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A Defiant Desire to Change


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I found this quote while searching for inspirations on the web. I think I have read it like a hundred times by now. It has really touched me, deep down inside, on so many levels, especially when it comes to getting sober.

“Discontent and disorder are signs of energy and hope, not of despair,” the English historian Dame Cicely Wedgwood has pointed out. “That’s the nature of hope…it’s not optimism, where everything feels right with your world, but a defiant desire to change. And change tends to feel uncomfortable.”

I strongly believe that if you want to get sober, resolve may not be enough – it was not enough for me. Willpower was not enough for me either. Actually I believe that willpower has nothing to do with it; my willpower seemed to come and go – one day I will, I one day I won’t. Wanting it really, really badly was not enough either, or some great brute force, or bargaining or promising – none of those worked for me. Neither did my many announcements of how I was sure that this time, unlike all the other times, this time, it was going to be different – that was not enough either.

I spent 4 years trying to stop drinking, and thinking about stopping drinking, and then drinking, and feeling like a failure because I drank, then wanting to get sober but not being able to stay sober. Crying about why I was so weak, and beating myself up about the fact that it seemed like millions of other people managed to get sober and why not me? What was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I get this!?


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Then one day, someone asked me:
Are you sure that you really want to be sober?
What? – I thought, greatly offended! – Of course I want to get sober!

But I kept thinking about that question… because that question wasn’t asking if I wanted to get sober, it was asking if I wanted to be sober! And… I had to be absolutely honest with myself – deep down inside, I did not want to actually be sober, well, I thought that I did, I believed that I did! I knew that being sober was going to greatly improve my life, and knew that I needed to get sober because drinking was no longer working for me, and I knew that I didn’t want to have any more negative consequences. But quit forever? Forever, ever? I definitely had many reservations. Did I have to quit completely? Why couldn’t I moderate? Why can’t there be some magical middle ground? Could I stop for a bit, and then drink again and be OK? Isn’t there another option? There had to be another option. I wanted another option besides quitting forever!

This is why it is often said that one has to hit a bottom in order to have this defiant desire to change. Because then and only then many of us become absolutely willing to do whatever it takes to not pick up a drink.

If you’re not quite willing to do whatever is necessary for you to stay sober, you may still be holding onto reservations – you may not be ready to quit just yet. That’s OK. You will… one day you will be ready.

One day you will have this defiant desire to change too!!


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I remember my day. Clearly. Precisely. Accurately. That day I was done. No more questioning. No more reservations. I was 100% sure, without a doubt, without any second guessing, here it was, in black and white…. My desire to be sober was greater than my desire to be drunk.

That day I had a defiant desire to change! This desire, in turn propelled me forward and I became willing to do whatever it took to stay sober. Because where there is a will, there is always a way!

If you are struggling, don’t lose hope! This day will come to you too. It many not be a big bang, it may be quiet and calm, but it will come. Just keep trying and don’t give up!

If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with alcohol addiction, please click the Find Support link for an extensive list of support groups.

You may also find some great inspiration and support from all the awesome sober bloggers listed in the side bar under POSTS I LIKE and RECOVERY BLOGGERS, as well as Sober Courage page on Facebook and Sober Courage on Twitter.



  1. So true. I just went to the website In the Rooms. I thought, awesome I will sign up and see what this is all about. When I tried it said my email had been taken..huh? I used my tried and true password. It worked. I had signed up in 2010. My defiant desire did not come until 11/30/2013 because that was when I finally put down the drink, forever, ever. Or so I hope.
    Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Oh I can’t tell you how many times I started too. But it wasn’t till that last time that I just knew that was it. That moment that I knew nothing was going to stop me from getting sober – defiant alright!


    • That’s very true too. Can’t do it alone and for me it was mostly because I had no clue how to live life sober what’s so ever. I believe that support is so crucial to my sobriety even today. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs.


  2. Reblogged this on club east: indianapolis and commented:
    I don’t know that many of us realize we need to fight to change. Yes, yes… we all it’s a struggle. But we don’t accidentally change, anymore than we can post a date next year on the calendar and say, “Thank God I’ll be done by then.” Most of us — hopefully — know it takes more, Love this post by Maggie at Sober Courage.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes! The defiant desire had to be strong enough to overcome the FEAR of being sober.
    It was all so crazy and disordered in my head. It was like things spiralled out of control for a lo time, and I went along with it.
    Once I finally grasped the defiant desire it all blew apart. Scary, but so very worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it is! It also reminds me that change takes work and it doesn’t feel comfortable. Just like getting sober. It’s not as easy as putting down the drink. It’s recreating yourself. Bit scary but quite exciting at the same time. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs.


  4. This was eye-opening Maggie! Do I have the desire to BE sober? I know what I will do differently this time. I am not going to make it a struggle to BE sober. And sometimes that means staying in when everyone else wants me to go out. Social events started to get to me while sober! Certain events I know I will be miserable sober while watching everyone else drink. I will just NOT GO or LEAVE when I get uncomfortable. I am going to do what I need to do to feel comfortable sober. Hugs and thanks for always commenting on my blog! It’s great to know someone is listening 🙂


    • You know, when I finally got sober I didn’t go anywhere where there was alcohol! And I know that seems over the top, but I just couldn’t. I wasn’t safe. And to this day I make sure that if I am going to be where alcohol is that I have a plan, that I have a sober network in place and that I really absolutely need to be there. This is powerful disease. I don’t ever underestimate it, even now, six years later.

      Thanks for the great comment and the kind words. Hang in! Hugs.


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