In episode 286 of the Elevation Recovery Podcast, Matt Finch discusses the concept of patient endurance and how to boost it for addiction recovery. Patient endurance is the act of enduring trying circumstances with an even temper.
He describes how you can use it, foster it, cultivate it, nurture it, increase it, and create patient endurance into more than just a habit.
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Matt Finch: You just keep going. If the shit gets tough, you keep going. If you're tired, yeah, maybe you don't do anything for the day, maybe you don't accomplish anything at all. But if you don't drink, or if you don't use drugs, at the end of the day, even if you didn't do anything else, that's perseverance, that's persistence.
Announcer: Thanks for tuning in to the Elevation Recovery podcast, your hub for addiction recovery strategies, hosted by Chris Scott and Matt Finch.
Matt Finch: Thanks for joining me today on episode 286 of the Elevation Recovery podcast. My name's Matt Finch, I'm going to be your solo host for today, and in this particular episode, I'm going to be teaching you about something called patient endurance and how you can increase patient endurance, because this is, in my opinion, one of the most valuable resources, basically an internal resource, an invisible resource that plays out very powerfully in one's life. How you can use patient endurance, how you can foster it, cultivate it, nurture it, increase it, and then develop it into not just a habit, but something that's a habitus. Habitus is basically built into part of your character, to where your character or your habitus is synonymous with a person that is patiently enduring through trying circumstances.
Matt Finch: Let's face it, recovering from addiction, whether it's alcohol addiction, pill addiction, heroin, fentanyl, gambling, or shopping, or sex, pornography, whatever the addiction is, and I know a lot of the listeners of this podcast and watchers of this podcast are addicted to either alcohol or opioids, or other prescription pills, although there's many people that are addicted to polysubstance use, and even illicit drugs such as fentanyl, heroin, and even methamphetamines, and out of all those drugs I just listed, I've tried all of those and then some back in my past addiction, and one thing that I didn't have back then was patient endurance.
Matt Finch: Matter of fact, I had high levels of impulsivity, high sensitivity, high empathy, the empath trait, a very low distress tolerance, and many other unmanaged, untreated, undiagnosed anxiety and depression, and many other issues that I went through. Something that I have taken a long time to develop and something that I'm still working on, but I'd say I've exponentially, exponentially, exponentially increased patient endurance over the years, because you really have to. I'm 43 right now, and if I was still impatient and impulsive and had a very low distress tolerance, and trust me, I'm not even close to super optimized on any of those things I just mentioned, but if I was like I used to be, I don't even think I'd be alive still these days, really.
Matt Finch: To get through life, to get through a life, an average lifespan of 75 to 85 years, whatever it is nowadays, we go through a lot of struggles, we go through a lot of trials, we go through a lot of tribulations, especially now with the global situation and situations right now, gosh, with... At least here in America, and I know it's not just in this country. There is division, there is polarization, there is animosity, there is people that have... There are people that are just suffering, ever since the... And things weren't great before the pandemic, but since the lockdowns, look at the economy here, look at the inflation, look at the rates of alcohol addiction and drug addiction, and alcohol deaths and drug addiction overdose deaths, and cancers and heart disease, and mass shootings, and people getting evicted and homelessness. It's just nuts.
Matt Finch: For anybody such as myself that even has a mild empath trait, empath means... A person that's an empath is they absorb the emotions of others and they're in tune with the emotions of others. That's a very simplistic, reductive way of talking about it, it's much more complicated than that. But many people, I'm noticing, many of the clients that I've been working with that are quitting alcohol, quitting drugs, many of the people that I'm corresponding with online are empaths, they're highly sensitive people, they're empaths, and they can feel, this is from their mouth to my ears, as I can feel, the... We're absorbing kind of the collective energy of the suffering of the entire planet.
Matt Finch: As woo-woo and weird as that may sound, there's actually a lot of really epic research into the highly sensitive person trait, which the scientifical... Scientifical, that's not a word. The scientific, technical term is sensory processing sensitivity, that's a highly active central nervous system as compared to people without sensory processing sensitivity. That's actually different than somebody that is an empath, and with both these traits, high sensitivity and empath, you could be... You could have one of them, you could have both of them. You could have these in mild, moderate, or extreme cases. I'm a moderate empath and a moderate high sensitivity sensory processing sensitivity person.
