Although every human experience is unique, facing difficult challenges in our lives is a commonality that is widely shared. Many individuals before you have faced and overcome challenges, and many will continue to face challenges long after we have passed. If you are battling an addiction, it can sometimes help to draw strength from those who have come before.
Quotes can be powerful because they capture a part of this struggle we all share. Some quotes speak to us because they distill a poignant thought that can be applied to many areas of our lives. The best quotes turn our thoughts inward, giving us a moment to reflect on ourselves or to view our situation in a new light.
Recovering from addiction is a challenge that few who have not done it can truly understand. It is at its core a personal struggle, yet throughout recovery, you can find inspiration in and draw strength from the people around you. Finding the strength to battle through a difficult point in your recovery will help you become stronger and more resilient, but this can sometimes be difficult to see in the moment. In this article, we’ll share some quotes that give us inspiration during difficult times. They urge us to confront our challenges, embrace our inner strength, and to recognize that how you navigate difficult circumstances will ultimately help shape the person you are trying to become.
“We must meet the challenge rather than wish it were not before us.” – Justice William J. Brennan, Jr.
This quote reminds us that we must confront a challenge in our life rather than simply try to avoid it. This is an especially salient point for addiction recovery. A struggle that many addicts must grapple with is deciding to get clean. This is a difficult decision in its own right, and many individuals who are currently addicts may find that they avoid dealing with their addiction rather than embrace the recovery process.
Yet, addiction recovery isn’t about one point at which it is challenging. The addiction recovery path that individuals embark on is a lifelong journey that will be filled with periods of difficulty and moments of individual adversity. At this points, it is important to remember to keep moving forward, to face the challenge head-on, and to embrace the challenge as an opportunity to grow rather than something to avoid.
“If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.” – H.G. Wells
Addiction recovery is an ongoing process. This process will be filled with setbacks and adversity. If you are a recovering addict, you must learn to not let your setbacks define your recovery. This quote reminds us that each day brings a new opportunity for growth. Not all progress will be forward. Sometimes the setbacks we navigate become the moments that define us. You are a resilient person, and recognizing and cherishing that resilience will provide a foundation for not letting a small setback turn into a roadblock.
“Begin. To begin is half the work, let half still remain; again begin this, and thou wilt have finished.” —Marcus Aurelius
This quote from Marcus Aurelius is a powerful reminder that for many of us the most difficult step on a journey is the first one. To make the first step towards addiction recovery requires a powerful drive. Subsequent steps benefit from inertia, but the first step can often seem the most daunting. The quote by Marcus Aurelius also reminds us to break down a complex problem into smaller pieces. Recovering from addiction isn’t an instant gratification process. Rather, it is a lifelong journey. Tackle each challenge as it comes and don’t worry as much about the big picture.
“You must understand that there is more than one path to the top of the mountain.” – Miyamoto Musashi
One of the challenges that many people face when recovering from addiction is to realize that each individual has their own path to recovery. This isn’t a problem that is only present in individuals that have entered a recovery program. Many recovery programs themselves fail to incorporate an understanding that each individual’s path has a unique path to recovery into their treatment programs. This does a disservice to many recovery addicts by not giving them the right tools or opportunities they need to successfully navigate their recovery.
As an addict or recovering addict, this quote by Miyamoto Musashi reminds us that your path to recovery is your own. It will be filled with its own challenges, setbacks, and triumphs. While the path to recovery can be influenced by guidance from trusted peers or loved ones, it is ultimately your own to navigate. Because of this, there is no one right way to go about recovery. What works for some people may not work for you. Similarly, you may find success where others haven’t. Each moment you spend in recovery will be a moment of self-discovery where you find what works for you and what doesn’t. In the end, there are many different ways to achieve the same goal.
“This above all: to thine ownself be true. And it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” – Hamlet
This quote is often referenced as a call to be yourself. Recognizing that you are a unique and valuable person and that you make the world a better place through your presence, can be a challenge for many recovering addicts. There is strength in being yourself, in understanding yourself, and in learning to love yourself.
A subtext of the quote from Hamlet also resonates with battling addiction. This is to avoid self-deception. In order to confront your addiction, you must recognize it for what it is. Self-deception can result in harm by allowing individuals to avoid recognizing the ways that addiction has impacted their life and the lives of those around them. The first step in living a life of honesty is in being honest to yourself. This can be uncomfortable but is a step towards taking inventory of the ways that addiction has changed your life.
“Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.” William Butler Yeats
The old saying encouraging you to strike while the iron is hot is turned on its head by this quote by Yeats. While the old saying may have relevance for blacksmiths, it doesn’t translate as well to addiction recovery. It’s true that seizing an opportunity can be advantageous. Yet, with addiction, all too often the right opportunity never manifests.
This quote is, at its core, a call to action. If you want to make a change you must act. Don’t put off beginning your journey to recovery. If you are in recovery, don’t shy away from the changes you want to realize. Rather, embrace the fact that your actions can create the change you want to see. Embedded in this quote by Yeats is a recognition of the power of persistence. Iron may not get heated through one blow, but through many blows, it may become red with heat. Put another way, you may not have success at first. However, if you persist you will find success in time.
“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” Helen Keller
When you are in recovery you are in constant, intentional motion away from a life characterized by addiction and toward a life of recovery. However, too often the past we moved away from still retains a powerful appeal. This quote by Helen Keller reminds us to turn our vision away from the past and towards the future, we want to create. By constantly focusing on the past we can overlook the happiness and benefits that come along with the life you are currently living.
The drugs or alcohol you have struggled with in the past may continue to carry an appeal, but that appeal is fleeting and illusory. In contrast, the life of sobriety you are working to create offers concrete and tangible benefits and a foundation from which you can continue to grow and build. This quote by Helen Keller is a reminder that you should live in the moment and appreciate the life you are working to create. In order to truly experience it you must learn to recognize the positive benefits that come along with it. This focus on the positive can yield strength and perspective that can help you continue along your journey to recovery.
The journey to recovery is without a doubt a difficult one. It is one filled with a series of intentional decisions towards sobriety and away from addiction. These quotes remind us that there are many paths to the same goal. Each path may be different, but that difference doesn’t make it any less effective or special. The path to recovery is also about honesty. Honesty with yourself first, and from that honesty with everyone around you. Everyone has setbacks and hurdles on their journey to recovery. Navigating that journey is about building the right support system around you, recognizing your own strength, and meeting your challenges head-on.
If you haven’t begun your journey towards sobriety yet, remember that the first step is often the most difficult. It should give you some comfort to know that, as the quote from the Marcus Aurelius suggests, the first step towards doing something difficult has always been the hardest as long as people have existed. Along your journey, remember that momentary setbacks don’t need to define you. What matters is what you choose to do today, and every day moving forward.Find hope. Find recovery. Begin a commitment to lifelong recovery today – for yourself, your friend, or for your loved one.