10 Cool Inspirational Quotes for Your Recovery
Finding inspiration and motivation as you move into recovery can be difficult. For many of us, finding a mantra, a song, or even a quote can be incredibly helpful – both as a distraction and coping mechanism and as inspiration. That often means finding words you align with, that mean something to you, and that help you to move forward. These 10 inspiring quotes are a place to start. However, if they don’t align with what you feel, you can always choose something that is meaningful to you in other ways.
Hopefully one of these quotes inspires you on your journey to recovery.
1. “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
Bradley Cooper, best known for acting in films like A Star is Born and The Hangover, was once an addict. Today, he’s outspoken about recovery and the fact that getting clean and sober allowed him to get where he is today. His quote, which is about deliberately taking control of his life by putting down alcohol, is empowering to everyone. If you can put alcohol down, you can build yourself up to where you want to be in other parts of life – because going into recovery empowers the rest of your life. While you will have to focus on that recover for the near future, you are setting yourself up to live the life you want to live, to connect with the people you want to connect with, and to connect with yourself.
2. “Getting sober is a radically creative act.” – Meredith Bell
The author of Seven Days Sober and A Sober Year is an obvious choice for sharing quotes from, but her most famous is “Getting sober is a radically creative act”. That simple quote is a direct challenge to years of stigma and the idea that people are most creative, most social, most friendly, most alive when drinking or using. We’ve had decades of media pushing the story of the addicted artist – but getting clean is the truly radically creative act. Getting clean is not a thing you do for others, it is a thing to free yourself, to build yourself up, and to create a new version of you that you want to live with. That act of creation will help you to live the life you want to live – giving you the option to do so.
3. “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” — Confucius
The famous quote about moving forward at any pace you want, so long as you don’t stop has been told and told again. For many, it’s most familiar in the story of the turtle and the hare – in which the hare boasts about being able to go fast – but it is the slow and steady pace of the turtle that eventually wins the race. Eventually, it doesn’t matter how fast you go, so long as it’s sustainable, so long as you keep picking up, and so long as you keep moving forward. Every step of recovery can be difficult. Every single process can be set with pitfalls. You might spend days where you spend more time going backwards than forwards. The important thing is that you always pick back up and start moving forward again.
4. “If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.” – Joseph Goldstein
Joseph Goldstein is well-known to many people taking part in mindfulness-based recovery – because he helped to popularize mindfulness in the west. The quote, which comes from the book, “The Experience of Insight”, is similar in meaning to the one above. Once you start on the path or recovery all you have to do is keep going. All you have to do is stay pointed in the right direction. That might include setbacks. It might include relapse, But once you figure out where you’re going, you can just keep moving forward with that path. Of course, it’s never that simple. Staying in the right direction is hard. But you’ve made the first step in the right direction, you’ve made the first step towards the rest of your life and where you want to be and you should be able to continue and keep up motivation.
5. “The way to cope with the future is to create it” – Ilya Prigogine
Ilya Prigogine is best-known for his Nobel Prize in chemistry, but his quote “The way to cope with the future is to create it” is one of the more popular in addiction recovery. The quote, which was about coping with the massive life changes caused by the atomic bomb, has nothing to do with recovery. But, it does mean that the best way to move forward is to build a new life for yourself. And, that’s incredibly powerful when you’re trying to do just that. The future is incredibly scary. Moving forward without drugs and addiction is incredibly scary. But you can build a future for yourself and you can make a life that you want to be in. And that is an incredibly powerful inspiration for most of us.
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6. “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.”– Oliver Goldsmith
Oliver Goldsmith’s famous quote is actually about saying that drunkenness is not a moral failing so long as one is willing to get back up again. In this case, that means getting back up from addiction, in putting one foot in front of the other, and in consistently picking yourself back up. That’s important whether this is your first time in recovery or if you’ve failed in the past. Being able to get up, to keep going, and to persevere, even in the face of failure, is the key to recovery. Real recovery isn’t your willingness to put drugs or alcohol down the first time, it’s your ability to keep doing it and to stop yourself from doing it again. To fail and to pick yourself back up again.
7. “Recovery is hard. Regret is harder.”– Brittany Burgunder
The author of Safety in Numbers is a well-known recovery coach for eating disorders, and her quote about one behavioral disorder applies very well to another. Burgunder was talking about eating disorders. But, that reminder that failing recovery is failing yourself is important. Failing recovery is failing your hopes and dreams for the future. It’s letting yourself down. Each time you slip up, you make it harder for yourself to keep going. And that’s important in a world that tends to glamorize drug and alcohol use, especially when you might be tempted to do so yourself as well.
8. “I’m Not Telling You It Is Going to Be Easy, I’m Telling You It’s Going to Be Worth It.”
Recovery is not easy. Getting clean and sober is not easy. There is nothing about rebuilding yourself and tearing down old habits and behaviors that is easy. At the same time, that effort and work will help you to build a life that you want to live, it will help you to put yourself in a position where you can be happy, where you can enjoy the little things, and where you can be proud of yourself. That’s worth every bit of hard work you put in now. As the quote says, it’s never going to be easy, but it will be worth it.
9. “Don’t let the past steal your present. “– Cherrie Moraga
In “This Bridge Called my Back” feminist writer Cherrie Moraga shared an old quote about moving forward. It’s intended to say that you have to create new ideas and new ideology to move forward, you have to figure out who you are in the future, and you can’t let the past and the past version of you get in the way. That can be incredibly inspiring as you move forward on your journey of recovery. That’s also important to keep in mind. The past, substance abuse, and your past habits and behaviors will steal your ability to enjoy the present, they will drag you back into substance abuse, it is on you to prevent that so that you can grasp your future.
10. “Not drinking makes me a lot happier.”– Naomi Campbell
Most of us are very accustomed to hearing that substance abuse makes us happy. Drinking is the thing you do when you want to feel good. Drugs are an escape. We use social lubricants. The thing is, drinking doesn’t make us happy. It gets in the way. Campbell’s powerful quote reminds us that the real reason we want to quit drugs and alcohol is that we want to be happy. And, if we want to do that, we have to put in the work to get clean and sober.
Finding motivation and inspiration to move into recovery and stay in recovery is one of the most important parts of recovery. Quotes can help you to get there. They can provide reminders of what you’re fighting for. And, they can give you inspiration as you try to move forward. Hopefully, you align with one of these and can find some help and inspiration here.