The first inspirational and powerful quote given to me in early recovery was the following “First, kill the crocodile closest to the boat,” intended to make me focus on stopping drinking alcohol before focusing on anything else.
Inspirational and powerful quotes are loving reminders expressing love to the recovering alcoholics and addicts. These quotes are usually found in our literature, relayed via our sponsor’s tongue, and shared amongst fellow addicts when sharing their experience, strength, and hope.
Most people can appreciate an inspiring and powerful quote; they often provide us with hope. Most addicts live by a particular set of powerful quotes, inspiring us to stay clean. Not all of them will make sense to the “normal people” and may be perceived as bland or dull, but for those of us fighting for our lives daily, it’s a constant reminder to keep on recovering.
Inspiring And Powerful Quotes For Recovering Alcoholics And Addicts
Substance abuse is a killer. I speak from a place of personal experience as I suffer from the disease of addiction, which includes alcohol and drug addiction. When I checked into my first rehab, I was introduced to addiction treatment for the first time in my life and subsequently pointed in the right direction.
While in the treatment program, we were slowly introduced to all kinds of addiction recovery quotes, but to be honest, they were not inspirational or influential for me, as my recovery process was still in its infancy.
A few weeks into my recovery journey, the quotes started sticking in my head, and I thought about them a lot. I convinced myself into having a quote tattooed on my arm as I wanted to be reminded of the message always and forever.
A couple of months later, I relapsed, which would last for three years, all the while having a recovery quote staring at me as I threw my new life away again after taking that first brave step in the right direction. The worst day for any recovering addict is when they pick up again or drink one beer. “For one is too many, and a thousand is never enough.”
If you are a family member that wants to use inspirational and powerful quotes to show love to a friend or family member in recovery, use the ones we use. The sooner we start living by these addiction quotes, the sooner we start seeing the beautiful truth that only recovery reveals.
“Let Go & Let God”
These were the words on the tattoo that I was telling you about. Before I explain the meaning, I need to make you aware that AA is not a religious program rather a spiritual one. God refers to a Higher Power as he/she/it may reveal itself to you.
Anything can be a Higher Power, just as long as it’s not you! The only criteria for a Higher power are unconditional love, caring, and wanting the best for you. All will be revealed by working with a sponsor and doing step work.
Most alcoholics struggle to relinquish control and have a long way to go before handing our self-will (which almost killed some of us) and trust over to a power that will take care of us.
The quote reminds us that we should not hang onto the things we have no control over as God knows best what to do with them. I am in control of my attitude and actions only.
“I try to avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward.” – Charlotte Bronte.
“Just For Today – One Day At A Time”
Fear used to play a big part in my life. Fear of the future, fear of the past, relapsing, fear of everything haunted my daily existence. This critical quote tells me that I don’t have to fear the future, as I only have to stay clean for today. Tomorrow will take care of itself.
When fear takes control of my spirit, I can always go back to my new default setting, making it “one day at a time.” Just for today, I will not use and be the best human being I can be. Simple.
“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” – Nelson Mandela.
“Keep It Simple – Easy Does It”
Often you will hear somebody in the rooms mention that AA is a “simple program for complicated people.” In active alcohol addiction, I did everything to suppress feelings forget past pain, in the process complicating my life to the degree that every part of it was unmanageable.
“We did not become addicted in one day, so easy does it.” When I was in early recovery, the need to try and fix everything I destroyed was huge. From broken relationships to finding employment, making amends, feeling my feelings, I wanted to do it all at once.
Often, I felt deflated when my best-laid plans did not come to fruition. Later on, I started to live this mantra to keep things simple. The important thing I realized was that I had to start recovering first, by living in the moment, before any of the beautiful things that recovery brings could manifest.
“Give yourself permission to allow this moment to be exactly as it is, and allow yourself to be exactly as you are.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn.
“This Too Shall Pass”
What will we do without these magical words? I was not one to square up to negative feelings and emotions. When angry, I would use, when sad or heartbroken, I would use, even when I felt relatively happy, I would go out and use. Us addicts love to escape reality, even if it means more drama when we return from la-la land.
At times, living on life’s terms without my usual escape route has been challenging. You have to know that when drugs and alcohol are not part of our lives anymore, our addictive behaviors and character defects will start to reveal themselves. And it isn’t pretty.
When faced with a “dilemma” like feeling our emotions for the first time in years or when an uncomfortable situation sucks us in, I tell myself that this too shall pass. Addicts are creatures of instant gratification, and it takes us a while to start learning how to be patient.
Sitting with feelings can be the most challenging thing at first, so be kind to yourself and know that every tough situation, every complex scenario, any hardship, and struggle will come to pass, revealing the beauty of sober life when it does.
“No matter what you are going through, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.” – Demi Lovato.
‘’ Keep Coming Back; It Works If You Work It, So Work It You’re Worth It”
Recovery is not for cowards. Recovery is like life, little moments of true happiness mixed with hardship and work. Life is hard. We all have some experience with how hard life knocks when it starts throwing punches.