Matt Finch: So anyways, you certainly don't have to have high sensitivity or the empath trait to be kind of feeling all these energies right now, to be at least in tune somewhat with all the suffering that's going on. So that was a long-winded way of leading into the topic of patient endurance. Now, there's even a little religious Christian-based faith. Actually, a lot of this term comes from the Christian faith, from Jesus, from the word, from the gospels, from the scriptures. And so this isn't a religious, faith-based podcast, although I do like to touch on every single modality of addiction treatment and recovery that can possibly help a person, and then leave it to you, our dear listener and listeners, to take what you like and leave the rest, create your own path forward, forge your own path forward based on what works for you, what resonates with you, what sounds like a good fit for you.
Matt Finch: So I'm going to talk about the technical terms of patient endurance and the definitions, and I'll just touch a little bit on the Christian faith-based aspect of it too, because I think it is pretty cool, and I know a lot of you, definitely not all of you, but a lot of you will resonate with this. So let's start off from the website dictionary.reverso.net. Never heard of this website before, but anyways, what is the meaning of patient endurance? It says, "One, enduring trying circumstances with even temper." That's powerful, let me go back and read that again. "One, enduring trying circumstances with even temper."
Matt Finch: Boy, that's the opposite of when I was addicted to substances and trying to quit, and then that was usually the opposite of even my early recovery periods. Well, most of the time, back in my twenties and early thirties when I was quitting, I mostly had... I was doing harm reduction or complete abstinence. At times, there would be some recovery work in there, some 12-step work or whatever, but back then, I had a fixed mindset versus a growth mindset. Back then, I had never even heard of the terms of self development, personal development, personal growth, I had never even heard those terms. This is pre-internet, or not pre-internet, this is pre when the internet got big.
Matt Finch: Back then when I was just starting off in addiction and [inaudible 00:08:29] I didn't have a smartphone, I didn't have a computer. I didn't have my first computer until I was 27 years old. I waited to get a smartphone until I think I was in my mid-thirties. I was either in my early thirties or mid-thirties, I think I was maybe around 34, somewhere around the age of 34. That's two years after I quit drugs and alcohol. So I was a late bloomer with technology, and I was technology illiterate when it came to computers and when it came to using the internet on the phone and all that jazz.
Matt Finch: I'm going to read that a third time. What is the meaning of patient endurance? This is just the first definition of it, which is my favorite. "One, enduring trying circumstances with even temper." It seems to me that most of the people that I know, if not all the people that I personally know, and probably the majority of people in America, are enduring trying circumstances right now. Whether it's at the gas pumps, the grocery stores, paying bills, whatever it is, we're going into Mercury retrograde in a few days, [inaudible 00:09:36].
Matt Finch: Yep, Papaya just... Whenever I say something that Papaya really wants to chime in on, she chimes in. If you don't know who Papaya is, she is a little birdie that is a green-cheeked conure, I think she's around six years old now. She's a female, she's a sweet little bird, and she just chimed in right there, as she sometimes does when she wants to kind of exclamation point a point that I just made. And so when I said the astrological things going on, we got a lot of stuff coming up here, full moon in Pisces coming up, it's Virgo season.
Matt Finch: Anyways, so enduring trying circumstances, and then what is even temper? Our temper is our state of mind, seen in terms of whether we're angry or calm. It's basically the degree of hardness and/or elasticity in steel or other metal as well, but in the... That's metallurgy. So the way I'm talking about temper is a person's state of beingness, their state of mind, mostly the state of their psyche, in terms of whether they're being calm or angry, patient or impatient, steadfast or impulsive, et cetera.
