Blog post author header image John Makohen recovery coaching in nyc

John Makohen Arise Recovery Coaching in NYC

Recovery quotes help you to get a better perspective on recovery.

Some people rely on the old tried and true ecovery quotes and never bother to look elswhere for quotes to help gain perspective on life, self rleiance, friendship or spirtiuality.

When Emerson sat down to write probably didn’t intend for his words to become recovery quotes of believe how influential he would become for many of us in the world’s recovering community.

Nonetheless, the impact his writings have to provide strength and insight in the understanding of how you can become the “master of your destiny and captain of your fate.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) has the honor of founding America’s transcendentalist philosophical movement. He is still considered one of America’s most intellectual thinkers. Emerson mentored Henry David Thoreau. Emerson’s influence on Thoreau led to his greatest essay Civil Disobedience which further influenced other great men such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s legacy is found within these timeless recovery quotes which can spark wisdom, self-reliance, and spirituality.

 Arise Recovery Coaching in NYC addiction blog post text image

Ralph Waldo Emerson Recovery Quotes: “Nothing can bring you happiness but yourself.”

Recovery quotes such as this one you find, Emerson encouraging you to become self-sufficient and reliant. In your active addiction, you isolated from all that is good in your life, blindly followed where heroin and other drugs led you and felt resentment, shame, and guilt towards yourself and others.

In recovery, you learn to trust yourself in finding the happiness you seek. Once you have chosen a path that leads to the fulfillment of your past drug-seeking behaviors, actions, and attitudes dissolve. 

Recovery is choosing to follow the beat of your own drum. Fortify your position on a path leading to good moral character, and believing the fact that heroin controlled the decisions you made. Emerson advocates for you to follow your inner voice instead of the path which leads down the road leading to isolation.

It would be best if you never chose, count on, or rely on another person, God, or thing to provide you with the happiness you seek- 

“Nothing can bring your happiness but your (drug-free) self.”

 Arise Recovery Coaching in NEW YORK CITY addiction blog post text image

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”    – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The recovery movement has never been more prosperous than it is today. In the past, there was only one pathway for recovery. Inpatient drug treatment, AA/NA, and a sponsor.

It worked for many and still does. However, many of us couldn’t conform to such rigorous demands of powerlessness and believing a God would remove our insanity and desire to use drugs at any cost. 

Today, there are many pathways for recovery leading to the same place – fulfillment in a life of recovery. You can forge your own path, and no one can tell you it is wrong. 

Emerson’s recovery quote gives you the courage to blaze your own path using the tools and skills you have borrowed from others upon your journey in recovery.

 Arise Recovery Coaching in new york city addiction blog post text image

 “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising up every time we fail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Some people want you to believe relapse is part of recovery.

I don’t buy it.

Relapse has its place. It happens. What happens more often is a simple lapse back to unwanted thoughts, behaviors, or drug-use. You might wanna call it a slip, a pause, or bump in the road. But it doesn’t have to become a full-blown relapse!

It doesn’t always lead back to a life of active addiction. Heavy hitters in hardcore AA rooms want you to believe you have to go back to square one, start over, and DO NOT PASS GO. Backward ass thinking like this creates fear, self-stigma, and shame.

I’m not sure how the hell this helps.
So don’t buy into this crap. If you experience a lapse, get back on your feet, dust the cobwebs out of your head, and pick up where you left off.

Take some time and recognize what went wrong and how you can better prepare yourself to face this difficult situation next time.

Keeping Emerson’s recovery quote in mind will help you find the courage to pick yourself up and get back into your system of recovery if you suffer a lapse in thinking, acting, or using.

A lapse is temporary and doesn’t have to lead to a full-blown relapse. Pick yourself up. Learn from the slip. And find happiness in life that you seek.

 Arise Recovery Coaching addiction blog post text image

“Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.”    – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Heroin and other drugs promised to take away your pain, erase your unwanted feelings, and let your creativity soar to new heights. In the beginning, getting gone on drugs was ecstasy. Nothing, not a cathartic sneeze or heart-stopping orgasm could compare to the rush you felt after releasing the plunger for a 5 bag shot into the main vein,

However, it didn’t take long for those highs to fade away. Once physical dependence reigned, the fear of withdrawal kept you coming back several times a day.

Find the strength to break this routine and grow into the person you have only known in your dreams. Find a group of peers who you can relate with, whose recovery you admire and ask for the guidance and support to live the life of your dreams.

 Arise Recovery Coaching in NYC addiction blog post text image

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”– Ralph Waldo Emerson

When it comes to addiction, the choice to pick up is not always on. White-knuckling and sure willpower doesn’t stand a chance when the bile from your stomach is burning a hole through your throat. 

