Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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6365544 tn?1381175189

Motivation!! How are you motivated to get and stay clean??

Hello everyone.  I wanted to post this because I think it will help everyone, especially the new people that are trying to beat their addiction.  I believe it will also help someone that has beat the initial part of the detox or recovery and maybe need some kind of motivation to keep going.  Motivation!!...That’s the theme of this question \ post.  As you know, I am in the middle of opiate detox and the only way I am going to beat it is by being motivated to be clean and healthy.  I’m  also personally really motivated by the money that I will be saving.  If you know my story, you know that my addiction is Oxycondone.  I purchased all of my pills off the street and it cost me on average $120 a day = $3600 a month = $43,200 a year.  So I have put a few numbers in front of me for motivation.  On my desk at work I have the number that I have spent on pills which is about $80,000.  Also, every single day that I’m clean I add $120 to the list and total it up.  In the past 3 weeks, I have already saved $1680.  These are tools for me to stay motivated to quit.  Another thing I have done to motivate myself... I made a list of all the reasons why my life will be better without pills or alcohol or whatever.  I made a list of about 15 things.  The first one for me is: I do not want to die from pills. Second: I will have a ton of extra cash, etc.  
Motivation is one of the main factors of getting clean and beating your addiction…even more so, actually staying clean.   I would appreciate it if everyone would share what worked for them. If you had a system or some tools that worked or if you have any ideas of things that will help people get and stay motivated.  

I think this can really help a lot of people.  Maybe something that helped you will be the thing that gets someone through detox or maybe it gets someone like myself to quit forever. It could make a huge impact on someones life.
Thank you to everyone that responds.
37 Responses
Avatar universal
Wow what a great idea! Putting it down in the form of numbers! Wish I would have thought of that! AWESOME POST! My children, staying alive and LIVING, REALLY LIVING, is my motivation! They deserve a great mom not a numb one! I spend the money now on new things for them and I add to their new car funds!
4522800 tn?1470329434
SUPPORT!!! Stay away from old stomping grounds..Be in-tune that you might have up & downs..Keep your self out of you thinking in anyway you can..Keep pushing becuase Recovery is for the rest of your Life!!!!!
6365544 tn?1381175189
Thank you Rosy.  I always knew I spent a ridiculous amount of money on them, but after seeing the amount, it was actually mind boggling.  Thank you for sharing Rosy.  Children are a great motivation! I wish my parents had a new car fund for me when I was a kid :)  Im sure seeing your children everyday kept the motivation right in front of you.  
1810386 tn?1405553177
Great thinking,

I had a similar list, My Pros and Cons list, of cause my cons list was 1-2 pages and pros 3-4 lines.

My motivations are my health,  living a full happy life, addition funds for holidays
6365544 tn?1381175189
Yeah, that is one thing that I did not do at first but now have realized.  It makes it too hard if you are around it and doing the same things you did when you were using. An alcohlic is going to have an impossible time, if he or she is hanging around at a bar.  Thanks for sharing!  
4522800 tn?1470329434
You are doing a very good job..Sometimes I can come across a bit angry because I am..I have used off & on since I was 14 and now 57..The last 16-12 have been out of control..I have a little over a year and this is the HARDEST Job I have ever had to do. My whole Life and the World around me had to change. You have some great Ideas up there and I wish you the best..Just keep the Guard Up at all times. Just like our CL around here or others have said. They have 5 plus years..
It is not easy but it has its rewards..
Bless U.
Avatar universal
Your so right jveg! I would have loved a car fund too.! Its amazing how much we can save that was going down our throats before! Its not easy but its So worth it
Avatar universal
One thing that helps me stay motivated Is this poem. Drugs can take away lots more than just your money.

