Recovery resilience can be increased; it can be bulked up. People who are resilient tend to be more successful at enduring hard times while simultaneously working on ways to deal with problems. Recovery works a bit like this: you start a recovery program. You get some tools under your belt. Problems arise, and you solve them to the best of your ability. Maybe you don’t solve them and you relapse. You get back into recovery and examine the problems again. That’s important. But more important than any problem is you. When we’re in the throes of addiction, we’re our own problem most of the time. We may indeed by the victims of horrible circumstances. Perhaps in a way, we’re somehow able to justify our dissolving our minds. Or maybe, maybe we see that if we learn the tools that help us modify ourselves, we don’t need to fight every problem that comes our way.
Recovery Resilience Can Be Built Up
Resilience comes from facing hard times and getting through them. We don’t have to go slay dragons. In early recovery, the problems will come to us. Resilience is built with patience and endurance. Some even say that it’s learning to endure difficulties with an eye to adaptation instead of suffering. Adaptation helps us the next time the troubles begin. Of course, resilience can’t occur without our undergoing pain. For addicts, the urge to use is the first pain we endure, although the fear of that pain looms large before we actually get into recovery.
Sometimes addicts discount the pain they’ve already suffered. No one should do that. Addiction is a brutal disease, and surviving long enough to get into recovery takes a lot of resilience. The struggles faced in sober living are usually less acute. They’re the long grinding “can’t be resolved right now” sorts of issues. Addicts, we go for quick fixes. Quick, as in, “right now” and not a minute longer. Endurance is not being able to wait till noon before the first beer.
No, the endurance that is part of recovery also deals with patience and tolerance for uncertainty. It’s hard to develop. I’ve written about some specifics here and here. I’ll leave you with this thought: sometimes the hardest thing to do is to accept you’re doing what you need to be doing, and wait for that right action to affect your circumstances. To hold one’s self in silence in the chaos of life is a goal with aiming for.