You Can Lead a Horse to Water But You Can’t Make Her Drink It: How One Girl Learned to Want This Thing Called Recovery Bad Enough to Drink The Damn Water

I’m sure you know that drive alone can’t beat addiction. For a while, I asked myself how do I want to want to stay sober?

I knew I needed to but did I want too? Not really.

Eventually, though, I did learn to want it bad enough. I wanted it so bad that now I’m able to share this all with you.

But for a while, I didn’t talk about anything. I don’t think anyone outside of my immediate circle knew any of the awful things I had done.

I don’t think anyone understood just how dark I could get. I bet —everyone just assumed I was this happy-go-lucky girl; a purposely painted portrait of who I wished I was but could never be. I can’t help but think, is that really what I wanted everyone to see?

Not really. I mean, before all the partying and boys, I was simply the second born daughter of an attorney and beautiful stay-at-home mom. I had this picture in my head of the great things I’d do. So yeah, I had a lot of drive but I had a lot of pressure too. And so, as you know, things definitely didn’t turn out as I had planned (that’s fo sho).

I don’t know much but I do know that.

Looking back, I see it all so clearly —at least today I do. What they say about hindsight really is true. Except, it wasn’t always this way. For a while, I let opioids control my entire life. They controlled me until I realized I didn’t actually need them.


It was a false freedom that I mistakenly took for empowerment. And I think for a while, for far too long —the impending withdrawals derailed any positive growth. But once you overcome that, it gets easier to actually want it all to stick.

I think the greatest thing I learned is that —it all comes down to how badly you want it. 

For me, back then, I couldn’t fathom life without pills. I couldn’t do anything without one. I was willing to complain about how awful everything was but I wasn’t willing to put in the work. And that’s the problem. Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time. What we really want is for things to remain the same but get better. Except, we know this isn’t true. That’s not how it works.

After everything, at least for me, it had to get worse before it got better. I’ve said that before. But maybe now that you have a bigger picture of what worse actually meant to me, maybe you’ll understand why I am the way I am presently. Because people can teach you all day to do this and not that but I’ve learned that if someone wants something, like if an addict wants his or her drug of choice —even though they know they shouldn’t, chances are they will anyway.

Like I already said, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him or her drink it.

Except, I’m asking you too. I want you to chug. I want you to get more out of life than simply white knuckling you’re way to the end. I want you to enjoy this ride we call life —even if drive alone can’t beat addiction. So this is where I tell you three ways you can learn to want this thing called recovery bad enough that it’ll actually stick.


1. Find a program that works for you —not one that someone tells you to do.

This is huge guys. My biggest mistake was saying and doing things I thought people wanted to hear. I remember being a resident at my first treatment center. I still had cravings even after they said I was good to go. But I didn’t speak up. I told them, yeah I think I’m ready but I knew I wasn’t.

I think I just wanted to get out of that place.

Maybe I was in a rush but remember, this isn’t a race. And don’t compare where you’re at to anyone else. We all go at our own pace. I mean, it took me over five years and three rock bottoms before I finally wanted it like I said I did all those times before. And my version of wanting it may be different than yours. Like for me, today I let myself have a drink on special occasions.

And I know what you’re thinking. Even if you just have a pill problem, the 12-step program says you can’t do drugs or drink alcohol because liquor is still a mind altering substance. And they are right. They are right for two reasons. One being alcohol reduces our inhibitions and increases the likelihood that we will make bad choices. The other is just as they say in the rooms, a drug is a drug is a drug.

But that’s their program and not mine. I did theirs strictly. I followed it to a “t” and still, I relapsed.

Now, I’m not telling you to go have a drink if you merely snorted pills. I’m not saying that in the very least. I’m just giving you an example of why it’s so important to find a program that works for you —and not one that someone tells you to do. I mean today, even when I can drink, I usually don’t. And I didn’t take my first sip until I had a clear view of what I wanted my version of sobriety to be.


