Slow and steady is a relatively unappealing phrase. Most of us want things to be fast and exciting, especially alcoholics and addicts. We’re accustomed to excitement, chaos, and adrenaline. Perhaps our familiarity with those things isn’t exactly healthy, but we have conditioned ourselves to high-stimulus lifestyles and activities and it nearly destroyed us.
We are the lucky ones who have the opportunity to get sober and recover. So maybe we ought to try the slow and steady route, at least for a bit.
Good Things Take Time
The “slow” in “slow and steady” doesn’t mean boring. Life in recovery is anything but boring. We are not a glum lot. In fact, now that we are sober, we can participate fully in many of the fun parts of life we missed out on before. Slow does not mean painfully slow either – it simply means to attempt a tiny bit of patience.
Alcoholics and addicts are prone to wanting things right now, but the age-old adage “good things take time” might hold some real wisdom. It goes hand-in-hand with “anything worth doing is worth doing well.” These may not be the flashiest slogans, but recovery gives us the chance to try some healthier attitudes that we may not have considered before.
You don’t have to be a gardener to know that plants take time to grow and bear their fruit. If you planted a tomato seed in your backyard, you wouldn’t dig it up after two weeks and throw it away for being defective. If you did that, you’d never get to eat fresh tomatoes.
Instead, you plant the seed in good sunlight and water it accordingly. Day after day, you give it just a bit of water. After a month or two, suddenly you have fresh tomatoes to eat every day. This may seem like an over-simplified analogy, but it really isn’t.
How often do we attempt a new healthy activity or mental exercise and quit in frustration after a few days because it didn’t completely change our whole lives instantly? How many wonderful ventures and outcomes have we deprived ourselves of because of misunderstanding and impatience?
Some good things will happen fast, but other good things will take good time and good work. It may not be the most exciting part of life, but it is one of the most fundamental. In our addiction and alcoholism, we often become driven by dopamine and adrenaline-spiking behavior.
That pattern caused most of us a lot of trouble, but we fell for it every time. Now we have a chance to try another way – and though “slow and steady” may seem bogus at first, many of us who have tried it find that it makes our lives so much better in the long run.
This isn’t to say our lives must lack excitement – quite the opposite. We now have our full faculties with which we can pursue anything in life. Many people find that recovery returns them to themselves. Without the burdens of alcoholism and addiction, they can engage in the best parts of life fully and freely.
Give Yourself Time to Heal
We did not become wrecked by alcoholism and addiction overnight. Physical sobriety may only take a short time to achieve, but it is difficult to maintain without the process of recovery. For the vast majority, this involves taking the 12-Steps with a sponsor. That, too, is usually not an overnight process – but it is one that continues to reap amazing benefits the longer you do it and the more often you repeat it.
Recovery might take some time but there is a lot to do in that time, such as the 12-Steps, finding your regular meetings, working with others, being of service, getting healthy in body and mind, seeking therapy, and healing from our pain and trauma. These aren’t always exciting or instant things, but over time they can positively transform us and our lives.
We are capable of living lives that are full of meaning, joy, and abundance. We need only to give ourselves the chance. There’s an old recovery quote that says, “Don’t leave before the miracle happens.” We would all be better living a life in recovery that is happy, whole, helpful, and free. So why not give it a little time?
Taking things slow and steady can give us the space we need to breathe and learn. Growth takes time. Healing takes time. Not necessarily a lot of time, but at least some time. These seem like simple reminders, but so often we sell ourselves short because things aren’t happening fast enough.
How often do we switch lanes in traffic out of impatience, only to get stuck in a slower lane? Staying the course may not seem exciting at first, but being the person you know you’re capable of being and living the life you’ve dreamed of are worth the time and effort – and so are you.
Life in the fast lane has wrecked many of us who suffer from alcoholism and addiction. If you’re ready to take some time to work on yourself and save your life, Jaywalker Lodge is here to help. We can promise that there’s nothing boring about freedom from addiction and alcoholism. Most of us find ourselves living happier lives than we ever thought possible. We hope you will join us. Call us today at (866) 529-9255.
As Chief Executive Officer Bill provides leadership and manage all day-to-day operations of Jaywalker Lodge, an extended care residential addiction treatment program for adult men.