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53 original sobriety quotes for addiction recovery

This is a collection of personal quotes I’ve made since getting sober in 2013. I hope these help someone struggling with their addiction as well.

Ed Latimore
Ed Latimore
Writer, retired boxer, self-improvement enthusiast

Alcohol abuse and sobriety can affect you for the rest of your life, but both for very different reasons. When I decided to get sober, I knew it would be worth it, but I didn’t quite know what to expect on my recovery journey. I’m fortunate that it was relatively simple, but I know that’s not the case for everyone.

If you’re working on getting your life right and free from the grips of alcohol or substance abuse, you will have some tough days. You’ll need a quick pick-me-up or reminder of why you’re doing this. That’s why I put together these inspirational quotes to get recovering addicts through the tough days.

I don’t care if you’re kicking drug addiction, an eating disorder, alcohol, or even just trying to get your social media addiction under control. My demon was alcohol addiction, but anyone going through any type of addiction recovery can find inspiration and daily reminders in these recovery quotes.

Where are these inspirational quotes about addiction recovery from?

I’ve taken these quotes from various pieces of my writing on various platforms. All of these quotes are Ed Latimore original statements from a combination of my social media platforms, my website, my newsletter, and my best-selling book “Sober Letters To My Drunken Self”.

I don’t claim to be an expert on recovery. I’m just a guy who took things one day at a time and tries to help others. Getting sober was the best gift I’ve ever given to myself, so it’s my responsibility to give something back to everyone who is struggling.

It doesn’t matter how slowly you go. Only that you keep making moves. We don’t aim for perfection. Only progress. May these sobriety quotes help you get up from rock bottom and stay up once you’re on your feet.

Watch my Ted Talk on what I learned about the relationship between addiction and identity.

Sobriety quotes from my Twitter

One cool thing about not drinking:

Knowing how to find entertainment that isn’t centered around alcohol. It’s amazing how many people have no idea how to socialize without a bar.

There is not a single area of my life that didn’t improve when I stopped drinking.

It’s amazing how one choice can make all the difference for your entire life.

Sobriety forces you to confront whatever your alcoholism was hiding.

All of your reasons for heavy drinking come down to not being willing to face something, and it takes humility to accept that.

Arrogance has probably caused more alcoholics to fall off the wagon than denial.

One of the things about my drinking is that I wasn’t addicted to booze, per se. I was more addicted to the ritual and the partying surrounding it.

I associated good times with drinking so whenever I wanted to feel good, I drank.

Whenever I talk to addicts, I hear a similar story

People have a different reaction when you tell them “I’m sober” vs “I don’t drink”.

If you just stopped drinking and you’ve got social anxiety about it, the former almost never gets push back. In fact, it often comes with odd congratulations.

Sobriety is a great way to clean your social house.

It’s amazing how many fewer friends I had when it became “let’s meet for coffee” rather than “let’s meet for drinks”.

Most people are one missed happy hour away from total loneliness. They’d rather bad company than none at all

The cool thing about sobriety is that it forces you to learn what you like and don’t like.

A lot of stupid shit is enjoyable when you kill a few pitchers to make the time pass.

A lot of whack girls are tolerable when you get to every date a half hour early to get twisted.

I don’t know your life and what you have done. I only know that you can do so much more.

I don’t know your problems and struggles. I only know that you can and will beat them.

I don’t know where you want to be life. I only know that you will get there. I know because I did it.

Liquid courage is temporary. The pictures on the internet of you being a drunk asshole are forever.

The only “negative” side effect of sobriety: You’ll be alone with your thoughts and emotions for the first time. This is more terrifying than most imagine.

For more twitter quotes of mine, follow me here.

Sobriety quotes from “How to know if you have a drinking problem”

If you’re drinking alcohol because you lack ambition, you don’t have a drinking problem. It’s not alcohol abuse if you want nothing more out of life.

You’re not “problem drinking”. You’re just a loser drinking heavy.

If you’re trying to improve any aspect of your life but your alcohol use inhibits you, then you have a drinking problem.

If you have an earnest desire to advance but your drinking is holding you back, then you have a drinking problem and you need to stop drinking.

