Stuff Sober People Like: Slogans and Inspirational Quotes
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Stuff Sober People Like: Slogans and Inspirational Quotes

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No one said living drug and alcohol free was easy. At the very least, it’s a huge adjustment that can feel overwhelming at times. I believe my Higher Power wants the best for me but being in my right mind (well, you know what I mean) every waking hour sometimes forces me to question if life was really intended to be experienced sober. I don’t think I am alone in feeling this way, which is one of the reasons sober people need daily—often hourly—reminders that no matter how bad they feel, “This too shall pass” and to “Breathe.” That is why you will often see recovering addicts with tattoos that say “Serenity”—because they literally need to be reminded of why they stay sober every time they look down at their own arm.

When I first came into 12-step, I hated the slogans. I resented the fact that I had spent years agonizing over problems whose apparent solution had been reduced to three-word catch phrases and displayed on the walls of 12-step meeting halls long before I was born. My problems were my problems and they were special. Surely no one really understood my unique circumstances and it made me angry that these sober people in AA brushed them of with their “God Is as God Does” bullshit. Now I see that they didn’t mean to be patronizing, they just knew something I didn’t—that all my problems were of my own making and that I could be rid of them if I would just shut up and listen. And I did…five years later.

Now I love the slogans we hear around the rooms of 12-step recovery, especially the evolution of from the old “Easy Does It”—a slogan I used to see on bumper stickers as a kid. One day, I finally asked my mom what it meant.

“It means that person is a drunk, sweetie,” she informed me as delicately as a mother with Borderline Personality Disorder knows how.

“What’s a drunk?” I asked, looking to expand my five-year-old worldliness.

“It’s what your father is.”

“Then how come Daddy doesn’t have that sticker on his car?”

“I don’t know, honey. Maybe you should tell him he needs to get one before I put all of his belongings on the front lawn.”

Some of the more hip, current day catch phrases are “My ego is not my amigo,” or “Non-alcoholic beer is for non-alcoholics” and I like them because they are very applicable but they are also funny. And I like things that are funny—apparently even more than I like things (er, men) that have a job.

Recovering alcoholics also love inspirational quotes reminding us that we are enough, to walk through fear and that we should maintain the belief that we each have a Higher Powers taking care of each of us. Although my mother was a child of the 60s and 70s, still smokes pot, reads tarot cards and believes astrology is the only reliable source of information about a person, I have never been one to get wrapped up in that whole scarves-as-tablecloths/essential oils/crystal healing way of life (although I do love me a good psychic reading). But somehow, over my 10-plus years sober, I have managed to acquire a collection of daily affirmation books. Some are 12-step approved literature and some are just hokey quote books meant to make me feel inspired and empowered as a woman on a daily basis. Obviously, I don’t read these books—I bought them before I also realized I wasn’t a cat person and that I don’t like being referred to as a “Goddess.” But I do love a good, simple inspirational message—especially one I can slap on the door of my refrigerator and reflect upon as I polish off a pint of Haagen Dazs chocolate peanut butter ice cream.

As it turns out, I was recently at Whole Foods and came across this nifty little rack of inspirational magnets that has pretty much everything you could ever hope for in terms of magnets that could change your life. Even though they were grossly over-priced ($6.00), I couldn’t resist buying a few. I mean, what is $24 bucks when my fucking serenity is on the line? So now, every day, I am reminded to “Leap, a Net Will Appear,” “Everything I Want Is on the Other Side of Fear,” “Everything Will Be Okay in the End and If It’s Not Okay, It’s Not the End” and finally, to “Let Go or Be Dragged.” Ah, I needed to hear that.

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About Author

Danielle Stewart is a Los Angeles-based writer and recovering comedian. She has written for Showtime, E!, and MTV, as well as print publications such as Us Weekly and Life & Style Magazine. She returned to school and is currently working her way towards a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. She loves coffee, Law & Order SVU, and her emotional support dog, Benson.