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101 Inspiring Recovery Quotes

by Landmark Recovery

December 4, 2018
Two women holding their thumbs up as a sign of daily motivation

Addiction recovery quotes can give you the strength to persevere through the darkest stages of addiction. While attending meetings, going to individual and group therapy, and enrolling in an inpatient recovery facility are useful steps for getting sober, maintaining motivation is the most important part of your recovery journey. It’s all about the mindset. Get inspired by these 101 Addiction Recovery Quotes.

Quotes About Resilience

A person holding their fist in the air because they are resillient in their fight against addiction

“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.” – Joseph Campbell

“Recovery isn’t for people who need it, it’s for people who want it.” – Anonymous

“Don’t be ashamed of your story, it will inspire others.” – Anonymous

The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill

“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.” – August Wilson

“Courage isn’t having the strength to go on – it is going on when you don’t have strength.” – Napoléon Bonaparte

“Real hope combined with real action has always pulled me through difficult times. Real hope combined with doing nothing has never pulled me through.” – Jenni Schaefer

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’ No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.” – Dalai Lama XIV

“Pain in this life is not avoidable, but the pain we create avoiding pain is avoidable.” – R.D. Laing

“I believe in recovery, and as a role model I have the responsibility to let young people know that you can make a mistake and come back from it.” – Ann Richards

“Never underestimate a recovering addict. We fight for our lives every day in ways most people will never understand.” – Anonymous

“I understood myself only after I destroyed myself. And only in the process of fixing myself, did I know who I really was.” — Unknown

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe

“Don’t be pushed by your problems, be lead by your dreams.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” – Victor Hugo

“Pain is the touchstone of spiritual growth” – Anonymous

Anonymous Quotes About Recovery

A woman standing outside at night watching the sunset

“I would rather go through life sober, believing I am an alcoholic, than go through life drunk, trying to convince myself that I am not.”

“You were never created to live depressed, defeated, guilty, condemned, ashamed or unworthy. You were created to be victorious.”

“Recovery is not for people who need it, it’s for people who want it.”

“It’s gonna get harder before it gets easier. But it will get better, you just gotta make it through the hard stuff first.”

“Addiction is the disease that makes you too selfish to see the havoc you created or care about the people whose lives you have shattered.”

“Recovery is something that you have to work on every single day and it’s something that doesn’t get a day off.”

“If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.”

“It’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t. It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not.”

“You don’t get over an addiction by stopping using. You recovery by creating a new life where it’s easier to not use. If you don’t create a new life, then all the factors that brought you to your addiction will catch up with you again.”

“There is no shame in beginning again, for you get a chance to build bigger and better than before.”

“I know you’re tired, I know you feel like giving up, but you’re not going to. You know why? Because you are strong, and when you’re survived through all the shit your addiction has but you through, you can survive recovery.”

“Recovery didn’t open the gates of heaven and let me in. Recovery opened the gates of hell and let me out!”

“Recovery is about progression not perfection.”

“Recovery is an acceptance that your life is in shambles and you have to change.”

“I am not defined by my relapses, but by my decision to remain in recovery despite them.”

“I understood myself only after I destroyed myself. And only in the process of fixing myself, did I know who I really was.”

“The goal isn’t to be sober. The goal is to love yourself so much that you don’t need to drink.”

“My recovery must come first so that everything I love in life doesn’t have to come last.”

“I’m not telling you it is going to be easy, I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.”

