As individuals complete in-patient rehab programs and head out into their new sober lifestyle, they derive inspiration to maintain a sober lifestyle through many resources. Group meetings, outpatient counseling, and a strong support network are vital tools that individuals must use on a daily basis to overcome the temptation to relapse. They must remain vigilant at every moment as they keep sobriety at the top of their list of priorities.
Another popular tool that individuals quickly become familiar with in the recovery process is literature. There are hundreds of books, periodicals, and other publications that those in recovery find helpful in their unique journey, and then there are the inspirational quotes. Although they may sometimes seem cliche, these phrases become an integral and meaningful part of recovery programs all around the world.
Read more: Life After Rehab.
The Quotes That Help Us Stay Sober
There are innumerable quotes that appear in recovery literature, on related social media sites, and on posters that line the walls of group meeting locations. Many of these quotes are “mainstream” in that they apply to many facets of life, but they take on a whole new meaning for individuals who are battling the temptation to use drugs and alcohol.
Here are a few of our favorites.
“If you can quit for a day, you can quit for a lifetime.” – Benjamin Alire Sáenz
“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” – George Addair
“My recovery must come first so that everything I love in life doesn’t have to come last.” – Anonymous
“Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.” – Deepak Chopra
“Recovery is not a race. You don’t have to feel guilty if it takes you longer than you thought it would.” – Anonymous
“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” – Anonymous
“It is ten years since I used drugs or alcohol, and my life has improved immeasurably. I have a job, a house, a cat, good friendships, and generally, a bright outlook…the price of this is constant vigilance because the disease of addiction is not rational.” – Russel Brand
“Courage isn’t having the strength to go on – it’s going on when you don’t have strength.” – Napoleon Bonaparte
“Addiction is just a way of trying to get at something else. Something bigger. Call it transcendence if you want, but it’s like a rat in a maze. We all want the same thing. We all have this hole. The thing you want offers relief, but it’s a trap.” – Tess Callahan
“I understood myself only after I destroyed myself. And only in the process of fixing myself did I know who I really was.” – Anonymous
“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” – Carl Bard
“I got sober. I stopped killing myself with alcohol. I began to think, ‘Wait a minute – if I can stop doing this, what are the possibilities?’ And it slowly dawned on me that it was maybe worth the risk.” – Craig Ferguson
“When everything seems like an uphill struggle, just think of the view from the top.” – Anonymous
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” – Dr. Seuss
“Addiction is a monster; it lives inside, and feeds off of you, takes from you, controls you, and destroys you. It is a beast that tears you apart, rips out your soul, and laughs at your weakness. It is a stone wall that stands to keep you in and the rest out. It is a shadow that always lurks behind you, waiting to strike. Addiction lives in everyone’s mind, sitting, staring, waiting…” – Anonymous
“It’s going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.” – Joseph Campbell
“Recovery is an acceptance that your life is in shambles and you have to change it.” – Jamie Lee Curtis
“Everyone has inside him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!” – Anne Frank
“The best way to predict your future is to create it.” – Abraham Lincoln
“Someone once told me, ‘I heard you finally got rid of your addiction.’ I smiled and said, ‘No, addiction doesn’t work like that. Once you have it, you will always have it. I just choose not to feed it.” – Anonymous
“Character can not be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired and success achieved.” – Helen Keller
“My identity shifted when I got into recovery. That’s who I am now, and it actually gives me greater pleasure to have that identity than to be a musician or anything else, because it keeps me in a manageable size. When I’m down on the ground with my disease – which I’m happy to have – it gets me in tune. It gives me a spiritual anchor.” – Eric Clapton
“I know you’re tired, I know you feel like giving up, but you’re not going to. Because you are strong. And when you’ve survived through all the shit your addiction has put you through, you can survive recovery.” – Anonymous
“Sometimes you can only find heaven by slowly backing away from hell.” – Carrie Fisher
“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.” – Zen proverb
“Addictions…started out like magical pets, pocket monsters. They did extraordinary tricks, showed you things you hadn’t seen, were fun. But came, through some gradual dire alchemy, to make decisions for you. Eventually, they were making your most crucial life decisions. And they were…less intelligent than goldfish.” – William Gibson
“I was one of those guys who was always thinking about the past, or about the future but, never the here. I was never really here. But now I love being in the present, because I have so much to be grateful for in the present.” – Keith Urban
“It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius
“I realized that I only had two choices: I was either going to die or I was going to live, and which one did I want to do? And then I said those words, ‘I’ll get help,’ or, ‘I need help. I’ll get help.’ And my life turned around. Ridiculous for a human being to take sixteen years to say, ‘I need help.’ “ – Sir Elton John
“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” – Ayn Rand
“You don’t get over an addiction by stopping using. You recover by creating a new life where it is easier to not use. If you don’t create a new life, then all the factors that brought you to your addiction will catch up with you again.” – Anonymous
“Focus on where you want to go, not on where you currently are.” – Anonymous
“I am not defined by my relapses, but by my decision to remain in recovery despite them.” – Anonymous
“Every worthy act is difficult. Ascent is always difficult. Descent is easy and often slippery.” – Mahatma Gandhi
“The diamond cannot be polished without friction, nor the person perfected without trials.”– Chinese Proverb
“We may think there is willpower involved, but more likely change is due to ‘want power.’ Wanting the new addiction more than the old one. Wanting the new me in preference to the person I am now.” – George Sheehan
“Your best days are ahead of you. The movie starts when the guy gets sober and puts his life back together; it doesn’t end there.” – Bucky Sinister
“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life – and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.” – Georgia O’Keeffe
“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” – Rabindranath Tagore, Stray Birds
“I understood, through rehab, things about creating characters. I understood that creating whole people means knowing where we come from, how we can make a mistake, and how we overcome things to make ourselves stronger.” – Samuel L. Jackson
Every Individual and Every Situation Is Unique
It is a good thing that there are so many catchy phrases and quotes out there that relate to recovery because every person’s journey is personal and unique to them, and the sayings they discover that help them maintain their sobriety are just as special. Whether it is a quote that one sees scribbled on the inside cover of a book they borrowed to read more about recovery or inspirational words that they see on their favorite recovery social site, these words sometimes become a mantra for individuals as they face the temptations of daily life.
It doesn’t matter if your favorite quotes are different from ours or if other individuals in your new social circle have a completely different list of favorites. What matters is that the words are meaningful to you and that they help you along the way as you adjust to a sober lifestyle and a brighter future.