Matt Finch: Getting back to the meanings of patient endurance, let's go to number two, which states "Tolerant, understanding." Three, "Capable of accepting delay with equanimity." I love equanimity. I don't like delay, let me just say that. Matter of fact, back when I was younger, probably even, well, several years into my post-addiction life, I was so impatient. Oh gosh, just ask any of my family or my friends from back then. They will say, "Matt was so impatient, he was so annoying with his impatience."
Matt Finch: I didn't like delay, I didn't like to be delayed at all, I couldn't even... At times, I couldn't even wait for somebody to finish what they were saying, and I would cut somebody off, that's how much I didn't like delay. And when it came to a delayed package or a delayed raise or a delayed notification that I got a job or got into a certain school, or whatever it was, I didn't like delays. I wanted what I want, what I wanted, when I wanted it, and that was usually right now or yesterday or the week before.
Matt Finch: And I love equanimity. That is mental calmness. That means that you have composure, and that is an evenness of your temper, a balance, a smoothness, a groundedness, a stability, especially when we're in a difficult situation. Equanimity could be synonymous with calmness in all... No matter what's happening around you, to be in a state of equanimity is to be in a state of mental calmness and composure, and also to be in a state of resilience and a state of non-attachment and a state of non-grasping. There's a phrase that I've heard before, it's like "Wearing the world like a loose garment" or like "Letting the water..." Like "Letting the struggles of life flow off your yourself like the water off of a duck's back." Those are kind of ways of relating to equanimity.
Matt Finch: And then coming back to patient endurance, four, "Persevering or diligent, a patient worker." Perseverance, let's talk about that. Perseverance is kind of like a persistence. A persistence in doing something, even if it's difficult, even if there's massive delay in achieving the outcome that you want to get. It is a serious persistence and diligence, and yep, Papaya is chiming in again. So it's like you just keep going. If the shit gets tough, you keep going. If you're tired, yeah, maybe you don't do anything for the day, maybe you don't accomplish anything at all. But if you don't drink or if you don't use drugs, at the end of the day, even if you didn't do anything else, that's perseverance, that's persistence.
Matt Finch: One of my most difficult things in life has been dealing with emotions, particularly... Not all emotions, I like the good emotions. I like feeling good. I like feeling okay even, I'm cool with that nowadays. Back in the old days, I wasn't, I wanted to feel good or great or extraordinary, or totally euphoric, and I wanted to feel those massively awesome feelings and emotions all the time. Now I'm okay with just being... Feeling all right, feeling content. Sometimes I go through long stretches of just being patiently enduring and just content. Okay, yeah, it's not the... It is definitely not the greatest time of life at all in many times, but it's okay because I can see nowadays that if I went back to just getting a huge dopamine fix and getting back into drinking, getting back into heroin, getting back into snorting oxycodone, whatever it was, that's a dead-end street.
Matt Finch: I even wrote a song with that same title back in my... Let's see, that was my late twenties when I played in a band, and I wrote probably half of the songs, or maybe 70% of the songs, as the league guitar player, and I didn't sing, but I wrote lots of lyrics for our rhythm guitar player/lead singer and our drummer. I mean, we had the most amazing drummer named Nikolai, and he could play the drums better than anyone I've ever played with, and our styles fit real well, and he could sing really good too at the same time as he was playing the drums. Just the dude was so talented, it was ridiculous, so I had a lot of fun playing with those guys.
Matt Finch: But anyways, I digress, I digress. Let's get back to patient endurance, we were talking about perseverance, persistence, equanimity, temper, tolerance, understanding, accepting delay, diligence, all amazing things, right? Very, very applicable to somebody that is trying to overcome a substance use issue or another type of addiction, whatever that may be, or any type of habit that they want to break, or, the reason I really loved this topic for today's episode is we could all use some patient endurance right now, and you know what? Fuck, we could use a lot of it. Let's be real honest and hardcore here. Anybody, pretty much anybody, probably 90% or more of the total human population is probably needing more patient endurance during these trying times in life, and wow, it's like, look at the stuff going on in the world, oh my goodness.
