These incredible chronic illness quotes prove just how strong and courageous a person is who lives with this diagnosis.
When we hear the term “chronic illness”, many of us are not exactly sure what the term means.
But most importantly, chronic illness should never be used to define a person and label them unfairly.
Chronic illness is a daily reminder of your struggle, but it can be marked by the power within and positivity with chronic illness quotes like the ones we have here.
Remember, your are not your illness, and use these quotes about chronic illness to inspire your warrior within!
As someone who lives with a rare disease, people often have a very different perception of how I think, feel, and live each day of my life.
While I have an illness, I am NOT my illness.
It is merely a part of me.
An important part that has defined who I have chosen to be, the kind of life I have chosen to live, and the kind of mindset I choose to live by.
While many people let their illness define them and drop anchor, I chose to redefine my life.
I lived a life that gave me purpose and meaning.
I would not have accomplished 10 percent of the things I have done, had it not been for my diagnosis: had I not been forced to step away from a bustling Psychology practice and work from home; had I not had to ask myself what I wanted the rest of my life to look like.
The difference in life is how we let things define us – what we let control us, what we choose to control.
We can have a life with purpose, strength, and great meaning.
That is if we decide that is what we are going to do.
Don’t just take my word for it.
Listen to these chronic illness quotes and more words of wisdom from those who have persevered.
And after reading the quotes below, be sure to also check out our other collection of cancer quotes.
Inspiring Quotes for People Living With a Chronic Illness
1. “When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” — Theodore Roosevelt
2. “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” – Helen Keller
3. “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
4. “She was always fighting a battle but her smile would never tell you so.”― Nikki Rowe
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to check out our collection of hero quotes that inspire everyone to make a difference.
5. “Resting is not laziness, it’s medicine!” – Glenn Schweitzer
6. “Never let the things you cannot do prevent you from doing the things you can.” – John Wooden
7. “The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.” – Vince Lombardi
8. “What would the hero of your life’s movie do right now? Do that!” – Joe Rogan
9. “We are stronger in the places we have been broken.” – Ernest Hemingway
10. “What makes night within us may leave stars.” – Victor Hugo
Chronic Illness Quotes That Will Help Comfort You
11. “She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible. She walked with the universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings.” – Ariana Dancu
12. “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
13. “Sometimes you will be in control of your illness and other times you’ll sink into despair, and that’s OK! Freak out, forgive yourself, and try again tomorrow.” – Kelly Hemingway (I always say I can do this twice a year)
14. “I often say now I don’t have any choice whether I have Parkinson’s, but surrounding that non-choice is a million other choices that I can make.” – Michael J. Fox
You might also like these get well soon quotes that will help you know what to say when someone you love is feeling sick.
15. “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
16. “Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – A. A. Milne
17. “As twisted as it sounds, I was so happy that I had received a diagnosis.” – Bethany Stahl
18. “You can’t calm the storm, so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass.” – Timber Hawkeye
19. “We do not heal the past by dwelling there; we heal the past by living fully in the present.” – Marianne Williamson
20. “So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.” – Stephen Chbosky
21. “You wake up every morning to fight the same demons that left you so tired the night before, and that, my love, is bravery.” – Unknown
22. “Do not believe the things you tell yourself when you’re sad and alone.” – Unknown
23. “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
24. “Please be patient with me. Sometimes when I’m quiet, it’s because I need to figure myself out. It’s not because I don’t want to talk. Sometimes there are no words for my thoughts.” – Kamla Bolaños
25. “It never gets easier you just get better.” —Vince Lombardi
26. “Healing takes courage and we all have courage, even if we have to dig a little to find it.” – Tori Amos
27. “When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven’t.” – Thomas Edison
28. “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
If you’re enjoying this article, you might also like these mental health quotes for happiness and success.
