“We were trapped by our need for the instant gratification that drugs gave us.” – Basic Text, p. 25
“I want what I want, and I want it now!” That’s about as patient as most of us ever got in our active addiction. The obsession and compulsion of our disease gave us a “one-track” way of thinking; when we wanted something, that’s all we thought about. And the drugs we took taught us that instant gratification was never more than a dose away. It’s no wonder that most of us came to Narcotics Anonymous with next to no patience.
The problem is, we can’t always get what we want whenever we want it. Some of our wishes are pure fantasy; if we think about it, we’ll realize we have no reason to believe those wishes will be fulfilled in our lifetimes. We probably can’t even fulfill all our realistic desires; we certainly can’t fulfill them all at once. In order to acquire or achieve some things, we will have to sacrifice others.
In our addiction we sought instant gratification, squandering our resources. In recovery we must learn to prioritize, sometimes denying the gratification of some desires in order to fulfill more important long-term goals. To do so requires patience. To find that patience, we practice our program of recovery, seeking the kind of full-bodied spiritual awakening that will allow us to live and enjoy life on life’s terms.
Just for Today: Higher Power, help me discover what’s most important in my life. Help me learn patience, so that I can devote my resources to the important things.