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Why Is Patience so Important in Recovery?

During my recovery, I realised how little patience I have with myself. I have to honestly admit that hearing that I need to ‘take it day by day, step by step’ from all angles was an annoyance after a while. And yet, patience continues to play a critical role in my recovery. Why is this so? Why is patience so important for our recovery?

?: unsplash @omeganova

What is patience, and why are we so impatient with ourselves?

Some say that ‘patience is a virtue,’ a key skill for success. Patience isn’t about how long it takes us to reach the finish line but about our ability to keep a good attitude until we reach the end. But why is patience so important, and why do we often have so little patience with ourselves? How does it come that we can patiently tolerate others and kindly offer our help to them, but we can’t bear with ourselves? Why do we get frustrated so quickly with ourselves and fall into fits of anger?

Is it because we expect so much more from ourselves? Or is it because actually we have realistic expectations from others but try to push ourselves always further and further? Do we see ourselves as superhumans with a superpower that is supposed to shine all the time? And if it doesn’t, do we turn into monsters unable to deal with it? Even to the extent that we don’t care about what our surroundings think when we lose patience with ourselves and flip out? But this certainly isn’t a superpower, it is rather a weakness, and I was a great example of it. I’d throw a tennis racket or a golf club away if I wasn’t able to hit the ball and fall easily into fits of anger with myself. I had to learn to deal with frustration when I couldn’t do something properly. I knew it wasn’t something I mastered easily.

Sure, after a short fit of anger and frustration with myself, I’d usually pick myself up and deal with the situation (as expected from an adult). I’d hope that by suppressing my frustration, it will go away. I learnt to manage my behaviour. Although it was hard to deal with it, I was thinking that I had it all under control…up to a certain point. It’s hard to suppress it when you hit rock bottom.

?: unsplash @tezthomz

No time to slow down?

Laying in the hospital bed and being unable to reach for things I wanted, did drive me crazy. Those little everyday things we can’t do anymore and losing our independence as we need to rely on help from others definitely test our patience. This can be hard for us to accept. It can make us frustrated, angry… Until this point, it was us who would be helping others, and now we have to rely on others?

People would say to me, “take it day by day”, or “be kind to yourself”. We hear those words and even think, “surely, that’s what I do”, but do we really? Or is it often an annoyance to us? In this busy world, we surely can’t afford to be patient, to slow down. There is no time for patience. And still, being patient is so critical. So why is patience important?

It is healthy to challenge ourselves, but we need to set realistic, manageable goals. Otherwise, we may well be disappointed if things don’t go the way we want them to. We need to learn to take time to see and reflect. We need to appreciate your daily progress and be positive. Build on it rather than seeing all the things we aren’t able to do yet through our negative eyes.

a woman climbing the mountains and on top is a sign it's a race not a marathon and the title is Why is patience important in recovery? on Journeyofsmiley blog
?: unsplash @laurinebailly

Importance of patience in recovery

Don’t push too much, but collaborate with your body…body and mind. Give your body the time it needs. It knows best how much or how little time it needs to heal, so don’t rush it. Our body knows what it’s capable of, and we must be realistic about it. No one is a superhuman. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t succeed straight away – perhaps it just wasn’t the right time. Optimise it, don’t perceive it as a defeat but turn it into victory. You can do it, but you need to listen to your body. Keep working on yourself because God is working on you, in you.

Being patient is so important. Because by being patient and slowing down, we can actually gain strength and confidence back. Funnily enough, the achievements will come faster too. Focus on your goals, put trust in God, and with this positive mindset, you can face even the impossible things in your life. Patience is one of the greatest supports we have in the healing process. So give yourself a hug, be kind to yourself and take things day by day. Be patient and grateful for everything you have already achieved, everything else will come at the right time…

Thank you and till the next blog post,

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22 thoughts on “Why Is Patience so Important in Recovery?”

  1. This has certainly been a challenge for me, especially when it feel likes all my peers are moving on to great things and I feel stuck. I have decided to just take things one day at a time and let things happen how they should and more importantly trust God. This was a great read. Thanks for sharing!

  2. And you are not alone…it takes a time to gain patience but by slowing down, taking one step a time, believing in ourselves and trusting God, we will get there slowly but surely:) Best wishes and thank you for your comment.

  3. Ahhh, yeah! It’s hard for me to be compassionate to myself sometimes! I struggle especially with this when I feel like I have “a lot on my plate.” My go-to is a deep breath! It’s really helped to start considering how to treat myself differently!

  4. Thank you and I'm glad it was helpful. With all the pressure, deadlines…it's not easy but you can follow me and read my next blog where I discuss the best everyday techniques that can help us to get through our busy days:)

    1. Thank you, Jenna! It is often hard as we tend to set unrealistic expectations, but giving ourselves time and being kind to ourselves is crucial, not only during recovery. Thanks and best wishes!

  5. This was huge in my own immediate family after a major accident. At first there wasn’t a lot of this but over time we learned we had to embrace the patience to be able to grow and heal. I also see it every day in my professional life. Our mental well being plays such a huge role on our physical healing.

  6. There is such truth in this message. I’ve had to remind myself many times to be patient on my not so good days with my thyroid disease. Thank you for these encouraging words.

    1. Thank you so much, Laura! I am glad that you find it helpful. Praying that you find strength and patience during the days when it’s hard. Blessings!

  7. This was such an interesting read! Being patient with ourselves is so incredibly important, particularly during times of recovery, even when it can be so difficult. I think your point about how you’d treat others/have more patience with them is really thought-provoking and definitely true! Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Thank you so much! I am glad that it’s helpful and something we can reflect upon. Hopefully, it will show us that we need to be more kind to ourselves. Many thanks!

  8. I love this! It reminds me of the law of reversed effort that when we don’t focus on the goal and instead focus on enjoying the process we get what we want. Being focused on being patient and enjoying the day to day is really key. loved this!!

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