We’ve all been addicted to something –drugs, booze, cigarettes, sex, porn, shopping, another person, Facebook, Instagram, the internet, gambling, masturbation –so we can all relate to the mental anxiety of addiction on some level. Of course, some people struggle with addiction more than others. 

But you can make a decision to clear the table, reduce the harm and consequences of your actions, and start making small changes. Consciously decide what steps to take and why. Mindfully life in the moment and choose to become the person you desire to be.


 Arise Recovery Coaching in NYC addiction blog post text image

More Ralph Waldo Emerson Recovery Quotes: “Life is a journey, not a destination.”

The first time I got sober, I feared what I would do once the cravings ceased to exist. What would life be like without needs and triggers, drug-seeking behaviors, and my constant diatribes about the ‘good ole days’?

After three years of abstinence, I felt I had reached my destination. I let my anger, resentment, and pig-headed stubbornness drive me from the rooms of AA and NA. My hubris didn’t allow me to get phone numbers to reach peers whose recovery I favored. I was gonna do this recovery thing on my own.

It took about 3 years from that day for my relapse to reach its peak one morning when I couldn’t find any pills. I swore to myself I’d never stick a needle full of heroin in my arm again. I had no remorse regret or shame the morning I worked up the fix. I knew the demon I was about to unleash. All that mattered was feeling better.

This time around, I have a better understanding of the word recovery. I have a system for recovery. I work each morning. My recovery is a process. It is not perfection, but progress. Progression towards becoming the best version of myself.

The system is working to be 1% – 5% better than you went to bed the night before. Therefore a destination can never be reached. You (and me) can always improve your life. Once you reach a goal, amend it, change it, outdo it. There is always room for improvement.

Work, Play, and Love harder.

   Download a FREE workbook to identify your high-risk situations and triggers that will blindside your recovery goals by creating the urge to use heroin or other drugs.

 “Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Without ambition, one starts nothing. Without work, one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you want the best out of your life, you have to know your why. You have to see the reason you get out of bed each morning with a purpose and childlike excitement.

To engineer the best possible outcomes and fulfillment in recovery, you need a plan designed around your guiding principles, values, and why.

Once you understand why you are doing something, the work you do becomes meaningful, purposeful, and achievable.

How to find your WHY?

Take out a sheet of paper. 

Write down the word Recovery. 

Now ask yourself –– Why am I in recovery, or What do I want from recovery and WHy?

Write the answer down. But you are not done. Ask yourself what you’ll achieve and why? Then write your answer done.

Do this again for 5 more times. By the time you get to the 7th answer, you’ll have found the profound reason why recovery is so important, meaningful, and monumental in your life.

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” Quote block text image for arise recovery coaching addiction blog post

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”– Ralph Waldo Emerson

In recovry quotes such as this one of Emerson’s he tells us to live each day like its the best of the year. You have not reached the recovery community by luck. You have made decisions to make changes, work harder, and work through the pain of past emotional, physical, or sexual trauma.

You have grieved your past. Your addiction. Your drugs. Now you find yourself living life for the first time without the burden of craving and fear. Celebrate this day and live each day like it is the best day of your life. After all, it is a gift of recovery.

Remember, your worst day sober is always better than your best day high. You might not believe this to be correct, but when you have the freedom to choose with the physical constraints from heroin, nothing will stop you from celebrating life.

Arise recovery coaching addiction blogpost “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” –

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Did you seek solace in heroin or other drugs? Did you think you could fill the void or uncomfortable feeling spreading from your soul in the dropper of a syringe?  Once you understood heroin or other drugs were not the answer to your salvation, you sought after recovery. 

During my first go with living clean and sober, all I had available to me was Inpatient >discharge > go to meetings and find a sponsor. It didn’t work for me. I couldn’t get past the powerless part of the 12-steps nor was about to understand the God concept. Many times I was told I’d come around and accept the meetings God of ‘their” understanding. It didn’t work. I ran for the hills, and a bag of dope found me – not the same day, but soon enough.

At Arise Recovery Coaching in NYC, YOU are in RECOVERY when YOU say YOU are! And we support multiple pathways of recovery. So whatever works for you is perfect. If you stay sober, strive for a life of happiness and fulfillment, then you are a success. You don’t have to walk in time to the beat of anyone else drum. “You’re the master of your fate and the captain of your destiny. “ All you have to do is take action. 

