17 Inspiring Quotes for Recovering Addicts
Every day as a recovering addict, you face challenges and hardships many others fail to understand. Each time you wake up, you must choose to stay sober, regardless of what the day might bring.
It’s important to stay positive and motivated during your recovery to continue to progress with treating your alcohol or drug addiction, but this is easier said than done. Despite how cliche it may feel, reading through inspiring recovery quotes and positive affirmations can be helpful during recovery or detox, whether in a treatment center or at home.
In moments when you’re feeling down or as if you may relapse, sometimes your own words are all you have to get yourself off that ledge. You may find that only one quote sticks with you, and that’s fine! If you can remind yourself about what it means to you, you can continue to motivate yourself every day and face any hardships.
Read below for a list of inspiring quotes to help get you or your loved ones through those darker days and mental health struggles.
Recovery Is Hard
Many times during your recovery, you will find yourself struggling to maintain sobriety. This is normal, even though it is hard. Trying to get away from using substances is not an easy process, especially for those that suffer from addiction.
With addiction, you become dependent on a substance and feel you cannot function without it. As a result of this dependency, your body may need up to four weeks to rid it from your system.
During this period, you may suffer from withdrawals and need to go through specialized inpatient treatment programs at a rehab center to become sober. It takes hard work, dedication, and an occasional relapse to recover from the disease of addiction.
And recovery looks different for everyone, so you shouldn’t base your pace on anyone else’s! As Confucious said, it doesn’t matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.
Depending on what your recovery looks like, there are going to be different quotes that resonate with you. Keep reading to find some inspiration to help you through this part of recovery.
Staying Inspired Can Help
When you are in active recovery, you need to be reminding yourself why you are doing it. It can be hard to stay positive, but it actually does help with the process. When you’re speaking to yourself with motivational quotes, they can act as a form of self-coaching.
You can begin to reshape your thoughts and outlook on life if you speak to yourself more positively. They can help us have grace toward our past mistakes — after all, this is the beginning of the rest of your life. We all make mistakes — it’s how we move forward that counts.
Often, the quotes we look to for comfort and positivity are spoken by people who have struggled. Reading other recovering addicts' words that helped bring them to their place of success can motivate your journey.
Addiction Recovery Quotes on Staying Motivated
One of the hardest things to do during the recovery journey is to stay motivated. You need to think about the future and imagine how your life will be as you continue to be sober. Looking forward to the future and working on yourself will help you to meet your goals.
1. “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” - Confucius
Recovery takes time, and you shouldn’t try to rush anything. However fast you go is good enough. The progress that you make when you take your time is worth it in the end.
2. “Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving; we get stronger and more resilient.” - Steve Maraboli
The more you work towards your recovery, the stronger you will become. Every day you stay sober will get easier over time simply because you will have the resilience to say no.
3. “It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.” – Joseph Campbell
Sometimes, you must hit rock bottom to see that you need to change. Once you’re down there, you will begin the journey of finding yourself and becoming the best version of you.
4. “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” – Robert Collier
Recovery is about how you respond to each day that you live sober. Every day is a challenge, but it’s worth it as you continue to see the progress.
5. “Don’t let the past steal your present.” – Terri Guillemets
It can be hard to move forward when dwelling on your past regrets. Don’t let those stop you from getting better. Instead, use those regrets to fuel your passion for bettering yourself.
6. “Anyone can give up; it is the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone would expect you to fall apart, now that is true strength.” – Chris Bradford
Whenever you feel like quitting, think about how good it will feel knowing that you persevered. It does take true strength to maintain sobriety and work towards your recovery. Addiction can take a lot from you, but you are strong enough to build yourself back up.
7. “Sometimes we motivate ourselves by thinking of what we want to become. Sometimes we motivate ourselves by thinking about who we don’t ever want to be again.” – Shane Niemeyer
If you can resonate with never wanting to be the person you were while enduring substance abuse, use that as a motivator. Don’t let yourself return to where you were; instead, work hard so you never have to.
8. “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
You are the person who is in charge of your destiny. You make the decisions that will lead you down the right path. You just have to commit to making choices that are right for you.
Quotes on Self Love
We often do not see ourselves as worthy of recovery. Half the battle is getting to the point where we want to help ourselves.