I destroy homes, tear families apart, take your children, and that’s just the start.
I’m more costly than diamonds, more costly than gold; the sorrow I bring is a sight to behold.
And if you need me, remember I’m easily found; I live all around you, in schools and in town.
I live with the rich, I live with the poor; I live down the street, and maybe next door.
My power is awesome; try me — you’ll see; but if you do, you may never break free.
Just try me once and I might let you go, but try me twice, and I’ll own your soul.
When I possess you, you’ll steal and you’ll lie. You do what you have to just to get high.
The crimes you’ll commit, for my narcotic charms, will be worth the pleasure you’ll feel in your arms.
You’ll lie to your mother, you’ll steal from your dad; When you see their tears, you should feel sad.
But you’ll forget your morals and how you were raised, I’ll be your conscience, I’ll teach you my ways.
I take kids from parents, and parents from kids; I turn people from god, and separate from friends.
I’ll take everything from you, your looks and your pride; I’ll be with you always, right by your side.
You’ll give up everything, your family, your home, your friends, your money, then you’ll be alone.
I’ll take and take, till you have nothing more to give; When I’m finished with you, you’ll be lucky to live.
If you try me– be warned– this is no game; If given the chance, I’ll drive you insane.
I’ll ravish your body, I’ll control your mind; I’ll own you completely, your soul will be mine.
The nightmares I’ll give you while lying in bed, the voices you’ll hear from inside your head; the sweats, the shakes, the visions you’ll see– I want you to know, these are all gifts from me.
But then it’s too late, and you’ll know in your heart, that you are mine, and we shall not part.
You’ll regret that you tried me, they always do, but you came to me, not I to you.
You knew this would happen; Many times you were told– but you challenged my power, and chose to be bold.
You could have said no, and just walked away; If you could live that day over, now what would you say? I’ll be your master; you will be my slave; I’ll even go with you, when you go to your grave.
Now that you have met me, what will you do? Will you try me or not? It’s all up to you.
I can bring you more misery than words can tell; Come take my hand, let me lead you to hell……
Author Unknown
Avatar universal
7300 pills in career.  $43,800. Almost $11,000 a year.  Low estimate.  Frickin mind boggling!
Avatar universal
That was a very powerful poem... Thanks for sharing that. One of my motivations of course are my kids and my wonderful husband. Making him proud of me on a daily basis just makes me glow, but my main motivation is my sanity. I have worked way too hard to give up the sense of peace and calm I have regained in my life.   I no longer live in chaos in my own mind... My thoughts are my own again...The pills are no longer ruling my psyche.   My complete daily freedom to live my life the way it is supposed to be lived, the way I want to live it...is my ultimate motivation to never look back....
6365544 tn?1381175189
Well at least you spent less than me... Im at about 40K a year...lol.

Thanks for sharing Andie :)
5429734 tn?1379745013
My kids and my mother. I never want them to think they were not worth it to me i want to watch them grow up and i dont want my mother to have to bury her daughter.  
5347058 tn?1381192026
I didn't spend extra money buying my pills off of the street. (So, I can't use that as a deterrent.) I had a script for a legitimate pain issue and took them like prescribed. I noticed that I had gone from taking a rather small amount to maxing out the highest dose for Norco in a little over a year. I am a recovering alcoholic and saw where this was going. I liked them way too much. I quit for me. I didn't do this for anyone else. I went through hell with my alcoholism and 2 trips through the DTs. It's a miracle I am here today. My father was an alcoholic and ended up losing his life to it at a young age. I don't want to end up like that. I quit because I want to be present in my life. I don't want to numb myself, or miss out on any emotion, good or bad, they are mine dang it! I quit because I am an addict and I will find a way to abuse any and all substances. I quit because my life depended on it and this chick ain't going out like that!! I stay clean by knowing in my heart that if I drink or use, I will end up dead. I truly feel that another of my benders will do me in. If the using doesn't, the detox will. I remain hyper aware to my triggers, always keep my guard up, and reach out instead of isolating any time I am craving.
6365544 tn?1381175189
Thats a great post :)  Thank you for sharing!  
5429734 tn?1379745013
That was a great post ariley!
Avatar universal
Along with the list of things I gain from not taking pills, I made a list of the things about me that I and others like. I try to feed my good character as best I can.