Arise recovery coaching addiction blogpost “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” –

 “Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

You know this is true. You’ve tried tie and time again to use without consequence. You’ve hoped to one day enjoy heroin and other drugs like it was the first time. You’ve chased that dream, and it only led down the same road. 

Once you’ve learned this lesson, it’s time to move on to the next experience in life. 

Overcome it. Live it. And move on. Believe in yourself, and start knocking down your goals with intent and purpose.

Arise recovery coaching addiction blogpost ““Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect.”

More Ralph Waldo Emerson Recovery Quotes: “Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect.”

There is no such thing as luck. We create all of our victories and losses. The work we do or don’t do the actions we take or don’t take, and the words we say or don’t say all determine the result or consequence. Luck has nothing to do with it.

The only time luck applies when you’re standing in Thunderdome looking Dr. Dealgood in the eye and watching as he spins the wheel. “Break a deal. Spin the wheel.”

Arise recovery coaching addiction blogpost Emerson Quote Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.”

“Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Journal. Journal. And journal some more.
Write down the phrases and quotes from great thinkers, recovery warriors, philosophers, and your heroes.

Create a great book full of beautiful stories and passages to help you get through a long hard day, to celebrate and beautiful happy day, or to give you the wisdom to make the right choices in life.
Your journal can become the most excellent tool in your recovery toolbox.

Treat it kindly.

The empty pages love to feel the warmth and love when you put pen to paper and write. Fill your journal with your own self-reflection.
Also, jot down the words of others who encourage and empower you to keep on keeping on.

Arise Recovery Coaching Addiction Blogpost Emerson recovery quotes

“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Are you ready to kick heroin and other drugs to the curb? And try to live a life free from self-limiting belief, doubt, worry, or fear? Recovery is all of this and more, but you have to do something that will make you uncomfortable. The men in women in the rooms who have found a way to live life one day at a time all took a step to try something different. You can do it, too.

Yeah, it’s easy waking up in the morning, doing a shot, hustling money, and getting off again. We felt like masters, but in fact, we were puppets. Once the drug started directing our lives, our will, choices, and actions were controlled by fear. 

Make a decision to slow down, to change at the thought, to wait an extra hour or two before you work up that fix. Push yourself to be 1% better today than you were yesterday, and see where you are in 6 months. 

Change takes practice. 

But you have to decide to try something new because there is always something in your life that can be better.

I have always hidden behind social anxiety, so I make excuses to meet old friends or make new ones. But my recovery cannot grow without constant change. I’m tearing down the barrier and confronting my self-limiting belief about social ineptitude.

What can you do differently to ignite change?

Arise Recovery Coaching Addiction Blogpost Emerson recovery quotes

“The only way to have a friend is to be one.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

How many times do you leave your office in Downtown Manhattan and see the same homeless kid, flying a sign, begging for a dollar or two, to get a meal, a cheap room, or a bag of heroin?

And how many times do you look and shrug, turn up your collar to the cold, and walk on by him?

Are you a friend? Do you know what it means to be there for someone unconditionally? When I was homeless, I had a crew I would live and die for. I am sure I had their backs, but not so sure who had mine. It didn’t change who I was, though. I could never see another friend dope-sick, especially when I had a bundle or two in my pocket. I hated that feeling and wouldn’t wish it on my worse enemy. 

Don’t get me wrong I didn’t run around handing out dope as if it grew on trees, but if you crashed next to me at night and I could help, I would. 

Fast forward 8 years, and my recovery flourishes, and I still return to the streets in search of homeless friends. I visit with them. I get them a cup of coffee and food, help with storage unit costs if one friend is alcohol sick, I get him that can of 4 Loco or a beer. And yes, even money for a bag of junk or two. I know when I was there, I had friends who did this for me. The money doesn’t only solve the immediate problem of heroin withdrawal. It plants a seed of hope. It demonstrates my love and kindness. I show my friends if I can change they can too. (Ha, my husband doesn’t agree with me on this one.)

But are you a friend? Can someone count on you to pick up the phone, to listen without judgment, to spend time silently together, enjoying a moment without feeling uncomfortable? I am not perfect. I fail at friendship often. I take for granted friendships and stay at home, believing I am too tired to meet-up with someone for a cup of coffee. 

It doesn’t take much energy. Still, I convince myself how tiring it will be to navigate the hustle and bustle of New York City after a long day of banging away at this keyboard, interviewing professionals, or researching my next assignment. I often hide behind social-anxiety. I’ve lived with it for 45 years and made it this far who knows maybe if I try something new I’ll master it. (see quote 13)

I resolve to stop making excuses, so I will be a better friend and to enjoy the company of others more.

Learn to be a friend, and you’ll never be alone.