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”

Quotes About Addiction

A man out on a hike while thinking about his addiction

“At first, addiction is maintained by pleasure, but the intensity of the pleasure gradually diminishes and the addiction is then maintained by the avoidance of pain.” — Frank Tallis

“Addiction: the disease that makes you too selfish to see the havoc that you created or care about the people whose lives you shattered.” — Unknown

“You don’t get over an addiction by stopping using. You recover by creating a new life where it is easier to not use. If you don’t create a new life, then all the factors that brought you to your addiction will catch up with you again.” — Unknown

“Drugs take you to hell, disguised as heaven.” — Donald Lyn Frost

“Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol, morphine or idealism.” – Carl Gustav Jung

“Whether you sniff it smoke it eat it or shove it up your ass the result is the same: addiction.” – William S. Burroughs

Most addicts I have talked to report a similar experience. They did not start using drugs for any reason they can remember. They just drifted along until they got hooked. If you have never been addicted, you can have no clear idea what it means to need junk with the addict’s special need. You don’t decide to be an addict. One morning you wake up sick and you’re an addict.” – William S. Burroughs, Junky

“An intelligent person can rationalize anything, a wise person doesn’t try.” – Jen Knox

“There are all kinds of addicts, I guess. We all have pain. And we all look for ways to make the pain go away.” – Sherman Alexie

“…most substance-addicted people are also addicted to thinking, meaning they have a compulsive and unhealthy relationship with their own thinking.” – David Foster Wallace

“Imagine trying to live without air. Now imagine something worse.” – Amy Reed

“There is a yearning that is as spiritual as it is sensual. Even when it degenerates into addiction, there is something salvageable from the original impulse that can only be described as sacred. Something in the person (dare we call it a soul?) wants to be free, and it seeks its freedom any way it can. … There is a drive for transcendence that is implicit in even the most sensual of desires.” – Mark Epstein,

“Something they seem to omit to mention in Boston AA when you’re new and out of your skull with desperation and ready to eliminate your map and they tell you how it’ll all get better and better as you abstain and recover: they somehow omit to mention that the way it gets better and you get better is through pain. Not around pain, or in spite of it.” – David Foster Wallace

“One thing you must realize is that: you either kill your addiction or your addiction will eventually kill you.” – Oche Otorkpa

Celebrity Quotes About Addiction

The Hollywood sign. Many celebrities who live in Hollywood are in recovery.

“Even when I took the drugs I realized that this just wasn’t fun anymore. The drugs had become a part of my routine. Something to wake me up. Something to help me sleep. Something to calm my nerves. There was a time when I was able to wake up, go to sleep, and have fun without a pill or a line to help me function. These days it felt like I might have a nervous breakdown if I didn’t have them.” – Cherie Currie

“Amy [Winehouse] increasingly became defined by her addiction. Our media though is more interested in tragedy than talent, so the ink began to defect from praising her gift to chronicling her downfall. The destructive personal relationships, the blood soaked ballet slippers, the aborted shows, that YouTube madness with the baby mice. In the public perception this ephemeral tittle-tattle replaced her timeless talent. This and her manner in our occasional meetings brought home to me the severity of her condition. Addiction is a serious disease; it will end with jail, mental institutions, or death.” – Russell Brand

“Every day I ran to that book like it was a bottle of whiskey and crawled inside because it was a world that I had at least some control over, and slowly, in time, it began to take shape.” – Craig Ferguson

“The priority of any addict is to anaesthetize the pain of living to ease the passage of day with some purchased relief.” – Russell Brand

“An alcoholic is someone who can violate his standards faster than he can lower them.” – Robin Williams

“My identity shifted when I got into recovery. That’s who I am now, and it actually gives me greater pleasure to have that identity than to be a musician or anything else, because it keeps me in a manageable size.” – Eric Clapton

“Whether I or anyone else accepted the concept of alcoholism as a disease didn’t matter; what mattered was that when treated as a disease, those who suffered from it were most likely to recover.” – Craig Ferguson

“From an outsider’s perspective, it would seem like I had it all. It was actually a very lonely time for me because I was suffering from alcoholism… I’ve been the lead in movies, on television shows and nominated for Emmy. But the best thing I can say about me is that people who can’t stop drinking come up to me and say, ‘Can you help me?’ And I can say, ‘Yes.’” – Matthew Perry

“One of the hardest things was learning that I was worth recovery.” – Demi Lovato

