By Laura Chamberlain
Reprinted with the kind permission of Laura Chamberlain and Laura's Pen.
Living with a chronic illness is hard. The pain, the fatigue, the insomnia, the cognition problems, the endless list of symptoms are bad enough on their own, but when it’s every single day it is impossible to stay strong constantly.
I find it helpful when I hit my lowest point to find quotes that give me that boost to find some positivity, get my fighting gloves on and keep going.
Here are my top 5 quotes that keep me believing in myself:
1. “Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” – From Winnie the Pooh, by A.A Milne
This quote is saved on my phone. I think this applies to anyone in a moment of self doubt. But if you are fighting a chronic illness remember: your strength has got you this far, you have it within you to keep going.
2. “It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.” – From Valis by Philip K. Dick
Ok, so maybe insane is too strong a word, but please remember that it is a normal response to chronic illness or chronic pain to get very depressed in response to your situation. You aren’t a failure if this has happened to you. It happens to all of us in varying degrees. Don’t be too proud to ask for help when you need it.
3. “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” – Lady Windermere’s Fan by Oscar Wilde
This is a lesson in positivity. Having a chronic illness is utter crap, but if you only focus on the crap, that’s all you’ll ever see. Look up to the stars once in a while, find beauty and laughter where you can and you’ll still be in the gutter, but life will have a touch more sparkle.
4. “It is no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.” – From Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
It is very easy with chronic illness to dwell on the life you used to have and compare yourself to it. But when you let go of the person you were, the person you are comes a little more to life. You can’t go back but you can move forward.
5. “Sometimes the strength within you is not a big fiery flame for all to see, it is just a tiny spark that whispers softly ‘You got this, keep going.'” – Unknown
If you know the source of this quote, let me know, I couldn’t find it. This is the thing you need to remember when things get too much. Bravery is not always one big show of bravado, it can be fighting the same battle day in and day out and keeping going. Sometimes that bravery may be a flickering flame on the verge of going out, but if you keep fueling it, it will keep burning.
Remember guys, you are BRAVER than you believe, STRONGER than you seem and SMARTER than you think. You struggle every day of your life and you keep going. Breaking down once in a while is not a failure, just remember your strength has got you this far, it can get you further still. You are amazing and your bravery may not be seen by everyone, but it has been tested a lot more than most. Keep going, you got this.
Laura Chamberlain is an ex journalist who gave up her career shortly after her ME/CFS took hold. She has since also been diagnosed with Lyme disease, Fibromyalgia and Endometriosis. Laura writes about her experiences and raises awareness about living with chronic conditions at www.laurachamberlain.co.uk