I carry a pen around at work (even though I have had to resign myself to using electronic medical records...sigh) because my patients in recovery say the most profound things.

I mean, they’re not even trying to—and astonishing, inspiring things come out of their sober mouths. I grab whatever I can to write on, often the back of a prescription pad, and beg them to, “Slow down! I want to capture this word for word!”

As part of my job to write blogs, I can find any kind of facts and research on Google, but hearing real people say real things is what truly gets my writing mojo going.

Just because most of my patients are everyday, real people (although we’ve treated a few celebs in our time at the Coleman Institute for Addiction Medicine), doesn’t mean their words aren’t powerful. I will collect them in a blog article at some point, but I wanted to share a few notable words from some notable people that have found incredible contentment in recovery.

1. “Part of that change is forgiveness and the willingness to look at our lives and the world differently. Ask yourself ‘Do I really want to change or do I just want to justify staying the way that I am?” — Russell Brand, Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions

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

3. “I remember grey miserable nights. I was in a coma for most of it, so I missed the whole decade, including the Beatles. One day I just thought, ‘I’ve had enough of this.’ It was simple. I didn’t want to go on feeling bad. I don’t miss drinking, not at all. I don’t want to ever go back there.” — Anthony Hopkins

4. “I tried to drown my sorrows in alcohol, but the bastards learned how to swim.” — Frida Kahlo

5. “I am more successful than I have ever been. I feel very positive where I never did before, and I think that’s all a direct result of getting sober.” — Jamie Lee Curtis

6. “I got sober. I stopped killing myself with alcohol. I began to think: 'Wait a minute, if I can stop doing this, what are the possibilities?' And slowly it dawned on me that it was maybe worth the risk.” — Craig Ferguson

7.“I decided that the single most subversive, revolutionary thing I could do was to show up for my life and not be ashamed.” — Anne Lamott

8. “But like most drunks that had gotten sober, I got to the point where I was deteriorating faster than I could lower my standards, you know? So, I was getting to a point where I was living in a way that involved waking up sick and with a lot of shame and just kind of animal confusion.” — Anne Lamott

If you need help to stop drinking alcohol, inspiration is all around you. At the Coleman Institute for Addiction Medicine, our focus is getting real people safely off alcohol, opiates, and benzodiazepines. Please call us if we could be of service.

Joan R. Shepherd, FNP


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