Matt Finch: A few years ago, at least here in America, we had it great. Oh man, things were amazing. Now it just seems like they could be getting worse and worse. So despite all that, we can create our own little bubble in our own home and our own families and friends circles of patient endurance, of equanimity, of unconditional love, of self-acceptance, self-forgiveness, acceptance of others, forgiveness of others, and this is a great place to lead into what the Bible and what Jesus and the gospels had to say about patient endurance.
Matt Finch: I just love the internet searches. Before these really comprehensive internet searches, man, I didn't know that much about the world, about our history, only the stuff that I learned in school, and now I can just go on my phone or I can go on my laptop and I can learn about anything, and I can learn, gosh, a whole lot about pretty much any single topic, and I don't take that for granted, that is a huge resource right here.
Matt Finch: So on this internet search, one of the questions is, where in the Bible does it talk about patient endurance? It says here, Romans 5:3 through four. Perseverance produces character. Character is something that my co-host and friend Chris Scott and I have talked about quite a bit on this podcast, how to optimize and really transform your identity and your character into somebody that would never, ever even care about drinking or using drugs or whatever the thing the person is trying to quit is. It is possible to rebuild your character even from scratch, and when you hit rock bottom, like I did when I overdosed on methadone and Valium, and I was an alcoholic and an opioid-dependent person, and I was taking benzos all the time, and plus many other drugs too, after overdosing and almost leaving my then 18-month-old daughter Willow fatherless for the rest of her life. She wasn't even two years old.
Matt Finch: That was such a rock bottom, and I was such a shell of a man, just... Oh gosh, I was just in... I just brought myself to horrible places to escape unpleasant emotions and feelings. And so for me, the silver lining of that was that after I survived that overdose by some type of miracle, I was like, just... I've talked about this story many times on the podcast, but it must have been some type of miracle, because I was one or two minutes away from being dead and the ambulance got there just in time and gave me Narcan, which is Naloxone, which is an opioid antagonist medication, putting me into instant opioid withdrawal. And then I was in the hospital for a week with pneumonia, a lung infection. I was unconscious and sedated for the first few days, and I had a breathing tube down my throat.
Matt Finch: It was a hunch, an intuition, a mother's intuition that led my mom to feeling like, "Oh my gosh, I have to go check on Matthew." She had a mother's intuition at the perfect time. Called the ambulance, they got there really, really quick. Had she not got that intuition, where did that intuition come from? Where did that intuition come from? If it wasn't for that, if it wasn't for her intuition, whatever gave her that intuition as well, and if it wasn't for the EMTs coming exactly when they did, and not a minute or two later, I wouldn't be talking to you right now. So from that totally debilitated, broken, bottom state, just that was my ultimate rock bottom. Like the author of the Harry Potter books said in her commencement speech many years ago, "Rock bottom became the solid foundation upon which I rebuilt my life," and upon which I rebuilt my character.
Matt Finch: So going back to the Romans 5:3 through four, perseverance produces character. Here's a quote from it. "Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance. Perseverance, character, and character, hope." Here is a very bizarre website. It is called htdb.space/ a bunch of numbers, forward slash a letter and a bunch of numbers, .htm. It is a not secure website. That just means that there's nothing wrong with it, it's just a really, really primitive, basic, simplistic website. But what it says on this article, it's titled Patient Endurance, the Final Test. Quote, "Let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." That's James 1:4.
Matt Finch: So this is pretty long. I got a lot of value from it. I'm going to cherry-pick a couple of the statements that I think will be a good element that I could add into this episode. If you're totally anti-anything that has to do with the teachings of Jesus, religion, spirituality, Christianity, whatever, you could fast-forward past this part, get to the conclusion, but I recommend having an open mind. I'm not a Christian, but I like to learn from all sorts of different sources.
Matt Finch: I don't really label myself as anything. I don't label myself as an addict, an alcoholic, a person in recovery, a Christian, a spiritual person, any of that. My identity is an eternal consciousness that just happens to be having an incarnation with a biological body and a third density mind, but that's just my belief and that's just my current beliefs about myself, that saying nothing about you or your beliefs. So I recommend, even if you were like I was for many years, and totally anti-anything that has to do with anything with religion, then I recommend listening to it anyways. You never know if one of these statements on patient endurance might just be a missing link into optimizing your life, so here we go.
