You are not weak just because your heart feels so heavy.
— Andrea Gibson
And how horribly easy it is to be hurt. I am being hurt all day, & hurt by the tiniest & most subtle things. And the self, even the wounded self, is hidden from so many.
— Dylan Thomas, in a letter to Pamela Johnson c. March 1934
All I want is not to poison life anymore with tragedy. My tears are exhausted, my capacity for suffering is exhausted.
— Anaïs Nin, Fire: From “A Journal of Love”: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1934-1937
It was good for a while, being empty. I didn’t hurt anymore. But as time went on, it was like I could hear myself from far away, begging for permission to come back.
— Myra McEntire, Hourglass
I never tried to escape. I looked, I felt, I responded. Meanwhile all around me, human beings sought and found forgetfulness. I didn’t. I gazed, listened, recorded. Now I am tired. Too much pain. Too much. I find life tragic and unbearable.
— Anaïs Nin, The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1947–1955
I understand, all right. The hopeless dream of being-not seeming, but being. At every waking moment, alert. The gulf between what you are with others and what you are alone. The vertigo and the constant hunger to be exposed, to be seen through, perhaps even wiped out. Every inflection and every gesture a lie, every smile a grimace. Suicide? No, too vulgar. But you can refuse to move, refuse to talk, so that you don’t have to lie. You can shut yourself in. Then you needn’t play any parts or make wrong gestures. Or so you thought. But reality is diabolical. Your hiding place isn’t watertight. Life trickles in from the outside, and you’re forced to react. No one asks if it is true or false, if you’re genuine or just a sham. Such things matter only in the theatre, and hardly there either. I understand why you don’t speak, why you don’t move, why you’ve created a part for yourself out of apathy. I understand. I admire. You should go on with this part until it is played out, until it loses interest for you. Then you can leave it, just as you’ve left your other parts one by one.
— Persona (1966), dir. by Ingmar Bergman
Sometimes I find myself sitting in one spot for hours, staring at nothing, thinking of nothing, feeling nothing, and, most disturbingly, caring about nothing.
— Mahbod Seraji, Rooftops of Tehran
I keep thinking, thinking, and my thoughts are all sick, and my head is sick.
- Fyodor Dostoevsky, Stories; The Meek One, written c. 1876
I want to explain how exhausted I am. Even in my dreams. How I wake up tired. How I’m being drowned by some kind of black wave.
— Elizabeth Wurtzel
“I’ve got this tiny pang of regret when I think of how much I have probably missed out on in the last few years because I was too scared to take a risk, or too shy to speak up, or too worried to be bold. It is my one wild and precious life, after all.”
— Jessi Kirby, Golden
I felt very still and empty, the way the eye of a tornado must feel, moving dully along in the middle of the surrounding hullabaloo.
—Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
Sometimes people hurt more than they can handle… And sometimes they don’t know how to ask for help. They’re so caught up in their own pain, they end up hurting everyone around them.
— Rebecca Donovan, Barely Breathing