It takes guts to admit you have a problem. Then it takes commitment, willingness, and most importantly, lots of action to address drug or alcohol abuse. Many recovering addicts make a mistake by thinking that going to rehab and getting professional help will recover them entirely.
That magically, after a couple of months in a treatment program, they will be cured. We don’t cure the disease of addiction; we can only try to arrest it. Arresting our disease comes from putting in the necessary work. The terms for recovery are straightforward and require action.
Work that includes the following continuous actions:
· Step work
· Seeking contact with our Higher Power
· Going to meetings
· Being of service to other struggling addicts
Doing the work leads to a better life because if you don’t do the suggested things, the chances are high that you will return to your old rock bottom ways. I find that when I put in half the effort that I put into getting my fix into my recovery, all will be well.
I have seen it with my eyes so many times. An addict who puts in the work gets to live, while an addict who doesn’t die. Drugs don’t deserve you; you deserve life. Remember why you started whenever you feel like quitting – and put in the work.
“Recovery is hard. Regret is harder.” – Brittany Burgunder.
“Keep An Open Mind”
I am one of those who used to think and believe that I knew almost everything, more intelligent than the rest. I could manipulate my way into getting what I wanted, lied to hide the truth on so many occasions that I felt untouchable when it came to life.
That was until I found myself broken, defeated, and clueless. I was told to forget everything I thought I knew about life, become teachable, and, most importantly, keep an open mind. With all of my “knowledge” and best efforts, I had managed to destroy anything resembling a healthy life practically.
An open mind saves addicts. If you are willing to unlearn what you think you know, and you are willing to learn new ways of thinking, then you are well on your way. Recovery is learning a new way of thinking, implementing these new ideas into your own life, leading us to become whole people.
“I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be.” – Albert Einstein.
“Do The Next Right Thing”
Recovering addicts will never be ordinary people; we don’t think like normal people, years of substance abuse will do that to you. Truth be told, I was an addict from a very early age, revealed to me by obsessive behavior and construed thinking.
That being said, everyone has a moral compass, and if you lose yours like many of us, you will find it in recovery. A good thing about addicts in recovery is that we try to do the next right thing most of the time. Years of doing the wrong things turn into “why not start doing the right things.”
When we don’t know what that may look like, we reach out and ask our sponsor or friends in recovery to assist. We find our answers in our literature, our daily readings, and in our faith in our Higher Power. We need to stay in spiritual balance, and doing the next right thing, not the easiest thing, helps us with the balancing act.
“What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
“Get Honest – Say It Like It Is”
Three things are indispensable in order to recover, they are:
It’s HOW we recover. I used to mask my true feelings as I always ran from them. I was like an out-of-control mask-wearing villain, smiling on the outside yet slowly dying on the inside. Everything was fine until it was not. I had to get honest with myself, my disease, the people who loved me.
Nobody stays the same when they come into recovery, and honesty plays a significant role in this new beginning. I did not find it hard to get honest because I honestly had no choice. Lying is what we do when we are in active addiction; honesty is what we use to counter the lies of our past.
A great way of practicing to become an honest person is to say it like it is. Say what’s on your heart, no matter the outcome, as sticking to your truth is better than living a lie. If you are unable, unwilling, or incapable of becoming honest, your chances of recovery are slim at best. That’s the honest truth!
“I guess the worst day I have had was when I had to stand up in rehab in front of my wife and daughter and say –Hi, my name is Sam, and I am an addict.” – Samuel L. Jackson.
Addiction typically ends in isolation. The opposite to addiction is connection. You may have experienced utter loneliness for a long time. The good and reassuring news is that you are not alone anymore. Addicts are a tight-knit bunch; we need to be.
Part of recovery is learning how to connect with people again, becoming part of a community of people that love you, want to help you, and will love you until you learn how to love yourself. How beautiful is this last sentence? You never need to be alone again unless you choose to be.
On your worst or best days, there will always be somebody ready to help., ready to listen, every single day. The trick is learning to put my ego aside, admit my vulnerability, and reach out for help.
“Where there is love, there is life.” – Mahatma Gandhi.
“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” – Albert Einstein.
“We Do Recover”
The most beautiful affirmation found in recovery is that we do recover. We learn how to live, we learn how to stay clean and sober, we seek a spiritual connection, we admit to our wrongs and try to put them right, and we help other addicts fight for their lives.
We become functioning members in our families our communities, and we regain our values, living one day at a time. We become grateful and start to love ourselves and others. We leave behind the darkness and despair that addiction brought to our lives. Recovery is the new start we crave while struggling with our demons.
We get to know ourselves honestly. When we play our movie forward, it’s a message of hope; when we play our movie backward, we acknowledge our past mistakes, knowing that we can never use drugs and alcohol again. The only thing I need to nurture and maintain is my sobriety. The gifts of recovery follow when we make the right choices and decisions.
‘’It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela
“There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.” – Aldous Huxley.
“We are people in the grip of a continuing and progressive illness whose ends are always the same: jails, institutions, and death.” Russell Brand has been quoted as saying something similar.
If you are stuck in active addiction and have tried everything but a 12-step program, try it out for yourself. We do recover.