Too often, mental illness can be crippling and debilitating and can make people feel broken or in need of fixing. The following is a list of quotes that corrects the narrative—while mental illness can make people feel weak and helpless, endurance and recovery signify empowerment and strength.
“The only journey is the journey within.” –Rainer Maria Rilke
This quote articulates the process of mental recovery, or toward mental stability, with an appropriate noun. Recovery is truly a journey, with mental and inner strength being two very key ingredients.
“Don’t be ashamed of your story. It will inspire others.” –Unknown
Although we are in a better position now more than ever to comprehend and treat mental health, a stubborn sense of shame continues to surround mental illness, due to the awareness and education that remains to be made. But this anonymous quote emphasizes that every story of mental recovery is valuable, and can be used to help others in comparable situations.
“One small crack does not mean you are broken, it means you were put to the test and you didn’t fall apart.” –Linda Poindexter
People who have undergone significant mental strife, and in need of recovery, might feel broken or damaged. However, Linda Poindexter calls for these people to view this facet of themselves as empowering, rather than debilitating.
“One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.” –Sigmund Freud (Letter to Carl Jung, September 19th, 1907)
The time spent either enduring mental strife or undergoing emotional recovery can seem like valuable time that can never be gained back. This quote, an excerpt from a letter to Carl Jung from Sigmund Freud, refreshingly encourages people to reflect upon their toughest times and, hopefully, come to view them in a more positive light. After all, the marathon allows you to enjoy the finish line.
“There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.” –John Green
This quote comes from author John Green, who has written young adult books about anything from coping with the premature death of a loved one to crippling mental illness. In other words, he has an affinity for crafting a bleak situation into a story with a happy ending, and this quote illustrates exactly that.
“Sometimes the people around you won’t understand your journey. They don’t need to, it’s not for them.” –Joubert Botha
Due to lack of awareness, experience, or education, there still remains a population either indifferent or ignorant about the severity of mental illness, as well as the importance of mental stability and health. Joubert Botha’s empowering quote reminds us that the only perception that matters is that of the individual on the journey.
“What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, more unashamed conversation about illnesses that affect not only individuals, but their families as well.” –Glenn Close
This blunt quote from actress Glenn Close advocates for more raw discussion about mental health, instead of letting it continue to loom in the shadows and affect not only us but the people we love.
“It is those of us who have been broken that become experts at mending.” –Dr. Steve Maraboli
With parallels to quote #3, Dr. Steve Maraboli suggests that “broken” is not synonymous with “unsalvageable,” and experience really makes for the best teachers.
“I love the person I’ve become, because I fought to become her.” –Kaci Diane
Kaci Diane’s quote is another that advocates recognizing strength in the aftermath of emotional recovery. The person you are today is not just a culmination of every positive experience of your life, but also every tragedy and hardship you have overcome. In other words, the identity you have achieved in the wake of both success and failure should be celebrated.
“If we start being honest about our pain, our anger, and our shortcomings instead of pretending they don’t exist, then maybe we’ll leave the world a better place than we found it.” –Russell Wilson
Like Glenn Close, Russell Wilson encourages more blunt discussion about emotional distress. Mental illness can be alienating, but awareness of others’ experiences reminds us that emotional struggles are a lot more universal than we realize. Awareness might also make recovery seem more attainable, rather than difficult to achieve.