“For me, recovery and self-care are inextricably connected. My recovery from abuse, addiction, and a suicide attempt required dump truck loads of self-care.” – Steve Austin

Quotes About Recovery

A woman smiling on the beach because she is happy with her recovery journey

“Recovery didn’t open the gates of heaven and let me in. Recovery opened the gates of hell and let me out.” — Unknown

“You can’t go back and chance the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” C.S. Lewis

“The goal isn’t to be sober. The goal is to love yourself so much that you don’t have to drink.” — Unknown

“The most important thing you can do to support your partner in his [or her]recovery is to show that you are truly supportive and on his [or her]side.” – Christopher Kennedy Lawford

“I am not defined by my relapses, but in my decision to remain in recovery despite them.” — Unknown

“Everything you need to heal is inside yourself. You only need support and encouragement to listen to yourself—to your thoughts, feelings, imagery, and inner spiritual urgings. A book, like a therapist or group, can only guide you, helping you to say out loud what you dared not say even to yourself.” – Renee Fredrickson

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

“There is no shame in beginning again, for you to get a chance to build bigger and better than before.” — Unknown

“I cannot stand the words Get over it. All of us are under such pressure to put our problems in the past tense. Slow down. Don’t allow others to hurry your healing. It is a process, one that may take years, occasionally, even a lifetime — and that’s OK.” – Beau Taplin

“In the end, some of your greatest pains become your greatest strengths.” – Drew Barrymore

“We have to be braver than we think we can be, because God is constantly calling us to be more than we are.” – Madeleine L’Engle

“My only choice was to fight my way out, even if I didn’t think I would make it.” – Laurie Halse Anderson

“Recovery is a process. It takes time. It take patience. It takes everything you’ve got.” – Anonymous

“Recovery from addiction requires hard work, a proper attitude and learning skills to stay sober, not drinking alcohol or using other drugs. Successful drug recovery or alcohol recovery involves changing attitudes, acquiring knowledge, and developing skills to meet the many challenges of sobriety.” – Dr. Dennis Daley

“Recovery is an acceptance that your life is in shambles, and you have to change it.” – Jamie Lee Curtis

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” – Melody Beattie

“I am strong because I have been weak. I am fearless because I’ve been afraid. I am wise because I’ve been foolish.” – Anonymous

Quotes About Drug Laws

A gavel used in a courtroom

“Our government’s got a war on drugs….But get this: The two most widely abused and addictive and destructive of all substances are both perfectly legal. One, of course, is ethyl alcohol. And President George W. Bush, no less, and by his own admission, was smashed, or tiddly-poo, or four sheets to the wind a good deal of time from when he was sixteen until he was forty. When he was forty-one, he says, Jesus appeared to him and made him knock off the sauce, stop gargling nose paint. Other drunks have seen pink elephants.” – Kurt Vonnegut

“We wouldn’t have much need of a war if people stopped using drugs. It’s like taking up a fight against the use of headache remedies; it will never work until the condition causing people’s headache pain is healed.” – Chris Prentiss

“So just take a look at the different prosecution rates and sentencing rules for ghetto drugs like crack and suburban drugs like cocaine, or for drunk drivers and drug users, or just between blacks and whites in general―the statistics are clear: this is a war on the poor and minorities. Or ask yourself a simple question: how come marijuana is illegal but tobacco legal? I don’t really see any other difference between the two of them, frankly―except that tobacco’s far more lethal and far more addictive.” – Noam Chomsky

“New Rule: Stop pretending your drugs are morally superior to my drugs because you get yours at a store. This week in American Scientist … a study done in England that measured the lethality of various drugs found tobacco and alcohol far worse than pot, LSD, or Ecstasy—which pretty much mirrors my own experiments in this same area. The Beatles took LSD and wrote Sgt. Pepper—Anna Nicole Smith took legal drugs and couldn’t remember the number for nine-one-one.” – Bill Maher

“The cost of the drug war is many times the more painful, in all its manifestations, than would be the licensing of drugs combined with intensive education of non-users and intensive education designed to warn those who experiment with drugs.” – William F. Buckley.