Inspirational Chronic Illness Quotes for Those Suffering From Pain
29. “When the unthinkable happens, the lighthouse is hope. Once we choose hope, everything is possible.” – Christopher Reeve
30. “Nothing is more beautiful than a real smile that has struggled through tears.” – Unknown
31. “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
32. “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 okay.” – Carmen Ambrosio
33. “Normality is a paved road. It’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it.” – Vincent Van Gogh
34. “The strongest people I’ve met have not been given an easier life. They’ve learned to create strength and happiness from dark places.” – Kristen Butler
35. “Hope doesn’t require a massive chain where heavy links of logic hold it together. A thin wire will do…just strong enough to get us through the night until the winds die down.” – Charles R. Swindoll
36. “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” – Napoleon Hill
37. “I fight for my health every day in ways that most people don’t understand. I’m not lazy. I’m a warrior!” – Unknown
38. “I can’t tell you when, but I can promise you it will get better, it will get easier, and it will all be worthwhile. Just promise me you won’t ever give up.” – Unknown
39. “Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside of you that is greater than any obstacle.” – Christian D. Larson
40. “Live to inspire, and one day people will say, because of you, I didn’t give up” – Unknown
41. “Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tiptoe if you must, but take a step.” – Naeem Callaway
42. “After living with MS for almost twenty years, my most inspiration comes from nature, friends, and family. To be positive as best we can and to accept us with our new lives.” – Caroline Craven
Don’t forget to also check out these empowering breast cancer quotes to raise awareness.
Chronic illness quotes to uplift you
43. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” – Marianne Williamson
44. “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.” – Viktor E. Frankl
45. “A positive attitude gives you power over your circumstances instead of your circumstances having power over you.” – Joyce Meyer
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of positive energy quotes about the power of good vibes.
46. “The point is not what we expect from life, but rather what life expects from us.” – Viktor Frankl
47. “Sometimes the people around you won’t understand your journey. They don’t need to, it’s not for them.” – Joubert Botha
48. “Any fool can be happy. It takes a man with real heart to make beauty out of the stuff that makes us weep.” – Clive Barker
49. “Even if happiness forgets you a little bit, never completely forget about it.” – Jacques Prevert
50. “Chronic pain shows you two things very clearly: the amazing compassion of some people you hardly know at all and the disgusting selfishness of some people you thought you knew very well.” — Patrick Plum
51. “There must be those among whom we can sit down and weep and still be counted as warriors.” – Adrienne Rich
52. “There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.” – John Green
53. “I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.” – Og Mandino
54. “He knows not his own strength who hath not met adversity.” – William Samuel Johnson
55. “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life. It goes on.” – Robert Frost
56. “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” – Margaret Thatcher
57. “What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.” – Richard Bach
You might also like these helpful death quotes on the ways we grieve.
Chronic illness quotes to remind you of your strength
58. “I think that that’s the wisest thing – to prevent illness before we try to cure something.” – Maya Angelou
59. “The most important thing is to enjoy your life to be happy it’s all that matters.” – Audrey Hepburn
60. “That is what chronic illness is a disconnect between what our souls can do and what our bodies can do.” – Barbara Lieberman
61. “Chronic disease is a foodborne illness. We ate our way into this mess, and we must eat our way out.” – Mark Hyman, M.D.
62. “When you have lost hope, you have lost everything. And when you think all is lost, when all is dire and bleak, there is always hope.” – Pittacus Lore, I Am Number Four
63. “The vast knowledge we have to prevent cancer, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses is staggering.” – Tom Rath
64. “The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
If you’re enjoying these quotes, you’ll love our collection of Alchemist quotes that will inspire you to follow your destiny.
