Addiction And Recovery Quotes

Quotes tagged as "addiction-and-recovery" (showing 1-30 of 148)
Lawrence Block
“I wanted a drink. There were a hundred reasons why a man will want a drink, but I wanted one now for the most elementary reason of all. I didn't want to feel what I was feeling, and a voice within was telling me that I needed a drink, that I couldn't bear it without it.

But that voice is a liar. You can always bear the pain. It'll hurt, it'll burn like acid in an open wound, but you can stand it. And, as long as you can make yourself go on choosing the pain over the relief, you can keep going.”
Lawrence Block, Out on the Cutting Edge

Gabor Maté
“[A]ccept that the addiction exists not because of yourself, but in spite of yourself. You did not come into life asking to be programmed this way. It’s not personal to you—millions of others with similar experiences have developed the same mechanisms. What is personal to you is how you respond to it in the present.”
Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

Gabor Maté
“There is nothing more intrinsically criminal in the average drug user than in the average cigarette smoker or alcohol addict. The drugs they inject or inhale do not themselves induce criminal activity by their pharmacological effect, except perhaps in the way that alcohol can also fuel a person’s pent-up aggression and remove the mental inhibitions that thwart violence. Stimulant drugs may have that effect on some users, but narcotics like heroin do not; on the contrary, they tend to calm people down. It is withdrawal from opiates that makes people physically ill, irritable and more likely to act violently—mostly out of desperation to replenish their supply.”
Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

Gabor Maté
“The ego can never get enough—it doesn’t even know the concept.”
Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

Gabor Maté
“Psychological maturation is the development of a sense of self as separate from inner experience.”
Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

Gabor Maté
“When infants are anxious or upset, they are offered a human or a plastic nipple—in other words, a relationship with either a natural nurturing object or something that closely resembles it. That’s how emotional nourishment and oral feeding or soothing become closely associated in the mind.
On the other hand, emotional deprivation will trigger a desire for oral stimulation or eating just as surely as hunger. Children who continue to suck their thumbs past infancy are attempting to soothe themselves; it’s always a sign of emotional distress.”
Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

Gabor Maté
“[P]reaching at people about behaviours, even self-destructive ones, did little good when I didn’t or couldn’t help them with the emotional dynamics driving those behaviours.”
Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

Gabor Maté
“The obesity epidemic demonstrates a psychological and spiritual emptiness at the core of consumer society. We feel powerless and isolated, so we become passive. We lead harried lives, so we long for escape.
In Buddhist practice people are taught to chew slowly, being aware of every morsel, every taste. Eating becomes an exercise in awareness. In our culture it’s just the opposite. Food is the universal soother, and many are driven to eat themselves into psychological oblivion.”
Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

Gabor Maté
“Self-regulation does not refer to “good behaviour” but to the capacity of an individual to maintain a reasonably even internal emotional environment. A person with good self-regulation will not experience rapidly shifting extremes of emotional highs and lows in the face of life’s challenges, difficulties, disappointments and satisfactions.”
Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

Gabor Maté
“Self-esteem is not what the individual consciously thinks about himself; it’s the quality of self-respect manifested in his emotional life and behaviours. By no means are a superficially positive self-image and true self-esteem necessarily identical. In many cases they are not even compatible. People with a grandiose and inflated view of themselves are missing true self-esteem at the core. To compensate for a deep sense of worthlessness, they develop a craving for power and an exaggerated self-evaluation[.]”
Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

Gabor Maté
“Drugs do not make the addict into a criminal; the law does. When alcohol was prohibited, drinkers were breaking the law.”
Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

Gabor Maté
“In the internal world of the psyche, [...] freedom means [...] the ability to opt for our long-term physical and spiritual well-being as opposed to our immediate urges. Absent that ability, any talk of “free will” or “choice” becomes nearly meaningless.”
Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

Gabor Maté
“[I]n the realm of emotional freedom and conscious decision making a penniless hermit may enjoy much more latitude than a status-addicted millionaire who, still compensating for unconscious childhood hurts, is driven by an insatiable need to be feared or admired.”
Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

Gabor Maté
“Freedom of choice, understood from the perspective of brain development, is not a universal or fixed attribute but a statistical probability. In other words, given a certain set of life experiences a human being will have either lesser or greater probability of having freedom in the realm of the psyche.”
Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

Gabor Maté
“If we want to help people seek the possibility of transformation within themselves, we first have to transform our own view of our relationship to them.”
Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

Gabor Maté
“In the final analysis, it’s not the activity or object itself that defines an addiction but our relationship to whatever is the external focus of our attention or behaviour.”
Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