I’m just being honest, guys. And with my new understanding, I haven’t done or craved an opiate in nearly half a decade. I’m more than functioning. I’m like a new me. I want you to be brand new too. And despite what you may think from those words above, I still suggest that you start your journey with some type of 12-step program —then, take it from there.

If you’re feeling it, go to those meetings, find a sponsor and work the steps. And if not, try something else. For me, I went to those meetings every day for a year. Then, I started attending therapy where I learned a little more about who I wanted to be and why I did the things I did. From there, I started creating sober relationships and I ended any toxic ones.

Oh, and then I read every type of self-help book I could get my hands on.

2. Because taking care of “you” is not selfish —not by a long shot.

Self-care is so important —it matters more than you might think especially to anyone in recovery. It’s all about your mindset like what activities and habits do you practice in order to fight your inner monster? For me, I like to get weekly manicures among other things. And I know that may sound lame or girly but let me just tell you, it’s not. The fact remains that this simple notion restores balance to my life.

But just how I view going to the spa as a way to restart, someone else may hate the idea of another person touching their hands or feet. And that’s OK —not everyone likes the same thing; therefore, your self-care routine will certainly be different than mine. You just have to find what works for you.

3. I’m sure you’ve heard this before: it all starts in your mind. If you change your mind, you change your life. 

I know, I know. It’s not easy to find something else to think about when all that’s inside your head is negativity. Maybe you find yourself still craving the drugs you said you’d never do again? Maybe you hate them but at the same time, you still love them? I get it, really I do.


Except, if your mind can initiate those negative thoughts, can’t they erase them too? Yes. Absolutely. That’s why I’m about to tell you when the bad swoops in, you need to find some sort of positive affirmation to repeat instead. For me today, whenever something ugly enters my mind, I’ll repeat the opposite. Then, I’ll find a quote or music lyric that I can meditate on. And eventually, the evil pop-ups fade away.

Except, I can’t tell you how long it took for me to get here. I didn’t care about myself when I was addicted. I only cared about those damn pills. But after I hit my third rock bottom —paired with a shit ton of therapy, my philosophies began to change. I started to create a life I actually wanted to participate in. I also started accepting how I felt, in every moment.

I learned that feelings aren’t facts and nothing is final.

I stopped wanting to escape the wreckage from my past. Instead of running, I learned how to be alone. I discovered that this type of pain could actually be my greatest tool. And now, I use it to strengthen the woman I’ve become. I mean, I battled trauma, loss, and anger completely sober. I came out on the other side a winner —better for every experience, good or bad.

The old me couldn’t have done that. In fact, she wouldn’t even have thought of it. But the new me did because of my current state of mind. And my state is great because I took time for myself. I knew I needed to say no to certain people, places, and things because that was the only way I was ever going to grow. It was the only way I could learn that I needed nothing outside of myself to fix me. Every answer has always been within.

Because like I already said, if you can change your mind, you can change your life.


I mean, I’m sure like me, you put a lot of effort into finding and using your drug of choice, right? No matter what you were hooked on, addiction requires a lot of work —more so than a non-addict would think. Essentially, you have to put your life on hold.

But as a result, you already have the ability to use your “stay scheming” attitude for something good rather than simply trying to turn $0 into $200 so you can pick up a bunch of pills. Like if you put half the effort into your recovery that you did trying to stay high, I’m pretty sure you’d be sober for a while.

I know it’s hard. It’s not what I wanted. It’s not what I dreamed of. But it is. Nothing about addiction or recovery for that matter is easy. It’s a devasting disease. I can make it worse and stay bitter or I can face it head on and get better. The choice is yours. Will you drink the water or will the water drink you?

