Article image

13 Quotes About Coping With Illness

We are all, in some way, shape, or form, susceptible to falling ill at some point in our lives. But no one has to be defined by their illness, be it mental or physical. What’s more important is the willpower, empathy, and human spirit that shine through amid the most difficult circumstances.

Whether it’s ourselves or a loved one suffering, sometimes the best way to stay positive is remembering just how far we’ve come — how strong we’ve been in the face of adversity, and how important it is to channel our energy toward possibilities versus obstacles. Though there’s a lot we can’t control when it comes to battling illness, what we can insist on is the kind of mindset that prizes selfhood over a defeatist mentality. Here, we’ve rounded up 13 quotes to help inspire you to stay hopeful when things get challenging.

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.
— Martin Luther King, Jr.

I often say now I don’t have any choice whether or not I have Parkinson’s, but surrounding that non-choice is a million other choices that I can make.
— Michael J. Fox

Maybe life isn’t about avoiding the bruises. Maybe it’s about collecting the scars to prove that we showed up for it.
— Hannah Brencher, author and mental health advocate

You either get bitter or you get better. It’s that simple. You either take what has been dealt to you and allow it to make you a better person, or you allow it to tear you down. The choice does not belong to fate, it belongs to you.
— Josh Shipp, motivational speaker

Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”
— Mary Anne Radmacher, writer and artist

Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit. Talk about your joys.
— Rita Schiano, author and motivational speaker

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work; you don’t give up.
— Anne Lamott, novelist

You can’t calm the storm, so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass.
— Timber Hawkeye, author

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.
— Dale Carnegie, motivational writer

If opening your eyes, or getting out of bed, or holding a spoon, or combing your hair is the daunting Mount Everest you climb today, that is OK.
— Carmen Ambrosio, author

Never let the things you cannot do prevent you from doing the things you can.
— John Wooden, NCAA basketball coach

What makes night within us may leave stars.
— Victor Hugo

Normality is a paved road. It’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it.
— Vincent van Gogh

Photo credit: Kenrick Mills/ Unsplash

Author image
About the Author
Joyce Chen
Joyce Chen is a writer, editor, and community builder based in Seattle, Washington.
Play more header background
Play more icon
Daily Question
What sitcom character said this? "One must champion oneself and say, I am ready for this!"

More Inspiration

happiness theme icon

Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.

separator icon
Rachel Carson
motivation theme icon

The heart is not like a box that gets filled up; it expands in size the more you love.

separator icon
Spike Jonze
hope theme icon

Courage is more exhilarating than fear and in the long run it is easier.

separator icon
Eleanor Roosevelt
love theme icon

The moment we choose to love we begin to move towards freedom, to act in ways that liberate.

separator icon
bell hooks
wisdom theme icon

There is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.

separator icon
Virginia Woolf
happiness theme icon

In times of strife, we have our imagination, we have our creative impulse.

separator icon
Patti Smith
motivation theme icon

Vulnerability is important. You can’t let your skin get too thick.

separator icon
Al Pacino
hope theme icon

Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value.

separator icon
Albert Einstein
love theme icon

The image is one thing and the human being is another… it's very hard to live up to an image.

separator icon
Elvis Presley
wisdom theme icon

I believe that the privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.

separator icon
Viola Davis
happiness theme icon

When someone tells me “no,” it doesn't mean I can't do it, it simply means I can't do it with them.

separator icon
Karen E. Quinones Miller