Whether you’re heading into recovery or graduating from an addiction treatment program, it’s important to stop to find motivation and inspiration. Having the right boost of encouragement at the right time can be all you need to power through and make it another day. A good quote can remind you that you’re not alone, that millions of us have felt the same way. And, quotes can be surprisingly powerful motivators because they give us a mantra to easily remember and remind ourselves of what we’re fighting for.
These 12 inspirational quotes for your recovery are just the tip of the iceberg of people saying powerful things about fighting to recover. But, hopefully they provide some inspiration to you in your own journey.
“Getting sober is a radically creative act.”
– Meredith Bell
Meredith Bell was a wine industry professional when she moved into addiction treatment. Today, she’s sober, and a published and accomplished author of Seven Days Sober and other books. Her first book, “A Sober Year” includes the above quote, and other gems like “Admitting to yourself that you don’t know what to do, that you don’t always have the answer, will free you in ways you couldn’t possibly imagine.”
Bell’s refreshing take on recovery not as a thing that you do for others, but a thing that you do to free yourself and be happy, is the breath of fresh air we all need in recovery. This is for you and it will allow you to achieve your goals and dreams.
“I understood myself only after I destroyed myself. And only in the process of fixing myself, did I know who I really was.”
— Sade Andria Zabala
Sade Andria Zabala is an underground poet and very little-known, but her poignant quote has gone viral on several occasions. The quote, which is pulled from the poet’s book, “War Songs”, encompasses the pain of losing yourself to addiction but also imparts the hope that with that loss, you can build yourself anew and understand who you are and why. For everyone in recovery, it’s a powerful message that with recovery, you get to know yourself, and hopefully build the foundation for a strong and wonderful life where you can face and be yourself.
That’s important, considering how many of us have problems with guilt, shame, and self-acceptance. As we recover, we must rebuild our understanding of ourselves, make friends with ourselves, and accept ourselves as we are.
“It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.”
Confucius’ wisdom is applied to everything from war to grocery shopping, but it strikes a particularly powerful note for those of us in recovery. Addiction treatment, recovery, meetings, relapse, going back to recovery, the journey is hard, long, and slow. Celebrities like Carrie Fisher admit to facing cravings and relapse over a decade after rehab. Recovery is an ongoing battle and it will be slow. But eventually, like the turtle from the fabled turtle and the hare, slow and steady does indeed win the race.
“Recovery is hard. Regret is harder.”
– Brittany Burgunder
Brittany Burgunder is a certified coach, and author of “Safety in Numbers”. While Burgunder has never battled addiction, and certainly wasn’t talking about substances in her book, where she said “Recovery is hard. Regret is harder”, she has faced her own demons. Burgunder battled an eating disorder, her weight fluctuating from just 56 lbs. to over 211. Today, she’s at a healthy weight and coaches others with eating disorders.
Her quote is about addiction and addiction recovery, battling the same behavioral problems as a substance use disorder. Because changing how you act, fighting cravings, and becoming a better version of yourself is the hardest part of recovery, no matter what your behavioral disorder is.
“I’m Not Telling You It Is Going to Be Easy, I’m Telling You It’s Going to Be Worth It.”
We’ve all heard that nothing easy is ever worth it, and while that’s not quite true, this version is much more relatable. Recovery is difficult. Nothing about walking away from a substance use disorder will ever be easy. But, eventually, when you can live your life and enjoy your life for what it is, it will be worth it. You’re fighting for your ability to live a happy, healthy life with people you care about, with goals and dreams, and with your health and mental faculties at their strongest. It will be worth it.
“If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.”
– Joseph Goldstein
Joseph Goldstein is most well-known for his work in popularizing Buddhism and mindfulness in the United States. The above quote comes from the author’s book, “The Experience of Insight”. It easily outlines the fact that once you start, keeping up recovery is a matter of putting one foot in front of the other and focusing on that, not on the journey and the long road ahead of us.
“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Raph Waldo Emerson has filled books and books with popular quotes, but this one calls to mind the fact that every time we slip and fall and stand back up, we can and should be proud of ourselves. That means being proud that you chose recovery. It also means being proud of yourself every single day that you choose recovery over drinking or using. And, if you relapse and choose to go back to recovery, you can be proud of that too. You will fail, we all fail. You’ve failed in the past. But as long as you keep trying, keep getting up, and keep moving forward, you, your friends, and your family, can be proud of you.
While Emerson’s quote is about finding pride in perseverance, this Japanese proverb is about not giving up hope. The quote reads, “Nana korobi, ya oki”, roughly meaning, “Fall seven times, stand up eight”. It means that you will fail and you have to fail because you are human, but eventually you will persevere.
That’s a crucial message for many of us, especially as we see failure as a sign that we will continue to fail. A more Americanized version of this quote is Edison’s quote, in response to being asked if he’d really failed to make a lightbulb 700 times, “I have not failed 700 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.” Don’t give up hope, keep going. Just make sure that you stand up one more time than you fall down.
“Don’t let the past steal your present.”
– Cherrie Moraga
Cherrie Moraga penned these words in a work of feminism titled “This Bridge Called my Back”. While the quote was likely used before this and has been used by others since, Moraga’s quote remains an incredibly powerful one. This is especially true to those of us facing shame, feelings that we aren’t good enough, and that insidious belief that “once an addict, always an addict”. We are fighting to recover, to build a new and better life, and nothing in the past can take that unless we give up.
“The way to cope with the future is to create it”
– Ilya Prigogine
While few of us know or even care about the 1977 Nobel Prize recipient in Chemistry, especially considering his prize was awarded for his contributions to non-equilibrium thermodynamics, particularly the theory of dissipative structures, it’s very easy to align with his message in this quote. Prigogine was talking about coping with the massive changes to life and future created by the creation and use of the atomic bomb, and as part of a generation of Cold War kids, that impact was phenomenal. Prigogine and many like him dedicated their lives to overcoming that fear and to building a better future for themselves.
While overcoming addiction is a lot more immediate and personal, the same message holds true. The best way to cope is to build a future for yourself that makes you happy. Build a future for yourself where you spend most days forgetting you have to cope.
“Not drinking makes me a lot happier.”
– Naomi Campbell
In a world that largely glorifies drinking and substance abuse, where 85% of the U.S. population drinks, it’s remarkably refreshing to hear someone say the truth. Drinking doesn’t make you happy. Once you put down the drink or drugs, you can focus on life, find real joy, and build meaningful relationships. That, in the end, makes you a lot happier than blackouts and forgotten evenings ever will.
You don’t have to drink or use to be happy. You shouldn’t buy into the glorification of substance abuse. And, every time you think about using, you can remind yourself it isn’t all that.
“I wouldn’t have been able to have access to myself or other people, or even been able to take in other people, if I hadn’t changed my life.”
– Bradley Cooper
Most people are surprised to learn that Bradley Cooper, one of the most famous actors of our time, was an addict. But he was. And, he’s fairly outspoken about the fact that recovery changed his life and allowed him to become who he is today. His quote, which points out that the deliberate act of changing your life in recovery will allow you to connect with yourself, to others, and to your life is a powerful one.
Finding inspiration and motivation is an important part of recovery. If you don’t find it in these quotes, feel free to keep looking, including to your community, to your support groups, and to people who have recovered and moved on with their lives.
Please contact Gooden Center today and speak with one of our experienced and professional intake advisors. We can answer any questions you may have. Help is available now.