Another this was writing down all the good intentions I had over the years, yet pills made me fall short. I am trying to live up to those intentions a little more each day, week, month, etc... I always meant to be giving, yet I was a taker. I meant to be loving, but I had no heart. I meant to be there for my family, but I wasn't.

Probably one of the most important things for my 10 months of methadone detox was watching my expectations of myself and others. Keeping progress as the goal has helped me not to feel like I failed because I don't feel good yet or haven't done something yet. I get the rest of my life to work those things out.

Awesome post, I really love this way of thinking. Focus on what we are for rather than what we are against and it seems to work out better overall.
6050497 tn?1378861428
Thanks J for posting and sharing your great idea with us and thanks to everyone for responding so encouragingly. My incentives to stay clean and not take the evil little pills: every day is brighter, every feeling is deeper,  every sound is clearer, both of my sons say I sound better than I have for years, I'm no longer enslaved by the pills, taking one pill would put me right back at the worst of my addiction... We can never start back at ground zero... Ever, it's not possible... Most of all, I wake up with NO PAIN. Why would I ever willingly enter into that insanity again...?
Avatar universal
Vegas,,, MONEY is definitely a motivation factor for me two.. I spent about the same, maybe more, I never had my own scripts, but I never worked the numbers.. However, today is day 6 and I have $1500 in my pocket... LOL.. I always spent every penny on more pills after the bills were paid.. However, now I am going to send myself on a vacation when I hit day 30... AMAZING what THEY do to us.. Thanks for sharing
6109773 tn?1381074643
Leave- what an incredible poem. Thank you so much for sharing!
Avatar universal
I'm about where you were and I used to be such a great saver......now I have no savings.  Always out of money.  How long have you been clean.  I thought I remembered you detoxing this last weekend.  Are u feeling better.  You sure sound better.   Great job.  Thanks for the motivation.
Avatar universal
Yes, my last pills were Wednesday afternoon and I took Thursday and Friday off cuz I thought I would need 4 or 5 days cuz I have weekends off too.. So today is day 6.. :):) And I am actually feeling VERY STRONG.. I pray this feeling stays cuz I NEVER want to go through those first 4 days ever ever ever ever ever again
Avatar universal
One of my main motivations is that I do not want to go through detox again. I am 60 years old now, and I want to fully be awake for my remaining years. I have suffered through countless alcohol hangovers over the years, spent two years "coming back" from benzos and finally graduated to opiates for my finale.
I am sick to death of having substances rule my life. Each now day holds new promise for me, and part of my motivation is I want to clearly feel and see what is going without needing a substance to "make it better"
Each day I am clean motivates me to make the next day a clean day. I do not want to go back and start my recovery all over again. I think that going through that last crummy first week of detox is enough. The waves of panic, the nausea, the stomach cramps, etc.
I think about that week from time to time to remember why I do not want to go backwards.
My motivation is twofold. The joy of sobriety and freedom.
Secondly, my fear of losing that joy.
The demon has been with me since I first guzzled my dad's wine to get a buzz in the 8th grade. And though I am not afraid of him now, I want to maintain a healthy respect for the power of this demon.
Some people relapse and never make it back. That scares me and motivates me to use proven strategies-cutting sources, aftercare, daily program-in my personal battle.
Finally I feel motivated to win. Whatever it takes. 100 days or so clean. After a lifetime like mine, that seems like nothing. But these clean days are so precious. I want more of them.
That motivates me.
6365544 tn?1381175189
Thanks for sharing.  100 days is great,,, I wish I was on day 100.  Good job!  It sounds like you have done it all.  At least you are coming out on the other side and not looking back.  You have plenty of clean years ahead of you!  

I need to find some NA meetings myself.  That is a proven method and people have been using it for years.  Thanks again for sharing.