Before recovery, we can feel ashamed and unwilling to ask for help because it’s too embarrassing. You need to show yourself some grace and allow yourself to feel worthy. Working on your self-love is one way to help you through your recovery journey.
With the following quotes, you can remind yourself that you are worth it and you should love yourself!
9. “One of the hardest things was learning that I was worth recovery.” – Demi Lovato
It can take time before you realize that not believing you are worth it is holding you back. Your happiness and life are worth every day of recovery, even if you don’t feel that way initially.
10. “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker
Addiction can take a lot of joy and power from a person. You may feel like you’ve lost yourself within your addiction, and it can be hard to find yourself again. Just know that even when you’re feeling down, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and you’re on your way there.
11. “The greatest mistake to make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one.” – Elbert Hubbard
Part of self-love is trusting yourself to make the right decisions. So often, you hold yourself back by being scared of making mistakes. You have to allow yourself to mess up to see progress. At the same time, you have to trust that you will make the best decisions for you. You’re capable of so much more than you think!
12. “All the suffering, stress, and addiction comes from not realizing you already are what you are looking for.“ – Jon Kabat-Zinn
Many people fall into addiction because they are struggling with loving themselves. People use substances to cope with the negativity and pain in their lives. They often find it feels better to escape from their own reality with drugs or alcohol, as it makes it easier to survive.
13. “I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.” – Audre Lorde
You deserve to be healthy and happy. You deserve a life that is free from addiction. It can take a while to understand this, but that’s because addiction will have you believing you are not worth it. When you take care of yourself, you will see how everything falls into place.
14. “You can’t defeat the darkness by keeping it caged inside of you.” – Seth Adam Smith
You need to work on yourself and your demons to set yourself free from addiction. With treatment and therapy, you can get to the bottom of your problems, making recovery easier.
15. “Sometimes you’ve just got to give yourself what you wish someone else would give you.” – Dr. Phil McGraw
You don’t need to wait for anyone else to make your life complete. No one can tell you what kind of life you deserve other than yourself. When dealing with drug or alcohol addiction, you might wish someone would help you, but you are your biggest supporter, so don’t wait for someone else to come along.
Quotes That Help With Maintaining Sobriety
Maintenance is key when entering into addiction recovery. During this time, your body may crave substances even if remaining sober is your goal. You have to fight back each day, and finding words of encouragement can’t hurt!
Because sobriety is something that you have to choose every day, it can feel like an uphill battle. You may wake up wondering when things will get better and when you’ll stop thinking about your addiction. For many, the addiction may always live inside you, but the choice to be sober and healthy outweighs those urges.
16. “If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.” – Chinese Proverbs
The process of recovery is challenging no matter what, but if you’re already on your journey to end your addiction, you’re halfway there. You have made the hardest decision to choose sobriety, so keep moving in that direction, and you’ll reach your goals.
17. “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” – Friedrich Nietzsch
Addiction is a disease that can take the lives of the people that suffer from it. If you’re still here after all that you’ve gone through, there’s nothing else that you can do but keep pushing forward. You’ve been made stronger, having gone through all the hardships of addiction.
And if none of these quotes sticks with you, find your own. There is a multitude of inspirational quotes out there, on social media and the internet, from leaders in recovery like Robert Downey Jr., Russel Brand, and Benjamin Alire Sáenz. Your recovery may be your greatest glory, so make it your own.
Find Your Community With Sober Sidekick
When in recovery, you may find that surrounding yourself with people who have gone through similar struggles makes the process easier. You won't feel so alone when you have a community to share your struggles with. And this community doesn’t have to be in a physical treatment facility, either.
When you download the Sober Sidekick app on either the iPhone or Android, you gain access to a community of sober-seeking individuals who want to support others. They can share inspirational quotes that helped them, give you advice when you’re struggling, and just be there to talk when you’re feeling down.
Start today and find AA meetings happening nearby or online, find addiction treatment, meet people with similar goals, and keep working towards your sobriety goals.
Motivation for Change and Alcoholism Treatment | NCBI
Substance Use Disorder | Johns Hopkins Medicine
Review of the Application of Positive Psychology to Substance Use, Addiction, and Recovery Research | NCBI
Focus: Addiction: Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery | NCBI