And even though drive alone can’t beat addiction, that doesn’t mean you can’t —just look at me.


macey bee


24 thoughts on “You Can Lead a Horse to Water But You Can’t Make Her Drink It: How One Girl Learned to Want This Thing Called Recovery Bad Enough to Drink The Damn Water

    • maceybee says:

      alyssa! 🖤💕 thank you so much. your encouragement truly means more than you know. what a journey though! it’s definitely never over but i’m finally having fun and healing even more than i thought i needed at this point. so double thank you and TGiF. 💕🖤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Positively Alyssa says:

        You are more than welcome! I know the journey has not been easy, but you are doing so well! You have helped me so much as well and for that I will always be thankful!!!! I am SO glad it is Friday, it sure has been a long week! I hope you have a fantastic weekend!

        Liked by 1 person

      • maceybee says:

        i feel the exact same way about you! so right back at you mrs. you are as strong and brave as they come. it seems like you do it all without a second thought. so i know for sure that you earned this glorious friday. i too hope you have a wonderful weekend! let me know if you do anything fun. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      • Positively Alyssa says:

        Thank you Sweetie! We have absolutely no plans for the weekend. It is supposed to rain all weekend, so I prefer to stay inside nice and cozy! I hope you have a wonderful weekend and hopefully you are not surrounded by rain!

        Liked by 1 person

      • maceybee says:

        i totally do too! nothing is more relaxing and peaceful than being comfortable inside as it rains. let it rain! what’s funny is i’ve actually come to love the sounds of thunder. for some reason, i find it soothing. so that’s definitely my kind of weekend. i’ll probably be doing the exact same thing! 😁♥️

        Liked by 1 person

      • Positively Alyssa says:

        I am actually with you 100% the rain and thunder is really soothing! My cats disagree, they freak out because of the sounds. Silly cats:)! The only issue with rain is it increases my pain, but if I can just stay home it’s okay! I hope you enjoy the rain and storms ♡♡

        Liked by 1 person

      • maceybee says:

        we really are one in the same. ♥️♥️ and oh no! your cats.. i’m so sorry lol. it must be a thing tho because i swear my pup —maltipoo breed, freaks out too. barks and runs around. gotta love dem fur babies! haha. i have heard that weather, especially bad weather increases pain levels. which is kind of crazy to think about.. i hope it skips you this weekend. 🙏🙏

        Liked by 1 person

      • maceybee says:

        omg! stop. wait no —definitely don’t stop. hahaha that is actually hysterical. we really are twins! i have a vague memory of us talking about your previous pup and my current poo named pitot —pronounced pee-toe. it’s something in aviation in honor of my pilot bf lol. but i completely forgot until you said it. and even now, i can’t remember the specifics of our convo but regardless i love it and love you. 😍🤩

        Liked by 1 person

      • Positively Alyssa says:

        It is pretty wild that two people could meet on a blog and be SO much a like. I mean if I had a sister, she would be YOU! I remember us chatting about your pup and his name. My little guys name was Riley. The reason for giving him up are crazy as well. I had moved out of my mother’s apartment because she was too insane with drugs and alcohol and my husband, well bf at the time did not want a dog. My mother got wasted because of an argument with her bf, so I went to her to try to help. She held a knife to Riley’s throat and then lunged at me with the cops right there. I had to make a heartbreaking decision to either have her arrested or taken to the mental health hospital, I chose the latter, then had to decide what to do with poor Riley. He went to a good home with a family and a yard. You my dear are one of a kind and I love that we have met!

        Liked by 1 person

      • maceybee says:

        i honestly couldn’t agree more my love. i think it’s really freaking special that we have connected like we have. and ugh you’re too sweet.. we are soul sisters after all 😉

        just read what you said after that a few times and wow. that is a heck of an ordeal you had to go through. i can’t imagine that being easy —esp dealing with family on top of drugs and your fur baby. i think you made the right move for your pup with all things considering and although it was hard, you gave him a better life than you could give at that time. i know if it was now, riley would still be with you but you know what, everything happens for a reason and you’re a courageous girl for choosing riley over your own feelings.