There are people with a shitty personality when both sober and drunk. These people are assholes, but they don’t have problems. If you’re cool when you’re sober but you’ve lost friendships while intoxicated, you have a drinking problem.

If you want more from life, a hangover is a waste of time.

Fail because you didn’t work hard enough — not because you got a DUI. Lose friends because you’re an asshole — not a sloppy drunk. Have control over your life — even over the mistakes.

Inspirational quotes from “The alcohol detox diet I used to get sober”

The most difficult thing to change isn’t your alcohol consumption, drug abuse, or negative emotions. The hardest thing to change is your mindset, perspective, and habits.

The key is understanding that mental health IS physical health; the two cannot be separated. The detox process is as much in the mind as it is in the body. Drug and alcohol cravings have both a physiological and psychological component.

Your sobriety shouldn’t be defined by what you no longer do but by what you’re currently doing to make yourself healthier, stronger, and more confident.

Motivational quotes from “6 steps to quit drinking on your own”

I admitted that I was an alcoholic, that I was scared, and that I needed to make a change. If I couldn’t first accept this, then there was no chance I would ever fix it.

You’re only questioning yourself because it’s a new path, and you aren’t certain how things will turn out. You aren’t sure if you can make it.

These doubts are natural. They mean that you’re taking your sobriety seriously.

While admitting that you have a problem is the first step in many recovery programs, part of that process is realizing that you’re afraid. You might be afraid of what happens if you keep drinking, but you’re more afraid of what happens when you stop.

Don’t be afraid to admit that you’re afraid of this.

This fear gives you a healthy respect for the process and ensures that you take it seriously. It doesn’t matter what you’re specifically afraid of, but you must acknowledge that you ARE afraid.

Going from a life of drinking to a life in recovery from alcoholism can be challenging.

You will need powerful reasons to stay committed to it; otherwise, environmental and peer pressures will drag you off the wagon.

You can only become the new you and live a new life after giving up the old you and your old habits.

When you quit drinking alcohol, there isn’t any way around feeling like you’re missing something. Fortunately, it’s all in your head.

Alcohol is the only drug where people think you have a problem if you don’t do it.

While there is a shift in how society is treating and viewing alcohol, it’s big business for everyone–even the people charged with policing its use. You will encounter resistance on all fronts.

Implementing these new habits takes time, but reducing or eliminating your alcohol consumption is worth it. Sobriety is the best gift that I’ve ever given myself.

Read more about how to quit drinking on your own here.

A different way to get sober

Sobriety terrified me, but ruining my life scared me more. I did it, but I wish someone had warned me about the emotional challenges I’d face when I quit drinking.

I wrote this book for people who want to get sober but don’t have any support. Here’s a free chapter “The 3 Things Keeping You From Getting Sober.”

Read a free chapter here

Sobriety quotes from “How to socialize and have fun sober”

Ask yourself, “What do I get out of drinking with people that you don’t get from spending time sober with them?”

What did I do instead of drinking? I started spending more time with my friends individually over coffee, rather than in group settings at the bar, and it made a huge difference in my life.

If you’ve been led to believe one thing your entire life, chances are you’re going to keep believing that thing is true. Until you learn to take an objective view of your beliefs, you probably won’t think anything is wrong.

However, what if I told you that everything you know about alcohol, addiction, and sobriety is a lie?

Have you ever spoken to a drunk person? Do they seem like they’re having fun?

We only believe they’re having a good time because we associate their happiness with alcohol. And because we haven’t experienced what it’s like to be totally free of alcohol and have fun without it, it’s impossible to imagine a world without it.

You’re a product of your environment, and your daily actions reinforce the power your environment has over you.

Whenever you try to change yourself for the better, there is always going to be friction: internal or external.

Usually, it’s both.

It also helps if you make friends with someone who also has—or is currently in the process of—overcoming substance abuse.

These are the types of people that you’ll be able to talk with about the unique feelings and challenges you face, not just in developing a sober social life, but in being sober, in general.

Only once you have become a stronger, better version of yourself, will you be able to feel comfortable in any environment, including your old one.

The only reason you find it difficult to have fun without drinking is because you haven’t built yourself up into the kind of person that can say no.