6365544 tn?1381175189
Wendall.  I made it to day 4,  2 times in the past 3 weeks.  Each time, failing on day 4. This is my 3rd time trying to get thru the 1st week.  It is easier then the 1st week, that's for sure.  I think 3rd time is a charm and I'm confident that I'm going to beat this addiction down!  Thanks for asking.
4626633 tn?1382600722
I got mine from a dr for legit pain, so I can't claim money. But my reason is, they robbed me of me. Prior to pills, I was an emotional, passionate person, very social, did a lot for my kids, and I think I was a good friend to people. Well, I used three years, and that last year, I was depressed, withdrew from friends, simply read or did social networking, but not much outside the house. I lost all my motivation. The month before I quit was December. I love Christmas, and decorate excessively. This past year, I didn't even put up a tree. I have always been one to cry or laugh very hard at movies; etc.
Well, I was watching one I always cry, and it went off, and my kids said Mom, you're not crying, you always cry at this ending, what's wrong with you?

It hit me. I was emotionless. The pills stole my personality. And I found out, everyone had noticed, except me. I truly didn't see I was changing. And looking back, it truly did sneak up on me. My first two years using I was doing ok. They hadn't changed me. But them bam, almost overnight, they turned on me.

I wasn't living, I was exsisting. My kids were living with a stranger.. Me.
I decided I didn't want to quit living at 42. I'm not nessasrily talking about physical death. Just the death of me, of who I am. So, I wanted that girl back. I wrote down all the feelings of self loathing and self pity. I put post it notes up everywhere reminding me of good times I had prior to using. Trying to remember the days of natural happiness.

And when I started getting me back for myself; I was also able to give my kids back their Mom, and my friends back their friend.

Great post!!
Avatar universal
You couldn't talk me into stopping and you couldn't shame me into stopping. And nobody ever needed to tell me how I was acting when I was using. I knew. As an addict I knew exactly what I was doing to in order to get my drugs and how I was when I was using them. I also knew everyone else knew; including my doctor as I re-upped as I ran out. No big secret to uncover there. I knew life would get better if I quit, I'd not be giving away everything I earned in money and happiness, but I didn't give a $hit. My addiction had sent my head out to get my a$$. I just didn't care as long as I could keep getting loaded. And the drug use was only a small fraction of my disease of addiction's long list of symptoms. It's a mental, physical and spiritual disease. I was spiritually bankrupt, physically wrecked. and mentally insane.

My drugs were my one and only motivation to stop. I was driven to quit. Drugs are 12-step groups and the drug abuse treatment business's best advocate. They cause the users tremendous harm leading them to jails institutions and death. I reached bottom 4 times in my life. The first time netted me long term sobriety. Recently during the last 3 times it kept getting worse in stunningly quick succession. I didn't want to quit, I HAD to quit! Drugs filled me with the desire to stop using.

Bill Wilson, the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, said it best in the last paragraph of the first step in the "12 Steps and 12 Traditions" written in the early 1950's: "Under the lash of alcoholism we are driven to AA., and there we discover the fatal nature of our situation. Then and only then do we become open-minded to conviction and as willing to listen as the dying can be. We stand ready to do anything that will lift the merciless obsession from us."
Avatar universal
The motivation for me was and is seeing far to many of my close friends and acquaintances die from drug over doses. Watching there family's go through hell at the funerals isn't a nice thing to see or live with. I didn't want to do that to my family, it's selfish! I was sick of being sick and I didn't want to die. I try and remind myself daily that it doesn't matter how crap I still feel, it's nothing compared to how crap my family have felt for 14 year, bad sleep, low motivation and anxiety I can live with, the though of killing off my parents with grief and heartache I can't. There's no going back, period! The cravings have been wild lately and yes I wanted to give in, but I never and won't. I have jobs in the pipe line and money put away for somewhere better to live, I work from home at the moment so I can be patient with myself. All I need now is a new girl to share it with and I'll live happy. Why would I throw all that in to go back to the gutter, selling and taking drugs to survive! I'm one big mistake away from disaster, always will be. So my motivation is I would like to live!!!
5392063 tn?1390322754
BarbRTR..your words ring soooo true. This uS exactly how I've felt. The pills change you and you don't even notice. My marriage is hanging by a string and I know it's all because I am no longer me, I want me back. And most importantly, I want my son to know and love me. I want to be his perfect mommy. I want to be everything for him and right now my failing marriage and be truly not being here is doing nothing but damaging him. I have been tapering for almost a week now. It's not a lot, but it's progress and I haven't had that til now. I'm going on vacation tonight and I am determined to continue my taper even though my mind automatically goes to oh vacation = a break. I will win the battle with my mind. I WILL succeed with my taper...for my son, for my husband, for me!
4113881 tn?1415853876
Those old school N/A and A/A ers will relate to this as its been floating around the rooms for years.