        i actually forgot you said your puppy’s name was riley.. bc what i’m about to tell you is even more ironic.. my boyfriend’s family dog was named riley.. she was this maltese all white super cute girly pup. she had a bunch of health issues and was literally almost 16 years old.. two weeks ago we had to put her down so it was really sad for my bf, his mom and younger sister since she had been there thru everything and now she’s gone.

        so i can relate to your situation 100%. loss is loss. gone is gone. at least my riley is not suffering bc at the end, she couldn’t see, she couldn’t hear, she slept all day and had these growths all over her belly.. and your riley went to a happy home and you both will always have your sweet moments.

        but enough with the saddness.. i hope you’re relaxing all day today like we planned. i’m posted up watching the royal wedding hahahha ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • Positively Alyssa says:

        It really is amazing how we have connected and that we are SO much a like! I love it!!! Hopefully someday, us soul sisters will actually meet in person. I think that would be absolutely amazing!!!! I watch a little of the royal wedding earlier. I told my husband I thought Meghan was prettier than Kate and he firmly disagreed. I just like her because she is very real and does not seem to put on a fake personality, but maybe I am wrong. Doesn’t she already have a child?

        Liked by 1 person

      • maceybee says:

        i would love to meet up somewhere for lunch or dinner. my bf is a pilot who just so happens to be getting these long distance upgrades on his plane so that we can fly not just locally. i think eventually we can make that happen!

        ahh yes —the royal wedding is literally on every channel so it’s hard not too. lol IM WITH YOU! team Meghan all the way. i think she is so beautiful. kate is pretty too but meghan’s vibe is more my style.

        i feel like this whole thing is so epic and game changing.. i think it’s bringing the monarch over there into modern times. definitely a great step for a diverse equal future. also cool to see meghan’s mom standing with the queen. it’s all just so beautiful.

        so she doesn’t have a kid that i’m aware of per a bunch of documentaries i’ve watched recently (lifetime network, the CW, and abc/hulu).. from my take she was married before and got divorced. she comes from a humble background but is very well educated and does a lot of service work with the less fortunate. she moved to LA to try and make it in hollywood after grad school and then actually did. and now she’s a freaking princess leaving everything old behind (literally they made her delete her blog + all new clothes) and starting brand new. definitely sacrifices but seems like they are worth it for what she gains and the good she can do (plus being in love with prince harry who i love. the two of them are so cute)

        ok i’m done 🤪🤪i suppose i learned a lot from those docs. i really could go on but i’ll stop 😂😂😂

        you’re the best, girl. 🙏🙏

        Liked by 1 person

      • Positively Alyssa says:

        That would be beyond amazing if we could meet up sometime! I live near an airport and where we are moving has an airport as well! We could meet at the beach, my favorite place in the entire world!

        I am with you, team Meghan! She is definitely more my laid back style! See you and I are always on the same page with everything!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • maceybee says:

        🙌🙌✈️ that’s right you guys are moving. ahh. great thing ahead in more ways than one!

        i too love the beach. the sand, the sound the waves make.. it’s all so zen and beautiful. plus you will live near an airport where we could meet you or get a ride from the airport to you.. i mean, it’s basically fate.. that’s what we’ll do! any excuse to fly, patrick is there.

        that’s so funny. we are twinning it up hard over here! i’m laughing out loud. kate seems like tooo perfect. meghan is way more relatable and i think that’s why ppl are loving her like us haha.

        we’re totally on the same level. 🌊💃🏼♥️

        Liked by 1 person

      • Positively Alyssa says:

        Yes, we are moving from Charlotte NC to Greenville SC soon and I am really nervous! Finding a job has been insanely difficult!!!

        I agree with you, the beach, sand and sound of waves is so amazing! It is the only time I am completely relaxed! It is going to be so wonderful to meet you someday really soon!!

        Yes, Kate is way too perfect and Meghan just seems more real and down to earth, which is my kind of personality!

        OMG my husband is driving me CRAZY today!! He won’t stop talking about things that do not matter because we will never know the truth!!!!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

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