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OK…I have heard many quotes on patience. There’s the standard “Patience is a virtue” or “Patience is a passion tamed”… or how about my favorite, ” The secret to patience is doing something else in the meantime.”?
Something else in the meantime..are you serious? have got to be kidding me??…how about tearing every single strand of my highlighted hair out of my head, and gorging my eyes out with a butter knife?!
I know a lot of you know what I’m talking about, especially if you have been in treatment for an addiction.
I sometimes have to pry patients off the ceiling at work because they are crawling the walls.
A few of you guys (and you know who you are) have actually fled the premises.
I remember being in treatment several times and going AWOL. There was the time in Arizona where I attempted to run across the desert. I was Laurence of Arabia, the skinny ass female version. I had my polka-dot thong wrapped around my head and was seeing mirages of a naked Johnny Depp drinking diet coke. Two hours later a small little Mexican man in a red pickup put me in his car and brought me back.
Then there was the time in Florida where I just started walking. I had nothing on me  and a envelope containing 250 dollars (which was all I had to my name).  I was pretty amazed at how I just walked out the front doors without any problem. By the time the realized I was gone, I had managed to make it down to a gas station where I bought 25 packs of gum, a red bull and some Benadryyl.  Basically I wanted to chew juicy fruit, be hyper, and then sleep it off. Lets just say this is all not a good combo and things did not go as planned. I was a hot mess by the time they found me passed out next to a homeless man. Luckily they found me in time to take me to the ER. Not my best moment.
There have been so many times I left eating disorders treatment, unable to handle the down time. The time where you have absolutely nothing to do but sit with all your feelings. I honestly compared it to solitary confinement, screaming at the top of my lungs that I felt like a monkey in a cage.
Well, believe me, I know being away from the real world can suck. Being in a place where you can’t go get drugs, party all night, shop until your in debt, binge and purge until you are almost dead, or drink until you are arrested.
Being  an addict is pretty darn exciting, and being a normal person at first can seem like you are on another planet.
Patience is actually an acquired art, and takes a lot of practice.
I have met some really patient people in my life, I don’t know if they are either highly medicated, or super super rich which enables them to pay other people to be patient for them.                                                                                                                
Either or I give the props because patience takes practice.
I have been practicing for awhile now. I always tell my patients that “treatment is dress rehearsal for real life”, and you have to have a lot of patience in real life let me tell you.
It can be annoying co-workers, dumb ass drivers on the freeway, or the tween at Starbucks who takes 10 years to make your vanilla latte.
Basically it boils down to that there is no elevator to the top Darlings…you gotta take the stairs.
Everyday is a day to evolve and to change your old unhealthy ways.
Recovery doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a process, and as soon as you accept that you will do fine.
Sometimes it means just sitting, sometimes it means just listening, and sometimes it means just biting your tongue and keeping your mouth shut.
I’ve gotten a lot better, but believe me I’m still a work in progress. I still curse in traffic, almost drop kick the old lady in front of me in the store who has 45 items in the 15 items or less express lane, and hang up if I’m on hold for more than 15 seconds.
However I have learned that the whole world deals with it, and the goal is to get back in to the world, one patient second at a time!!

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