“I’m a recovering drug addict and know that drug addiction is an illness, it’s a disease, so by criminalizing that you criminalize a huge percentage of the population. You malign them and stigmatize them, you generate more crime, you crate a criminal culture, and speaking from the perspective of a sufferer it’s simply not helpful.” – Russell Brand

“People use drugs, legal and illegal, because their lives are intolerably painful or dull. They hate their work and find no rest in their leisure. They are estranged from their families and their neighbors. It should tell us something that in healthy societies drug use is celebrative, convivial, and occasional, whereas among us it is lonely, shameful, and addictive. We need drugs, apparently, because we have lost each other.” – Wendell Berry

“Strict gun laws are about as effective as strict drug laws. It pains me to say this, but the NRA seems to be right. The cities and states that have the toughest gun laws have the most murder and mayhem.” – Mike Royko

“I’m the guy that authored that drug court policy. We should divert convicts into treatment.” – Joe Biden

“Drug use is a public health issue, not a criminal or moral issue. It should not be dealt with in the criminal justice system, but primarily as a public health issue.” – Jill Stein

Daily Motivation Quotes

Two women holding their thumbs up as a sign of daily motivation

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” – Robert Collier

“Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.” – John Wayne

“If you can quit for a day, you can quit for a lifetime.” – Benjamin Alire Sáenz

“We’re all looking at the people around us, the people who have gone before us who have succeeded in recovery and have long-term sobriety and they are an illustration for us of how good it can be.” – Scott Stevens

“The hopeful part about that is when you do have that help, you will feel better. It still doesn’t make this easy. Nothing makes this easy, but you can make better decisions.” – David Sheff

“The CRAFT approach, developed by Bob Meyers at U of New Mexico, is one set of important tools that DO work, and it feels great to see families using these strategies and getting results, feeling hopeful again, feeling empowered, getting support, learning to trust themselves again, getting their lives and the lives of their children back.” – Jeff Foote, PhD

“Recovery is all about using our power to change our beliefs that are based on faulty data.” – Kevin McCormack

“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.” – Anne Lamott

“I know, despite all my best efforts and deepest desires, that I can’t guarantee a happy, healthy, and successful path for my children; still, once in a while, I feel the tide touching my toes.” – D’Anne Burwell

“There is a place in this movement for everybody, whether you just want to share your story at a school, share your story with your neighbor or you want to speak to your legislator about how important supporting addiction recovery is for our communities.” – Greg Williams

“Positive thoughts and prayer have been the best means available, since the beginning of time, to transform darkness into light.” – Kate Stevens

“Get in touch with their own intuition. The answers are inside if we have a process to be introspective. – Dr. Herby Bell

The Journey to Recovery Begins Here

These and other addiction recovery quotes are a great way to facilitate the process of early recovery. Read them every day. When paired with the support of drug and alcohol recovery centers, your chance for long-term recovery is higher, and your future is bright! You will start and continue to do amazing things, and you, as well as others, will notice your amazing progress in recovery.

Are you or a loved one possibly suffering from drug and alcohol addiction? You’re not alone. At Landmark Recovery, we’ve built a reputation for providing treatment for individuals seeking help for drug and alcohol addiction. You’re not just a number to us, and our team of dedicated professionals is waiting to greet you with compassion, understanding, and respect.

It’s never too late to start the recovery process. Whenever you are ready to take the first steps to overcome addiction, call 888-448-0302 for more information. Landmark Recovery will be here for you.

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About the Author

Landmark Recovery

Landmark Recovery

Landmark Recovery was founded with a determination to make addiction treatment accessible for all. Through our integrated treatment programs, we've helped thousands of people choose recovery over addiction and get back to life on their own terms. We're on a mission to save one million lives over the next century. We encourage all those struggling with substance use to seek professional help.