings first. You may need to cry and punch a pillow, say the serenity prayer every time you’re upset, or take time out to journal every day. Sharing with others about your feelings will also help you learn to accept what’s going on right now. You’re certainly not alone right now – everyone is going through something.
Try to add some self-care to each day. Self-care methods that help people learn to be more patient are meditation, exercise, and even creative things like painting or drawing. (After all, when you’re being creating, there are several stages you’ll probably go through until you feel the work is done.)
Life isn’t all sunshine and roses, and getting through trying times will help you appreciate the good times even more in sobriety. Don’t lose faith when you feel discouraged! Reach out to your sponsor or a friend.
Getting Help for Addiction
Addiction doesn’t care who you are, where you live, or what things you do or do not have going for you in life. If you’re struggling with alcohol or drug use, we’re here for you. We can help you reclaim your life one day at a time. Get in touch to learn more about our programs by calling 619-363-4767.