I strongly believe in the power of words. The right words given at the right time have the ability to calm you, strengthen you, and convince you to continue. Quotes, phrases, poems, they all have the power to completely change the trajectory of a person’s life. Below are some of my favorites that have come to me at just the right time. Some I have let stand on their own and some I’ve offered my explanation alongside. I firmly believe some of these may speak to you if you let them. I hope that at least one can create a positive impact on your life. Now in no particular order, I present the words that have most impacted my life positively.
“I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me.”– Joshua Graham, Fallout New Vegas
“If I am worth anything later, I am worth something now, for wheat is wheat even if people think it is grass in the beginning” – Vincent Van Gogh
Few people know Van Gogh was depressed and possibly medicated. The idea that someone so well known being sick, always gave me the feeling that just because I was depressed that didn’t limit or undo my other talents. You can still be a speaker or teacher or doctor or artist. Don’t let your mental illness or anything else keep you from seeing your worth even if others don’t.
“To be rendered powerless does not destroy your humanity. Your resilience is your humanity. The only people who lose their humanity are those who believe they have the right to render another human being powerless. They are the weak. To yield and not break, that is incredible strength.”
“because you all know there is nothing stronger than a broken woman who was rebuilt herself.”
– Hannah Gadsby, Nanette
Both of the quotes above are from the TV special Nanette found on Netflix by the stand up comedian Hannah Gadsby. Be warned it is not just laughs and giggles, she tackles serious issues including being gay and being raped, so please watch with caution. This show made me cry, for those of you who know me, you know I don’t cry. It’s one of the most powerful things I’ve ever seen on TV and these quotes are some of the best on this list.
“Do not be ashamed of the wars your soul has fought to save itself” -Isra Al-Thibeh
I have done a lot on the path to save myself. That’s where all addiction comes from, isn’t it? A place of simply trying to survive. I have gained weight, lots of weight because eating was the only thing that helped me want to continue. I have taken more pills than I should’ve. But for me, it was cutting that was my war. I needed to bleed to pull myself back from the brink. Now I have the scars to prove it the war I fought. I do not advocate for cutting or self-medicating or anything else addictive. But I am no longer ashamed of what I did to survive. We all have scars, they are not to be ashamed of.
“”Master, I am attracted to both men and women. What shall I do?” He responded, “My dear one, my friend, you have twice the power of love. Use it carefully.” I was stunned. I sat in silence for a moment, waiting for more. “Is that all?” I asked. He smiled and said “That is all. There is nothing more to say.”” -Steven Greenberg, “Wrestling with God and Men” — Author’s conversation with Rabbi Eliashiv in Jerusalem
Sometimes you just need someone to tell you that you aren’t a mistake……
“Your fight is not over” -The 100
“A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle” -James Keller
i only ever thought
there were two kinds of loves:
the kind you would kill for and
the kind you would die for.
but you, my darling,
you were the kind of love
i would live for. -Nathaniel Orion G. K.
Finding the love you would live for when you are depressed and suicidal is one of the hardest, most important things you can ever do. Keep searching. It exists.
“You cannot heal in the same environment where you got sick”
Don’t be afraid to make radical changes to help heal yourself. “Do what you’ve always done, and you’ll get what you’ve always got”. You are a product of your environment. Don’t negate its part in causing your feelings. Depression is a sickness. Treat it as such.
“At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can” –Frida Kahlo
“The world breaks everyone and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.” -Ernest Hemingway
We are not weak. We are not crying for help. Sometimes we ask for it, sometimes we need it, but it is not crying. We are marines. We are soldiers.We are struggling but we are searching for any way to win that we can. Pathetic we are not.
When you tell them about all the times
You’ve imagined yourself being hit
By six cars in succession.
Some say, fuck,
some say, fight,
but no one ever says
I’m in the process of writing an entire post on this poem and how important it is to me. I am actually in the process of designing my tattoo that says “Breathe” because I need to have it close and constant.
These quotes come from all over, poems, video games, tv shows, famous authors and everywhere in between. Some have become mantras for me, while others are ones that literally changed my outlook and gave me a reason to keep going. When dealing with depression, these words have saved my life on more than one occasion. Some of these were whispered to me through a landline with a two-inch cord while I huddled against the wall in the hospital. Some were painted in blood on my bathroom floor. Soon one will be tattooed on my skin just as my scars are. These words are incredibly important to me and I hope that you get something out of them.