Gabor Maté
“If our guiding principle is that a person who makes his own bed ought to lie in it, we should immediately dismantle much of our health care system. Many diseases and conditions arise from self-chosen habits or circumstances and could be prevented by more astute decisions.”
Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

Gabor Maté
“Justification connives to absolve the self of responsibility; understanding helps us assume responsibility.”
Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

Gabor Maté
“Compassionate curiosity directed toward the self leads to the truth of things.”
Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

David Sheff
“Nic ha fatto uso di droghe, a fasi alterne, per oltre un decennio, e in quegli anni credo di avere sentito, pensato e fatto quasi tutto quello che un genitore può sentire, pensare e fare.”
David Sheff, Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction

Gabor Maté
“No organism in nature is separate from the system in which it lives, functions and dies, and no natural process can be understood in isolation from its physical and biological context. From an ecological perspective, the addiction process doesn’t happen accidentally, nor is it pre-programmed by heredity. It is a product of development in a certain context, and it continues to be maintained by factors in the environment. The ecological view sees addiction as a changeable and evolving dynamic that expresses a lifelong interaction with a person’s social and emotional surroundings and with his own internal psychological space.”
Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

Gabor Maté
“Mindfulness can be practised throughout the day, not only on the meditation cushion. There are many techniques for this but they all come down to paying close attention to one’s experience of each moment, without seeking distraction.
When I go for walks now, I no longer have earphones piping music into my head. I try to stay present to the physical, aural and visual sensations I experience, as well as noticing my mental processes and reactions.”
Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

Gabor Maté
“There is a psychological fact that, I believe, provides a powerful incentive for people to cling to genetic theories. We human beings don’t like feeling responsible: as individuals for our own actions; as parents for our children’s hurts; or as a society for our many failings. Genetics—that neutral, impassive, impersonal handmaiden of Nature —would absolve us of responsibility and of its ominous shadow, guilt. If genetics ruled our fate, we would not need to blame ourselves or anyone else.”
Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

Gabor Maté
“[A] key determining factor triggering the stress response is the way a person perceives a situation. We ourselves give events their meaning, depending on our personal histories, temperament, physical condition and state of mind at the moment we experience them. Thus the degree to which we’re stressed may depend less on external circumstances than on how well we are able to take care of ourselves physically and emotionally.”
Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

Gabor Maté
“Acceptance in the context of adult-to-adult relationships may mean simply acknowledging that the other is the way he or she is, not judging them and not corroding one’s own soul with resentment that they are not different. Acceptance does not mean saintly self-sacrifice or tolerating an eternity of broken promises and hurtful eruptions of frustration and rage.”
Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

Gabor Maté
“With mindful awareness we might still experience judgment arising, but we would accept that as our own problem. When feeling frustrated and angry in response to an uncooperative patient, we would recognize these emotions as our own and understand that we ourselves are fully responsible for how we deal with them.”
Gabor Maté

Gabor Maté
“Spiritual work and psychological work are both necessary to reclaim our true nature. Without psychological strength, spiritual practice can easily become another addictive distraction from reality. Conversely, shorn of a spiritual perspective we are prone to stay stuck in the limited realm of the grasping ego, even if it’s a healthier and more balanced ego.”
Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

Gabor Maté
“Not the world, not what’s outside of us, but what we hold inside traps us. We may not be responsible for the world that created our minds, but we can take responsibility for the mind with which we create our world.”
Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

“There were days when the saturation of death, and the realities of life, became too great. Days where I felt suffocated, heavy. I’d try to gasp for a breath, and I’d fail. Yet, just in the nick of time, I would somehow, once again, be resuscitated. The world grew dark, cold. A black cloud looming over everything that I saw. People evolved into monsters–caricatures, and EVERYTHING was frightening, everybody was a predator!
The world transformed, and I would choke. Plumes of dust representing reality, as they sought an exit from my mouth, as I wheezed, and I gasped. Reality was choking me, saturating me with its heaviness.
Control? None whatsoever. Not over things, not over people. No, that was Life’s illusion; control was the magic trick. The lack of control, I was truly speaking of, was the inevitable–death. The one thing that tied into everything, everyone. Every neurotic thought, every impulse.
It was Death. The Random Act.”
- Nicole D'Settemi, Addictarium: Asylum of Anarchy (War Stories Chronicles, I)

“I couldn’t bear the thought of what drugs could do. I wanted to cry, I felt the anguish, the pain, of all that was alive and suffering right then! How this world was dying, all of us, this lost generation. The Lost Children, The Lost Children, an echo drilled so penetratingly, so pervasively, in my head. I sucked in a breath, and now? I was choking.”
- Nicole D'Settemi, Addictarium: Asylum of Anarchy (War Stories Chronicles, I)

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