65. “At any given moment, you have the power to say this is not how my story is going to end.” – Unknown
66. “Healing takes courage, and we all have courage, even if we have to dig a little to find it.” – Tori Amos
67. “When you have an invisible disease, your sickness isn’t your biggest problem. What you end up battling more than anything else, every single day, is other people.” ― Heidi Cullinan, Carry the Ocean
Chronic illness quotes to lift you up
68. “We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”—Carlos Castaneda
69. “Everything is going to be alright. Maybe not today, but eventually.”—Unknown
70. “It’s not the situation that’s causing your stress, it’s your thoughts, and you can change that right here and now. You can choose to be peaceful right here and now. Peace is a choice, and it has nothing to do with what other people do or think.”—Gerald G. Jampolsky, MD
71. “It is not an easy reality to face, but just as your chronic pain did not develop overnight, neither will the solution to finding relief develop in a day or two.”—Pain Recovery: How to Find Balance and Reduce Suffering from Chronic Pain
72. “The less we move, the more pain we have when we do move, causing us to move less. It becomes a vicious and painful cycle. The only solution for this ‘un-movement syndrome’ is moving.”—Adapted from A Day Without Pain
73. “There is purpose in your season of waiting.” – Megan Smalley
74. “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”—Kahlil Gibran
75. “They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.” – Mexican proverb
76. “You just do it. You force yourself to get up. You force yourself to put one foot before the other and you refuse to let it get to you. You fight. You cry. Then you go about the business of living. That’s how I’ve done it. There’s no other way.”—Elizabeth Taylor
77. “Even if you shake, a step is still a step. Continue to be brave enough to walk your path.” – The Better Man Project
Chronic illness quotes to help you cope
78. “There’s something so vibrant and gutsy about courage; just do it.” – Anna Roddick
79. “It is not the strength of the body that counts, but the strength of the spirit.” – J.R.R. Tolkien
80. “Perhaps our eyes need to be washed by our tears once in a while, so that we can see life with a clearer view again.” – Alex Tan
81. “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. Do not complain. Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution.” – Maya Angelou
82. “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Confucius
83. “Do not spend your precious energy worrying about how others view your medical condition.” – Toni Bernhard
84. “Scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue. Realise the strength, move on.” – Henry Rollins
85. “Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you can start.” – Nido Qubein
86. “Some people say I have attitude – maybe I do. But I think you have to. You have to believe in yourself when no one else does – that makes you a winner right there.” – Venus Williams
87. “Courage conquers all things: it even gives strength to the body.” – Ovid
Chronic illness quotes to bring inner strength
88. “One cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning; for what was great in the morning will be of little importance in the evening, and what in the morning was true will at evening have become a lie.” – Carl Jung
89. “I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.” ― Maya Angelou
90. “The world is in a constant conspiracy against the brave. It’s the age-old struggle — the roar of the crowd on one side and the voice of your conscience on the other.” – Douglas MacArthur
91. “I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.” – George S. Patton
92. “Look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred-and-first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before.” – Jacob A. Riis
93. “I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.” – Muhammad Ali
94. “The world is more magical, less predictable, more autonomous, less controllable, more varied, less simple, more infinite, less knowable, more wonderfully troubling than we could have imagined being able to tolerate when we were young.” – James Hollis
95. “Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.” – George Edward Woodberry
96. “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” ― Confucius
97. “You can’t expect to hit the jackpot if you don’t put a few nickels in the machine.” – Flip Wilson
You might also like these vaccine quotes celebrating the power of science and medicine.
98. “The question is not how to get cured, but how to live.” – Joseph Conrad
99. “Surrender is an incredibly difficult topic in light of chronic illness, because loss is often continued and sustained.” – Cindee Snider Re
Chronic Illness quotes to help you through
100. “This business of dying wasn’t as simple as surrender to the great light. It was real and dirty and untidy.” – Patti Callahan
101. “The biochemistry and needs of each patient is unique. Chronically ill patients require nutritional support for healing.” – Bruce M. Carruthers
102. “Somewhere inside that hurting body, there is something better, something stronger, something real.” – R. M. Drake
103. “Chronic illness is hard. Pain is hard. Isolation is hard. The financial cost is hard. Grieving is hard and necessary and sometimes takes far longer than we ever imagined.” – Cindee Snider Re
104. “The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it.” — C.C. Scott
105. “By taking the time to focus on our mental and emotional well-being, we can minimize our triggers and reduce the likelihood of a recurrence.” – Sarah Hackley
106. “Self-stigma can be just a big a problem as the negative attitudes of others.” – Megan A. Arroll
