Patience, Recovery Can Take Time

The Anxiety Support Network – Getting Better one step at a time

“Patience is a virtue,” is yet another common cliché that everyone hears at some point in their lives. But what is it about patience that makes it a virtue, and why should anxiety sufferers be concerned about having it in their lives?

For many anxiety sufferers, patience is a difficult task to undertake. Many of the chronically anxious have been so anxious, so stressed, and so depressed for so many years that the thought of being patient during recovery is preposterous, and reasonably so!

But, patience is nonetheless a quality that one needs to possess in order to achieve a successful recovery. What happens when one becomes impatient? The answer is simple: anger and frustration, and therefore increased anxiety. Thoughts begin to creep in one’s head such as, “I am not progressing quickly enough. I will never recover,” or, “I should be feeling better now because I have been feeling lousy for so long.” These feelings, while they may seem valid at the time, are counterproductive to anxiety recover. If one feels that he or she will never recover, then the possibility of quitting the recovery process is possible, and then one will lose much of the progress he or she has gained! The other feeling, one of entitlement, may lead to one harming others psychologically because he or she feels he has “earned the right” to certain goods in life by his or her suffering. This, of course, is nonproductive to anxiety recovery, harms other people, and can lead to harm to one’s self should others choose to retaliate to his or her poor behavior.

While anxiety sufferers do deserve to feel happy and relaxed, they only deserve so if they put in the necessary work and effort towards leading a better life. Everyone goes through some amount of pain and unpleasant experience in their lives, however, that pain does not give one the right to take or do what he or she wants to others. Increasing the pain of others only perpetuates the cycle of suffering, and does not lead to an improvement in the quality of life for the sufferer or the victim of his or her actions.

Patience, no matter how hard it may be to have, is a virtue that everyone, especially the anxious, must possess. When one patiently endures the difficulties of anxiety while simultaneously trying to work his or her way out of anxiety’s tangled web, one is able to make more realistic judgments about life and is able to approach situations and come away with what he or she really needs, not

what he or she wants.

It is completely valid for the anxiety sufferer to have some of the feelings stated in the previous paragraphs, however, the sufferer must work through them and move on from them, rather than holding on to those useless feelings and acting upon them.

Many anxiety situations can be overcome in a matter of months. However, many cases are very severe and require many years’ worth of hard work. This statement is not made in order to scare people away from moving forward, but so that people will have an honest and realistic idea of what type of expectations to have about anxiety recovery. In order to stay motivated and keep that patience, it is important for the anxiety sufferer to acknowledge each and every little gain he or she has made in life. Pretty soon, the sufferer will notice that he or she can do much more than he or she did last month. After a couple years, the anxiety sufferer will notice that he or she can do much more than in the past year. And finally, the anxiety sufferer will realize that he or she is living a fully functional life and can do all the things that he or she needs to do in order to be happy and healthy. Those who are strongly motivated will even go as far as taking the message to others in order to help them out.

Patience is clearly a major key, and everyone will run out of it at some point. Aside from keeping one’s focus on each and every little gain made, another productive strategy to engage in is to take breaks when one is running out of patience. This is realistic because no one has anything like perfect patience. At this time, one should do whatever it is that he or she really enjoys doing that helps him or her to get back down to earth and relax, and for many of the anxious, that is a difficult, but necessary task!

In sum, patience really is a virtue, but if one remains patient and continues to work at things, even over a period of years, one will eventually find that everything one ever dreamed of will come into one’s life!

Randy Haveson

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Randy Haveson
Randy Haveson is the Founder & CEO of HERO House, a sober living, recovery residence program for college students in early sobriety from addictions. Learn More

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