It goes on.

I know a number of people who find comfort in the phrase “This too shall pass.” I appreciate the idea behind it; I think it’s beautiful. Yet, it never rang true for me. I can’t forge a connection with the saying because it doesn’t line-up with my experience very well.

Perhaps I’m impatient. I feel like many things in my life don’t really pass, but maybe I’ve just not waited long enough. I’ll be the first to admit that my level of patience really depends on how long I have to wait!

But then I think of my dysthymia – my chronic depression. Will it, too, pass? Maybe. Maybe if I wait long enough. But maybe not, too. Maybe this shall not pass [insert your own Gandalf reference here]. So when people say “This too shall pass.”, I’m a bit skeptical.

Eventually I found my own phrase to use. Something I could find some comfort in. It is from a Robert Frost quote:

Robert Frost quote

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.

It goes on. That’s something that does line up with my experience. No matter what has happened in my life, whether it has passed or stuck around, life has gone on.

I suppose, in a certain light, it might sound terrible. If you are suffering incredibly, life carrying on might seem to prolong that pain. Wouldn’t you rather the pain pass rather than go on?

But, for me, it is also a reminder that life is bigger than me and my suffering. Despite suffering, life goes on around me. I think that’s part of the reason why the quote resonates with me; it pulls me from my self-involved misery and reminds me of the world.

It goes on. The world goes on. I go on.

What about you? Do you have a phrase or a motto that helps you? I’d love to hear it!

Leave a comment


  1. lifeofmiblog

     /  June 11, 2015

    Great post and something I must admit I haven’t really thought about in this context, but it is so true. I find people around me do tend to live by the “this too shall pass” mentality, whereas I have never felt that way. I suspect the reason is that like you, the dominant feature in my life, my depression, doesn’t pass. Yes it has it’s ups and downs but is always there, so really there is no anticipation of things passing….
    Thanks for that, good thought to ponder.

  2. Cee

     /  June 11, 2015

    I have several ‘mantras’ which I use to help me – especially when my depression is at it’s worst.

    “I am strength.”
    “I am love.”
    “I am light.”
    “I am worthwhile.”

    I say these while I do yoga and meditate, and when I have to attend family functions that are stressful, to say the least.

    Keep moving; it does get better.


  3. Depression follows us everywhere,I often say to myself,it’s ok! We will go together and we both will hold our head high!

  4. Brian

     /  June 19, 2015

    I don’t have a specific mantra. However, I do have a quote I like to fall back on when things are at their darkest.

    The quote from the film Blade Runner means a lot to me:

    “I’ve… seen things you people wouldn’t believe… Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those… moments… will be lost in time, like tears… in… rain. Time… to die…”

    The quote reminds me about all I would lose if I were to succumb. All of my memories, dreams, fantasies, and imagined worlds would be lost Even though the pain is never ending, I would lose so much. Death may bring peace. It may end the pain. But it will steal your most precious gift: your thoughts.

    I also like to dwell on the mantras from stoic philosophers. Marcus Aurelius is particularly my favorite. The stoics remind me of my duty to carry on. I cause my family great pain if I were to fall. I would also fail my country. I have always aspire to become a productive citizen. Work hard at a job. Provide for a family. And pay taxes to better my country. So I go on. Even when I am so tired and feel that there is no hope.

    • I’m a fan of the Stoics as well. One I like from Cleanthes: “I too wish to depart, but when I perceive myself to be in good health in every respect, and to be able to recite and read, I am content to remain.”

      • Brian

         /  June 19, 2015

        I like it. The quote is similar to the one from Blade Runner. It gets at that there is great beauty in our ability to think and perceive. If you think about it, the ability to read is quite amazing. Somehow our minds were able to evolve an ability to recognize symbols to convey information. The same is true with speech. How we went from a primate to what we are now is simply amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Reblogged this on 13shardsgirl.

  6. Hello

     /  June 21, 2015

    I think it is important to reach out and seek help wether if you are experiencing severe suicidal feelings or mild depression. Also, its important to seek for non-pharmacological treatments, as the “happiness pills” are only temporary solutions to the problem.

    People need to go to the root of their depression and solve it out from there, not cut of one branch of it because it will eventually grow out again (unfortunatley).

    Good luck with your life, you have my blessings!

  7. Move forward don’t be stuck with depression find you own way to happiness

  8. Mara

     /  September 7, 2015

    As someone who just found your blog after leaving the hospital following a plan to kill myself, thank you for this. This too shall pass never resonated with me either.

    • I’m glad to hear I’m not the only person irked by ‘This too shall pass’, and I’m glad you found this post at a time when it could be useful to you. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment 🙂


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