Arise Recovery Coaching Addiction Blogpost Emerson recovery quotes

“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

How many times do you leave your office in Downtown Manhattan and see the same homeless kid, flying a sign, begging for a dollar or two, to get a meal, a cheap room, or a bag of heroin?

And how many times do you look and shrug, turn up your collar to the cold, and walk on by him?

Does it bother you, sicken you, piss you off to see this kid day in and out, begging? It should. Do you know you don’t have to give him money? He would appreciate a kind hello, a word acknowledging him, or a brief conversation, too

I got sober on the streets of NYC. Recovery is possible, anywhere. When the elements align, the change will happen. I didn’t go to some fancy rehab and countless AA meetings after I was discharged, I tried this traditional pathway before it wasn’t for me. I didn’t live in a sober-living and attend intensive out-patient, either. 

My change was ignited by busy New Yorkers who worked in what some might call the evilest place in the world – NYC’s and the world’s financial center Wall Street. I panhandled on the corner of Pine and 100 Broadway, for years. It was my spot. Over time, I built a network of kind friends from all walks of life. Yeah, there were haters like the girl who hated her life so much she made it a point to the cross the street to kick my cup as far as she could. I angered her. But each day, the conversations I had with the people who stopped to hand me a dollar or a cup of coffee, lunch, or socks gave me hope. 

And any amount of hope can go a long way. 

If I didn’t show up to my spot for a couple of days, people looked for me, worried about me, and wondered where I had been. It is in their kindness that I found my way back for another go at life in recovery. 

Before you decide to hold back kindness for one another time when it is more convenient to you, think again at how powerful a change you could make today, right now, at this moment, and do it.

Arise Recovery Coaching Addiction Blogpost Emerson recovery quotes

“You become what you think about all day long.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Recovery is a process for change. It is required to rewire how you perceive yourself. In the past, my thoughts limited me, crippled me, and kept me stuck in a cycle for self-hatred, destruction, belief. 

The story I told myself didn’t have a happy ending because I was a mistake, worthless, and undeserving of another’s love. There weren’t many happy thoughts rattling around in my brain. 

It all changed. At first, it was gradual, but it exploded, and exponential change occurred. I’m stuck, and my thoughts block my path for advancement. Self-doubt is vicious. The cycle is self-limiting beliefs that cloud my judgment and prevent my upward movement. 

I know I can change work through this plateau with positive thoughts, journaling, and affirmation. 

Why do I believe this? 

Because I am no longer sitting on a street corner in NYC, begging people for money and waiting to die alone with a needle buried in my arm. 

You, too, can spike a change in your life by spending time meditating, journaling, and thinking about where it is you want to be in the next year, 3 years, and 5 years. Get focused on your journey, see yourself becoming the person you want to grow, and start the cycle all over. It all starts in your thoughts.

Build confidence for change, happiness, and recovery one thought at a time. 

How can you use these quotes to create the best possible version of yourself? 

At Arise Recovery Coaching in NYC, I am a massive fan of recovery journaling, gratitude journaling, and ‘kickstarting your future you’ journaling. You don’t need a fancy journal, but if you want one, check out my favorites Moleskine. 

Pick a quote, write it down, meditate upon it, and then put pen to paper. I like just to let my pen go where it wants to go. In your journal, you are the master, so there isn’t a wrong way to journal, hmmm, just like there is no wrong way to recover.  

Each of these quotes can guide you on your path to transcendence.  

You can find guidance and hope for your life in recovery, your dealings with others, your career, and your relationship to your recovery community by meditating on each of these quotes.

Please share this blog post of Timeless Recovery Quotes From Ralph Waldo Emerson, On Self-Reliance, Friendship, and Spirituality on social media.

Have a wonderful day.

Read More on The Arise Recovery Coaching Addiction Blog

Blog post header image for the post explaining why Arise Recovery Coaching supports harm reduction and uses a case study to support the claim. Harm reduction save my life
Arise Recovery Coaching in NYC supports harm reduction policy to help you reduce the harm from heroin or other drugs. Read my case study explaining why harm reduction works.
Blog post header explaining what a Harajuku Moment is, and how Arise Recovery Coaching in NYC can help you find yours.
Do you know what a Harajuku Moment is and why it initiates change? In this post, you will learn why and how a Harajuku Moment initiates change and leads to freedom from heroin or other drugs.
Blog post header learn how arise recovery coaching in nyc can help you breakthrough your roadblocks keeping you from finding fulfillment in recovery
A recovery coach will help you recognize the barriers holding you back. Learn what roadblocks keep you from fulfillment in recovery and how to work through each one.