A cliché is an expression that, although it may expresses great wisdom, starts to feel tired or cheapened by overuse. Among people journeying into recovery, you may encounter many clichéd expressions, things it seems like everybody says. While you may feel that your own experience in recovery is such an intense feeling as to be totally unique, the truth is you are not alone, and that millions of people have walked this road before you, and created sayings and expressions that were helpful to them.

While at first glance their pithy expression of hard experiences may be frustrating, underneath these expressions you will encounter a great deal of wisdom.  Here are a few cliché-seeming expressions you are likely to hear in recovery, and the way their central message still rings true.

1) The Recovery Shuffle – two steps forward, and one step back

Pursuing recovery is a lot hard work, and not always a linear process. Some days it may feel like you’re making a lot of exciting process, feeling better then ever. Then, maybe the next day, things may be a lot harder, and you may be tempted to get discouraged, give up, or feel like a failure.

Doing the “two steps forward, one step back” shuffle means, take the long perspective in seeing and appreciating your growth.  Even though some days may be harder, try to see how you are making growth and progress in the long run. Learning to appreciate the little day-by-day victories will encourage you and give you the stamina to keep going.

2) K.I.S.S – Keep it simple, stupid

Amid all the stresses, temptations, and fears that come with fighting an addiction, positive self dialogue can be a vitally important lifeline that can keep you from relapse or giving into discouragement.  You need a few basic reminders of what is fundamentally true, your desire to get sober and free of how addiction has power over you.  At times when you feel the desire to drink or use cropping up, having too elaborate self-talk may fail to cut through the noise, but a few, practiced, basic reminders will help to calm you of your anxiety and remind you of your commitment.

3) Fake it ‘till you make it

Honestly, some days you are not going to feel like being a sober person. The process of recovery is long and complex, and often requires a great deal of self-healing and personal transformation.  Fake it until you make it just means, don’t wait until you feel like you’ve gotten your act together to start living a sober life.  Simply work on your behavior, and try to transform it to as close to “recovered” as you can get. The healing, and the new ways of thinking will follow careful, healthy behavior.

4) You’re only as sick as your secrets

We live in a world where most people tend to hide their true selves. Addiction in particular creates and thrives under conditions of denial and self-delusion.  Recovery in turn means breaking these patterns of hiding our true selves from each other, learning how to be honest with both ourselves and those around us. Admitting the truth is a vitally important step towards recovery, and so trying to hide something or feel too shameful to confront our thoughts and feelings directly will keep us imprisoned.

5) Keep coming back; it works if you work it

No matter how hard it gets or feels in a particular moment, the overriding encouraging truth is that recovery is possible. This expression, and others like it, remind you to keep trying, to avoid wanting to give up, and to know that things do get easier, and that you are capable of change. The most important thing to remember about your recovery is to have hope that one day you will be sober, free, and healthy, and then live in that hope by doing whatever you need to do to beat your addiction.