As you spend more time building an amazing life for yourself and less time in bars, the better you get at saying no to a drink.

The better you get at not taking a drink, the less appealing drinking becomes.

The less appealing drinking becomes, the less time you want to spend around drunk people.

This is how you become the master of the environment that once enslaved you.

Read more about having fun without alcohol here.

Addiction recovery quotes from “8 years of sobriety: Observations and lessons”

When you stop drinking, you start thinking.

The truth is that I can’t afford to drink.

Not in the financial sense, but in the opportunity cost that comes with drinking.

Going out takes time. Drinking takes time. Recovering takes time.

And I will admit, it’s much easier to start a conversation with someone if your inhibitions are lowered. However, this is a double-edged sword.

You’re no longer afraid to connect with other people, but you’re more likely to do dumb shit to make others lose interest in you.

It’s tough to build a new social life if you stop drinking, but the quality of your friendships will be much higher if you can overcome social anxiety without relying on alcohol.

Getting drunk is like putting on a pair of sunglasses.

You can see the world, but the light is dim. You can’t experience the full color and vibrancy of the world. And, if you wear them long enough, you forget the actual color of the grass and sky.

You might even argue that the sky is pink and the grass is black. You can’t tell what’s right because you’ve been wearing the sunglasses for so long.

Alcohol prevents you from truly feeling the positive things in life.

With alcohol no longer an option, you’re forced to deal with all of these emotions — good and bad. And ultimately, you’ll be stronger because of your sobriety.

I always hated it when people would excuse my shitty behavior by saying, “Oh, you were just drunk”.

If you run someone over because you were drinking, they don’t excuse you for it. There is a very real consequence, and you have to deal with it.

But this doesn’t prevent people from using alcohol as an excuse.

Alcohol is designed to make you do dumb shit that you wouldn’t otherwise do. And so many people drink with the intention of getting to the point where they will act in a way that is destructive.

A big turning point for me was deciding that I wanted maximum responsibility over my life. I no longer wanted to spend the next day recovering from a hangover.

You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be around the right ones.

The single biggest thing I’ve taken away from the past 8 years is that I have a significant advantage in every area because I don’t drink.

The only way this advantage would erode is if everyone stopped drinking.

Check out more of my observations on sobriety by reading the entire article here.

Sober quotes from Ed Latimore’s “Sober Letters To My Drunken Self”

Even though every addict has a different story, there are certain commonalities; one that is critical is the desire for acceptance.

You’re going to have many problems in your life if you do things just to fit in, rather than finding a group which naturally aligns with your choices. Nowhere is this more apparent than with alcohol consumption.

At the end of the day, being alone is my worst fear. I don’t know if this fear ever will leave me. A longtime friend of mine perfectly summed up this feeling:

“Better to drink with assholes than to drink alone.”

Understanding my need for acceptance allows me to focus on more positive ways to attain it. I’ll never be able to shed the desire for acceptance, but I can pursue it in ways that elevate rather degrade my character and social standing.

People drink after a hard day. They also drink to celebrate. This ritual inadvertently breeds addiction. You have now hijacked your “emotional tolerance.”

When you use alcohol to augment or extinguish your emotions, you rob yourself of the ability to independently manage them.

Sobriety will force you to deal with the reasons behind your alcoholism. This might seem obvious, but when you consider that most of us did not start drinking to fix a problem, it’s no wonder that this reality alludes us.

I once read that there’s a difference between being lonely and alone. I used to think that was a trick of semantics until one night I was at the bar drinking with some friends. These were people I’d known my whole life and I cared deeply about, but I felt lonely.

I felt lonely because this wasn’t where I belonged. I didn’t know what my scene was at the time, but I knew this environment was not the best use of my time or energy.

We live in a society that revolves around alcohol consumption. Many of us get to adulthood and can’t imagine a social event without alcohol. Drinking is both the right of passage and the cost of entry for people in mainstream society.

Ed Latimore
About the author

Ed Latimore

I’m a writer, competitive chess player, Army veteran, physicist, and former professional heavyweight boxer. My work focuses on self-development, realizing your potential, and sobriety—speaking from personal experience, having overcome both poverty and addiction.

Follow me on Twitter.