Why “Healing” and “Patience” Can Be Hard Words to Hear

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For most alcoholics and addicts, healing and patience are words that can leave us feeling uncomfortable. We aren’t always so sure that our wounds can be healed, whether they’re physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. Patience isn’t something we’re very familiar with or fond of either. But it’s important, no matter where we are in our journey of recovery at Jaywalker Lodge, that we believe healing is possible. We must do our best to keep hope alive so that we can be healed. However great our pain or suffering, within the 12-Steps there are many tools and practices that will help us begin to heal. This is where patience comes in as well.

Breaking the Cycle

When we get sick, we go to the doctor. It isn’t often that we leave the doctor’s office feeling better instantly. More likely, the doctor gives us medicine that we need to take a few times a day for several days. After we begin to do as instructed, our healing commences. The program of recovery works in a similar fashion. There is great relief and peace that comes with first getting physically sober.

But after a few days, some of us begin to experience discomfort, either emotionally, physically, mentally, or spiritually. Far too often, these feelings of discomfort drive us back toward our old solutions. We find ourselves desiring to escape and we relapse. But then we usually find that our old solutions no longer work. We come back to the rooms of recovery and have a few good days. Then another time comes when we feel too uncomfortable to stick around, and out we go again.

This cycle is the norm for some of us — but for many of us at Jaywalker Lodge, it was a cycle that eventually stopped. For the luckiest of us, this cycle stopped because we bet on the 12-Steps changing our lives. The unlucky among us sadly didn’t get another chance to try the 12-Steps. But for those of us who did, we had to have a lot of hope and a little patience. We trusted those around us who said that a life in recovery could contain healing, meaning, and joy. They said we simply had to be honest, open-minded, and willing to work the 12-Steps. So we did as they suggested. What often gets left out of the equation is that we need a little patience, too.

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

Patience is a very un-fun word. Nobody likes what patience implies. But in the process of working the 12-Steps at Jaywalker Lodge, we don’t just sit around twiddling our thumbs and waiting for our life in recovery to become meaningful. No, we get to work. We work all 12-Steps with our sponsor, we attend regular meetings, and we take great joy in being of service wherever we are needed. As we patiently engage in this process, our healing comes and our life reveals its meaning. This happens faster for some than for others, but the book of Alcoholics Anonymous promises us that it will happen. We just need a little hope, faith, trust, and yes — patience.

So many of us are wounded and broken when we find the rooms of recovery. Luckily, we are never alone on our journey. We are surrounded at all times by other sober members of our Jaywalker community who can remind us and prove to us that the 12-Step process works. Each of us has our own journey to take and our own wounds to heal, but we all take the same 12-Steps — and they really do work for us. If they work for us, they can work for you, too.

Your Recovery Timeline Is Your Own

It’s important to not judge our pain as worse than everyone else’s or “unfixable” because when we do that, we separate ourselves from others. Suddenly what works for them won’t work for us because we’re different. The same goes for the speed with which our life improves. We can’t judge our lives in recovery against someone else’s. Some people get all the outside victories quickly, but spend years working on their internal condition.

For others, it’s vice versa. No one can say how our journey will unfold. What can be said is that no matter the differences in our pains and progress, we are all alcoholics — and that means the same solution that worked for others will work for us, too. The details may be unique to each of us, but the solution is the same for all of us.

No matter what it is within you that needs healing, you can begin to heal, grow, and thrive in a life of recovery if you work the 12-Step program with honesty, open-mindedness, willingness, and just a little patience. Healing and patience may not be our favorite words, but they are two things that turn out to be vital in our life of recovery.

At Jaywalker Lodge, we know what it’s like to struggle to maintain a life in recovery. We had the same experience, and we have broken the cycle. What worked for us will likely work for you, too. Give yourself a chance to experience a meaningful recovery, and believe in the hope that you can heal. We are here to help you every step of the way, however long it takes. To learn more, call us today at (866) 529-9255.

author avatar
Stefan Bate, MA, LAC, CCTP Chief Clinical Officer
Stefan Bate, BA, MA, LAC holds a Master's Degree in Applied Psychology from Regis University and is a Licensed Addiction Counselor in the state of Colorado. Stefan has wide-ranging experience in the field of addiction recovery including: working as a recovery coach, therapist, and program director.

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