"I'm allergic to drugs and alcohol....every time I use I break out in handcuffs"

That's one of my motivations....tired of doing time. Cant say that I care or think about the money Ive wasted on drugs over the years. It didn't stop me from using before so I dont think it will factor in today either. I dunno...my kiddies aren't kiddies anymore....there teenagers. When they were little...nothing I did hurt them. (At least they didnt show it) Nowadays....well, if I do something stupid like use...it would be written all over there face.

I love life but more importantly I love God. I want to honor both by trying every day to be better than I was the day before. That's my story anyways.
6365544 tn?1381175189
Lol...  I never heard that line before.  I like it! :)    I love life too... Thats one of my motivations as well.  I want to feel life and all the emotions that come with it.  Thank you for sharing your story.
1796826 tn?1558679629
My cash burn was roughly equivalent to yours, I had home delivery from my dealer and spent between $1K and $1500 per week. I did this for a good number of years, so I spent north of $300K over that time. Not spending money on drugs was a huge motivator to me. It's been a year-and-half since I quit, and that's essentially put $100K back in my pocket.

I also hated myself for getting addicted to something in the first place. Not having that guilt and taking that hit to my self-esteem is something I remind myself of often. And health is a big one. A body is not happy about processing the toxins in drugs everyday. There are many small physical side-effects that I'm glad to be rid of. A lot of the other things people have already mentioned too.
6365544 tn?1381175189
Thanks for sharing Ben.  The amount of money we have spent is insane.  I could be driving a Benz and you could have a Lamborghini... lol. Crazy. But at least that chapter is over.
1970885 tn?1435864028
My children.
And a note - we never beat the addiction. It is always there. But I know what you meant. Good post.
Avatar universal
my motivation was myself, and the money.......at my lowest point i lost my car. it got repoed....and that was a huge turn around. and i love my money...i would spend alot of money chasing pills...either thru doc shopping or from the streets....just like you i put the money i saved into a seperate account. first it was an envelope, then an account.....i would treat myself to something when i passed milestones, new shoes, movies and diner.

my car is in my driveway...i did get it back.....its a powerful tool....drives my sobriety.

i also like who i am again. im no longer angry bitter or mean, and geez i was mean. i wake up with a purpose other than taking pills. i got my courage back.
5685035 tn?1423936569
What motivated me was finding my x unresponsive in the hall, his 2 suicide attempts, my working 12 hours getting off and staying up ALL night partying, and going to work again, waking up with a machete to the neck, and going to jail for NO reason *my x scratched himself and called 911 they took me in, charges dropped) it all kind of WOKE me up and made me realize if I keep this up I would be homeless and dead shortly...
617347 tn?1331296681
active addiction, this is my monster and the one i run away from it daily. I have never felt worse in my life than when i was using... it was a steady downhill road and the end of it was a nightmare ... i have still a lot of struggles but none is worse than it.
6365544 tn?1381175189
Wow... Some great reasons to be motivated.   Im glad to see so many people respond.  It has helped me a lot this week and I hope it helps others who need motivation.
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