Matt Finch: Quote, "The scriptures everywhere represent patience as an important element of character. In every phase of human experience, we can see its need. To be just under present conditions, one must be patient, not rash, for it would be unjust to be impatient and severe with the unavoidable imperfections and weaknesses of our fellow men. Therefore, the spirit of a sound mind demands that we be patient in dealing with fallen humanity. God himself possesses this quality of patience, and has long exercised it. In dealing with the world in the next age, the church will need to have much patience, and under our present environments, we need it constantly in order to develop the character necessary for a place on the throne with our Lord.
Matt Finch: "Patience is closely allied to love and to mercy. If God were unloving, unmerciful, he would be without patience. In man's present blemished, fallen condition, patience is sadly lacking, although it is often exercised outwardly for policy's sake. This godlike quality, like all the qualities of character inherent in God, and in all perfect beings created in his likeness, has been largely obliterated in humanity by the fall of the first pair. In the New Testament, there are two Greek words translated 'Patience.' One of these words signifies forbearance, long suffering. The other carries the thought of cheerful or hopeful endurance." I like that. I really like that. "Cheerful or hopeful endurance." The title of this is on patient endurance. Wow, that's even one step up. Not just patient endurance, hopeful endurance, not just hopeful endurance, cheerful endurance. Yeah, if you can be cheerfully, patiently, hopefully endurant through the most suffering and challenging of times, that puts you in such a better position.
Matt Finch: Right, back to the article. "The latter is the word used in our text, and has a much deeper significance that attaches ordinarily to our word 'Patience.' This constancy, the endurance of evil in a cheerful, willing manner, represents an element of character, and not merely a temporary restraint of feeling or of action. It signifies a development of heart and character which manifests itself in an endurance of wrong or affliction with contentment, without rebellion of will, with full acquiescence in the requirement of divine wisdom and love, which while permitting present evils, has promised in due time to overthrow them."
Matt Finch: All right, and just like that, my intuition must have been on point of where to end this thing, because as soon as I read that last passage, there is a weed cutter outside that just started to get super loud. This weed cutter is... You can probably hear it, I'm not sure. It is right outside my apartment, and even with my thick windows, it's really loud, so what a beautiful place to end.
Matt Finch: So in summary, patient endurance could be compared with resilience, and the technical definitions, again, are enduring trying circumstances, such as addiction, such as life in general, such as early recovery, whatever it is, such as getting through a divorce, dealing with an anxiety issue, losing a loved one to illness, or anything else, trying to get through enduring and trying circumstances such as those or others with an even temper, with equanimity, with tolerance, understanding, love and wisdom, compassion, and the capability of accepting delay with the equanimity, persevering, persisting with a diligent and patient habitus. And with that being said, as always, thanks so much for listening, take care. Can't wait to talk to you on the next episode.
Chris Scott: Hey everyone, Chris Scott here. If you liked the information on today's episode regarding supplementation and empowerment strategies for addiction recovery, then please subscribe to the Elevation Recovery podcast, and leave us a rating and review on iTunes. And if you've benefited directly from this information, I'm confident in saying that you'll love the information-packed online courses that Matt Finch and I have created. Matt Finch's Ultimate Opiate Detox 4.0 is a six-module, 30-activity course that contains video lessons, written lessons, PDF downloads, worksheets, audios, and much more, and it has everything you could possibly need to know to conquer opioid addiction in the easiest and most comfortable way possible. My own course, Total Alcohol Recovery 2.0, is the most cutting-edge resource for anyone who wants to transcend alcohol and build their best lives.
Chris Scott: To get these courses, to learn more, and to read testimonials, simply go to opiateaddictionsupport.com/ultimate. Again, that's opiateaddictionsupport.com/ultimate for Matt's course, or for my course, go to fit-recovery.com/course. Again, that's fit-recovery.com/course. You can also go to elevationrecovery.com to see the show notes for this episode.
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