Well the good news is that I survived “The Sausage Incident” and had a lovely day just hanging out with Mrs. M yesterday.
I didn’t clean. I didn’t sort any files on my computer. I didn’t blog…and it’s been bugging me.
The truth is, I don’t time for everything on my so-called “easy” to-do list. Spending my mornings in group sessions at my local alcohol services, and most evenings at an AA meeting, means I have about three hours of “free” time in a day. I also have to eat, open mail, do the dishes, do laundry and all the other regular life stuff that I can’t just ignore.
And spending time with Mrs. M isn’t just important, it’s necessary. I know it will take awhile for her to get over the hurt I’ve caused; relationships also require time and effort. In the grand scheme of things, that’s more important to me than filing paperwork, or organising my harddrive, or blogging.
So I don’t regret spending the day chilling out. But the taskmaster in my head is giving me a good flogging for “failing” so early after committing to do these things on the daily. It’s also busying itself plotting how I will shed 40kg (about 90lbs), give up vaping, give up sugar, get my finances in order and find the perfect job all within the next month.
Impossible, I know. Logically, I need years to accomplish everything on my list. But I’m sober now and I want it all and I want it yesterday. I want to be “recovered”, not “in recovery”.
I’ve been told this is normal. That “this too, shall pass”. These things will come; I just need to be patient.
Well fuck you and fuck patience! I’m impatient to be patient, dammit, and I don’t know how to stop myself. Naturally I have turned to Google for answers and I shit you not it turns out that my impatience its essentially another form of addiction. Here’s a quote from the very first article I read on developing patience, courtesy of Psychology Today:
As evolving humans, we are still constructed with our old reptilian brain that protects our physical and emotional survival. On the emotional survival side, we want our way, to get ahead, to achieve, to “look good.” It’s not a “bad” thing; it’s just an evolutionary older part of our brain than our newer midbrain and neocortex. Let’s just face it- that urge to protect ourselves and what we deem valuable is absolutely addictive…So the first step in growing patience is to get in touch with the addictive quality of the opposite of patience- anger, irritation, blaming, shaming.
I’m not sure I believe in an “addictive personality”, but I do know that I tend to display addictive behaviours towards other things like food, games and over-the-counter medication. So it’s not entirely impossible that I should become addicted to certain emotions, is it?
The real question is can I be patient with myself while learning to develop patience? Now that is meta.
I’m going to try. I’m definitely not going to force myself to clean and blog every single day. If I have the time, great. If not, that’s okay…and I’m just a little bit wiser for accepting that.
Your turn: Are you/were you impatient in early recovery? How did you get over that? Seriously, I could use some tips…