Sometimes, staying sober can be really fucking hard—it’s really all about taking it one day at a time. It’s helpful to lean on others who have been through the same journey. I have found that reading inspirational sobriety quotes from others who have been through it has been immensely helpful.
22 Inspirational Sobriety Quotes
Why Are Inspirational Quotes Important For Alcohol Addiction Recovery Journey
Inspirational sobriety quotes are important because they can give you a sense of hope. They give you a sense of comfort knowing that others have been in the same shoes as you. Some of them even make me laugh. I think that if you do consider yourself “in recovery,” leaning on inspirational quotes will definitely be helpful for you. And even if you decide not to be sober at some point, I bet some of these quotes will stay with you for the rest of your life. Below, I’ve rounded up some of the best inspirational sobriety quotes that have helped me stay strong through sobriety and live my life to the fullest.
“You can have a drink, but it comes with a whole package” — someone from my TLC group
When I was in the early stages of sobriety, I was attending The Luckiest Club group meetings most nights of the week. During one meeting, one woman was talking about how she felt empowered in sobriety. She said that she didn’t have to be sober, she chose to live alcohol-free. She knows that she is completely free to have a drink, but that one drink will come with a whole package for her. It will come with many more drinks after that. It will come with really bad decisions that night. And it will come with a massive, can’t-move-from-my-bed hangover the next day.
I love this quote because it reminds me that yes, I can have alcohol whenever I want to, but I know that it will come with a whole package that I’m not interested in opening.
“There are women succeeding beyond their wildest dreams because of their sobriety.” ― Mary Karr
If I’m being totally honest, I hate how much sobriety has allowed me to succeed beyond my wildest dreams. I hate that one substance has the power to keep me behind and stunt my growth. I’m bewildered by the significant shift I’ve felt in my mind, body, and spirit since going alcohol-free nine months ago. I love this inspirational sobriety quote from Mary Karr because I know that it absolutely describes me.
“… being sober delivered almost everything drinking promised.” ― Anne Lamott
I think this quote from Anne Lamott is kinda funny. I feel like people believe that drinking brings so much happiness and fun to their lives, when in my experience, it’s been the opposite. Going sober has brought me many moments of joy—a feeling I didn’t feel very much while binge drinking every weekend for ten years.
“It’s like having a second chance at life, …. Seeing everything with clarity, gratitude; it’s unbelievable. I feel so good. And to have these little blessings is the icing on the cake.” — Ronnie Wood
Everything about this quote is 100% accurate. I feel like I have a new lease on life in sobriety. I’ve never felt so much gratitude for random things in my life. I am discovering my intuition for the first time and choices are much easier to make.
“Getting sober was the single bravest thing I’ve ever done and will ever do in my life. Not [running] a 5K—facing an addiction. Being courageous enough to acknowledge it privately with my family and friends. Working really hard at solidifying it, getting support around it, and being healthy. And then talking about it publicly. That is the single greatest accomplishment of my life.” — Jamie Lee Curtis
I watched an interview recently with Jamie Lee Curtis and Colin Farrell, where she was talking about how staying sober will be her greatest legacy. I think she is such a badass and I, too, feel like sobriety has been the great accomplishment of my life, and I’m only nine months in.
“Today I would’ve had 7 years sober. I don’t regret going out because I needed to make those mistakes but I must never forget that’s exactly what they were: mistakes. Grateful that AA/NA never shuts the door on you no matter how many times you have to start your time over. I didn’t lose 6 years; I’ll always have that experience but now I just get to add to that time with a new journey and time count. If you’ve relapsed and are afraid to get help again, just know it’s possible to take that step towards recovery. If you’re alive today, you can make it back. You’re worth it.” — Demi Lovato, Instagram, March 2019
Sometimes, relapsing is a part of the sobriety process. There have definitely been moments where I’ve thought about drinking over the last nine months. I think that if you relapse, it’s important to not get too down on yourself. Just get back up on the horse and keep riding.
“I didn’t realize that I was an alcoholic until I realized that the alcohol was not for fun anymore. It was medicine.” — Alice Cooper
Ugh. This one hits hard for me. My first five years of drinking alcohol were incredibly fun, and the last five years were rough. I know for a fact that I was using alcohol to numb all the shitty parts of my life because I’m currently in the process of working through all that shit I was suppressing.
“The problem with alcohol is, it’s just too easy. It’s everywhere. At least hard drugs, you have to have a dealer. All I know is, I could feel its presence in an ominous, daunting way that was preventing me from being my higher self.” — Ben Harper
Getting drunk is so damn easy. In fact, society and advertisements tell us it’s weird if you aren’t getting drunk. It’s weird if you aren’t having a cocktail at happy hour after work. It’s weird if you aren’t enjoying a glass of wine with your pasta at home.
Alcohol is everywhere, and it’s become so normalized that you’re weird if you’re not downing it. I know that the shift is happening, because I see non-alcoholic drinks everywhere I go in NYC these days, but it’s going to take time to shift such an ingrained mindset that we all have around alcohol.