107. “Doctors don’t believe anything unless you can prove it to them.”― Audrey Niffenegger
More Chronic Illness Quotes
108. “Tough times never last, but tough people do.” – Robert H. Schuller
109. “We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.” – Martin Luther King
110. “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” – Joshua J. Marine
111. “If you stumble, make it part of the dance.” – Unknown
112. “Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
113. “I thank God for my handicaps, for through them I have found myself, my work and my God.” – Helen Keller
114. “In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.” ― Francis Bacon
115. “Illness has always brought me nearer to a state of grace.” – Abbe Pierre
116. “It is when I struggle that I strengthen. It is when challenged to my core that I learn the depth of who I am.”—Steve Maraboli
117. “Illness sets the mind free sometimes to roam and surmise.” – Alice B. Toklas
Chronic Illness Quotes that Bring Comfort
118. “My path may be different, but I am not lost.” — Unknown
119. “The truth is we’re all a little bit broken. We must learn to love the broken pieces of ourselves—be gentle and empathetic with ourselves, and others.” — Karen Salmansohn
120. “One day at a time, one step at a time. Do what you can, do your best. Let God handle the rest.” — Michelle Jones
121. “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” — Vivian Greene
123. “It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority.” — Mandy Hale
124. “Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.” ― Thích Nhất Hạnh
125. “No matter what the statistics say, there is always a way.” — Bernie Siegel
126. “You shouldn’t focus on why you can’t do something, which is what most people do. You should focus on why perhaps you can, and be one of the exceptions.” — Steve Case
127. “Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be.” — Sonia Ricotti
Chronic illness quotes to give you strength and hope
128. “My strength does not come from lifting weights. My strength came from lifting myself when I was knocked down.” — Bob Moore
129. “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” — Alice Walker
130. “When something’s difficult to come by, you’ll do that much more to make sure it’s even harder if not impossible to lose.” — Sarah Dessen
131. “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” — John Lennon
132. “She was powerful not because she wasn’t scared but because she went on so strongly, despite the fear.” — Atticus
133. “When you’re at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on.” — Theodore Roosevelt
134. “I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.” — Anne Frank
135. “Just keep swimming.” — Dory
136. “We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.” — Kenji Miyazawa
137. “Even if you have a terminal disease, you don’t have to sit down and mope. Enjoy life and challenge the illness that you have.” ― Nelson Mandela
Diabetes chronic illness quotes
138. “Diabetes is a lousy, lousy disease.”― Elaine Stritch
139. “Diabetes taught me discipline.”― Sonia Sotomayor
140. “Trying to manage diabetes is hard because if you don’t, there are consequences you’ll have to deal with later in life.”― Bryan Adams
141. “Diabetes is a great example whereby, giving the patient the tools, you can manage yourself very well.”― Clayton M. Christensen
142. “The situation with regard to insulin is particularly clear. In many parts of the world diabetic children still die from lack of this hormone.”― Charles Best
143. “Diabetes is passed that way — over and down, like a knight in chess.”― Maile Meloy
144. “Growing up, coming to terms with, and living through the complications of Diabetes.”― Paul Cathcart
145. “Let food be your medicine, and medicine your food.”– Hippocrates
146. “We have diabetes, it gets to come along with us, it doesn’t get to stop us.”― Chris Olsen
147. “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”– Albert Einstein
Chronic Illness Quotes About Strength To Get Through
148. “I started feeling afraid of my own body, like it was a torture chamber I’d been trapped inside.” ― Talia Hillbert
149. “If only I could explain how much I miss that precious moment when I was free from the shackles of chronic pain.” ― J.J. Toivonen
150. “It’s so hard to watch the person you love be in pain. It’s a natural impulse to want to fix it, and not being able to is uncomfortable.” ― Karen Havelin
151. “The erosion of an effective patient-physician relationship has no place when dealing with chronic pain. Worst of all, dismissing the patient’s pain is as devastating as crushing a patient’s hope.” ― Melissa Cady
152. “You are so brave and quiet I forget you are suffering.” ― Earnest Hemmingway
153. “Often the pain that makes us feel most stuck is not our suffering; it is experiencing distress in the presence of people who expect us to get better faster than we can.” ― K.J. Ramsey
154. “People assume you aren’t sick unless they see the sickness on your skin like scars forming a map of all the ways you’re hurting.” ― Emm Roy
155. “Self-stigma can be just as big a problem as the negative attitudes of others.” ― Megan Arroll
156. “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” ― Winston Churchill
157. “The stigma of chronic pain is one of the most difficult aspects of living with chronic pain.” ― Murray McAlister
What do you think about these chronic illness quotes?
So, be strong, warriors. You are stronger than you know. You’re braver than the bravest. Live a life of grace, beauty, and purpose.
It is when we choose to take control, to continue to find meaning and drive that keeps us moving forward, that we are truly free.
Grant yourself this gift of freedom and meaning – and you will live a life even better than your wildest dreams.
August 23, 2022 5:00 AM EST