“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” — J.K. Rowlings
If you haven’t read about my rock-bottom story, you can find it here. You don’t have to hit rock bottom to quit alcohol, but unfortunately, that’s a big part of my journey. I definitely feel like my life is unfolding in new ways and that I’m building a new foundation to stand, and thrive, on.
“Sobriety was the best gift I ever gave myself.” — Rob Lowe
I was just watching Parks and Recreation with my fiance, and Rob Lowe’s cutie little face made an appearance on the episode. I really don’t know how long I will be sober for, but I do know that, when I look back on my life and reflect on this time, I’ll realize that going alcohol-free truly was the best gift I’ve ever given to myself.
It’s like the gift that keeps on giving. Like Mary Poppins’ magic bag—you get a giant gift of joy in sobriety, but you also get a ton of other incredible gifts that have been stashed inside sobriety, too. Peace, happiness, clarity, gratitude, confidence, hope, and so many other treasures.
“I chose sober because I wanted a better life. I stay sober because I got one.”
Staying sober can definitely be hard, and I have certainly had my moments. But the life that sobriety has given to me feels like a much better, richer life than the one I had before I stopped drinking.
“I’m not telling you it is going to be easy, I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.”
The beginning stages of going sober are really, really hard. I look back on my first few months and cringe thinking about the number of tears I cried and the sadness I sat in. Now that I am nine months in, I do feel like being sober is much, much easier. Most days it feels like a natural part of myself, while other days it is a choice I have to make that day.
“My recovery must come first so that everything I love in life doesn’t have to come last.”
One huge thing I’ve noticed about sobriety is that I am able to show up more for my friends and family. I am way more present, I am more engaging, and I’m able to follow through with things that I wasn’t able to when I was drinking.
“The goal isn’t to be sober. The goal is to love yourself so much that you don’t need to drink.”
This is another one of those inspirational sobriety quotes that hits me so, so hard. Everyone drinks alcohol for different reasons, but I’m now aware enough to know that I drank to numb all the shitty feelings I had about myself. There is no doubt about it—your confidence will go up once you stop drinking alcohol.
“Recovery didn’t open the gates of heaven and let me in. Recovery opened the gates of hell and let me out!”
I don’t really consider myself “in recovery,” but I definitely relate to this quote. I was in hell the last few years I was drinking. The beginning of the pandemic was the worst of it. I was drinking whole bottles by myself, which is concerning considering I’m a 5’2” petite gal. While I don’t think sobriety is all roses and rainbows all the time, there have been plenty of moments where it has felt like heaven.
“I don’t need alcohol to see the world in its depths, I carry the sun in me.” — Lamine Pearlheart
I have experienced quite the opposite. I’ve seen the amazing depths of the world because I’ve quit drinking. I appreciate the little things in life so much more.
“Rehab isn’t what finally got me sober. It was nearly losing everything and finally seeing that whatever benefit I thought alcohol gave me was outweighed by what it would cost me… ‘You are removing the capacity to be present, not just in the bad moments. You’re numbing the good feelings. You’re numbing everything. It’s profoundly selfish.” – Elizabeth Vargas, People, September 2016
Okay, I don’t really think that drinking alcohol is “selfish,” but I do know that it numbs all of the feelings, including the amazing ones. You can’t numb the bad feelings and not the good feelings while drinking. You numb everything, and lose a lot in the process.
“Drunk: when you think you’re having a rip roaring time and the next morning you wake up and your brain has broken into a frenzied beehive and your body is shattered shards of sharp glass desperately searching for what fits where and your spirit is being eaten by worms with great white bloodied teeth and your heart has shriveled into a black prune churning your intestines to the point where dysentery feels attractive and you can’t remember anything you did […]” — Josh Brolin
Tell me this is not exactly how you’ve felt waking up from a hangover before! This is exactly how it felt when I woke up with my hangover after the last night I drank. I ended up going to the hospital that night, and missed one of my best friend’s 30th birthday parties. The hangovers I was experiencing were not worth the minimal amount of fun I was having when going out.
“Addiction is not caused by stress on the job. It’s not about the work. It has more to do with your childhood and lots of other things. You’re always in recovery.” — Kate Moss
I agree with Kate! Addiction has so much to do with childhood trauma and your experiences as a kid. I think it’s important to work on those things and then, once you feel like you’ve reached a good point on your healing journey, you can decide if drinking alcohol is right for you. Remember: sobriety is all about small efforts repeated everyday.
“I don’t drink these days. I’m allergic to alcohol and narcotics. I break out in handcuffs.” — Robert Downey Jr.
This is one of those inspirational sobriety quotes that just makes me laugh. I’ve never broken out in handcuffs, but I’ve certainly gotten in trouble from alcohol more times than I care to admit.
“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
Okay, so this one might not be specifically about sobriety, but it can definitely apply to recovering addicts from both drugs and alcohol. I’ve learned the hard way I am the only person that can change my life. For a few years before I finally quit, I knew, intuitively, that alcohol was holding me back from becoming my full self.
“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” — C.S. Lewis
This is one of those addiction recovery quotes that I know will hit home for a lot of folks who hit rock bottom in their journey. It’s okay to make mistakes, and how we overcome those hardships is what makes us stronger and opens up our body, mind, and soul for an extraordinary destiny.