Despair Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old despair quotes, despair sayings, and despair proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.

Despair is the price one pays for self awareness. Look deeply into life, and you'll always find despair. Irvin D. Yalom
Losing your life is not the worst thing that can happen. The worst thing is to lose your reason for living. Jo Nesbo
Despair gives the shocking ease to the mind that a mortification gives to the body. Sir Fulke Greville
The road that is built in hope is more pleasant to the traveler than the road built in despair, even though they both lead to the same destination. Marion Zimmer Bradley
Despair is our chance to wrestle with fire and come through. Christina Baldwin
What we call our despair is often only the painful eagerness of unfed hope. George Eliot
Even in my despair, I knew in a vague way that the Bible held hope for me in its pages. I just didn't know where to begin. Joni Eareckson Tada
The most common form of despair is not being who you are. Soren Kierkegaard
Despair is sometimes the great energizer of the mind, though sometimes its flowering may be sterile. Taylor Caldwell
Despair is a cruel companion. It robs you of everything; especially the choices that still lie within your control. Brownell Landrum
Despair doth strike as deep a furrow in the brain as mischief or remorse. Bryan Procter
Despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not. J. R. R. Tolkien
Despair is most often the offspring of ill-preparedness. Donald E. Williams, Jr.
Despair is the result of each earnest attempt to go through life with virtue, justice and understanding, and to fulfill their requirements. Children live on one side of despair, the awakened on the other side. Hermann Hesse
Despair is the only genuine atheism. Jean Paul
Despair is anger with no place to go. Mignon McLaughlin
There is no love of life without despair of life. Albert Camus
Despair is for people who know, beyond any doubt, what the future is going to bring. Nobody is in that position. So despair is not only a kind of sin, theologically, but also a simple mistake, because nobody actually knows. In that sense there is always hope. Patrick Curry
My life is a perfect graveyard of buried hopes. L.M. Montgomery,
If you're in despair, you don't know how to be part of your own life anymore. Naomi Wallace
Don't despair, not even over the fact that you don't despair. Franz Kafka
Happiness is the greatest hiding place for despair. Soren Kierkegaard
Despair lames most people, but it wakes others fully up. William James
One of the greatest dangers of great dreams in your youth is waking up to despair as an adult. Tice Davids
Despair is the price one pays for setting himself an impossible aim. Graham Greene
There are far too many silent sufferers. Not because they don't yearn to reach out, but because they've tried and found no one who cares. Richelle E. Goodrich
Depression is the flaw in love. To be creatures who love, we must be creatures who can despair at what we lose, and depression is the mechanism of that despair. Andrew Solomon
We cannot despair of humanity, since we ourselves are human beings. Albert Einstein
One despairs of others so as not to despair too much of oneself. Henri Petit
I need to be alone. I need to ponder my shame and my despair in seclusion; I need the sunshine and the paving stones of the streets without companions, without conversation, face to face with myself, with only the music of my heart for company. Henry Miller
Despair is the greatest of our errors. Luc De Clapiers
The deepest form of despair is to choose to be another than himself. Soren Kierkegaard
Sometimes it feels as though happiness is just a word people say to hide the despair of not knowing anything. Michael Gilbert
Fools usually know best that which the wise despair of ever comprehending. Marie Ebner-Eschenbach
Despair is the only cure for illusion. Alexander Lowen
Despair is deadly sin, but worse, it is mortal folly. Ellis Peter
Without lies humanity would perish of despair and boredom. Anatole France
Despair makes us serve evil as much as good. Hadewijch
Despair is better treated with hope, not dope. Richard Asher
Despair puts the last touch not only to our misery but also to our weakness. Luc De Clapiers
Despair can be like an iron band constricting the heart. Jurgen Moltmann
As for despair, it comes about when I have been a fool and hate myself and despair of my personality. I am prone to gloom, but not depression as such. Alain De Botton
Despair exaggerates not only our misery but also our weakness. Luc De Clapiers
Despair is like a gas, odourless, tasteless, without nourishment. You breathe it in, your limbs relax, you cease to care, even at the moment when the steel touches your throat. J. M. Coetzee
To hope for nothing, to expect nothing, to demand nothing. This is analytical despair. James Hillman
To be Despair. It is a portrait. Only close your eyes and feel. Neil Gaiman
Despair is typical of those who do not understand the causes of evil, see no way out, and are incapable of struggle. The modern industrial proletariat does not belong to the category of such classes. Vladimir Lenin
Despair is suffering without meaning. Viktor E Frankl
Oft hope is born when all is forlorn. J. R. R. Tolkien
Never despair, but if you do, work on in despair. Edmund Burke
The wounds that never heal can only be mourned alone. James Frey
There's a street that only ends alone / A place you go to find your soul / Where the paralyzing scream / And the echoes dark between / Wait in the shadows / You're entering the streets of despair. Dead Moon
Despair is good. Despair can be the nadir of one life and the starting point of an ascent into another, better one. Dean Koontz
The artist's job is not to succumb to despair but to find an antidote for the emptiness of existence. Gertrude Stein
I don't think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains. Anne Frank
I'll join with black despair against my soul, / And to myself become an enemy. Richard III
But where is the antidote for lucid despair, perfectly articulated, proud, and sure? All of us are miserable, but how many know it? The consciousness of misery is too serious a disease to figure in an arithmetic of agonies or in the catalogues of the Incurable. Emil Cioran
Prayer is a bridge from despair to hope. Bill Hybels
Magnanimous despair alone / Could show me so divine a thing. / Where feeble hope could ne'er have flown / But vainly flapped its tinsel wing. Andrew Marvell
I can endure my own despair, but not another's hope. William Walsh
Love (if such a thing there be) / Is all despair, or ecstasy. / Poetry's feverish fit, / Th' o'erflowing of unbounded wit. Lady Anne Finch Winchilsea
The self in despair is satisfied with paying attention to itself, which is supposed to bestow infinite interest and significance upon his enterprises, but it is precisely this that makes them imaginary constructions. Soren Kierkegaard
I would say to my soul, O my soul this is not the place of despair; this is not the time to despair in. As long as mine eyes can find a promise in the Bible, as long as there is a moment left me of breath or life in this world, so long will I wait or look for mercy, so long will I fight against unbelief and despair. John Bunyan
God does not despair of you, therefore you ought not to despair of yourself. C. C. Grafton
Give no place to despondency. This is a dangerous temptation to the adversary. Melancholy contracts and withers the heart. Madame Jeanne Marie Guyon
There are no hopeless situations. There are only people who have grown hopeless about them. Clare Boothe Luce
It is impossible for that man to despair who remembers that his Helper is omnipotent. Jeremy Taylor
Hope thinks nothing is difficult; despair tells us that difficulty is unsurmountable. Isaac Watts
Safe despair it is that raves / Agony is frugal. / Puts itself severe away / For its own perusal. Emily Dickinson
Lord save us all from old age and broken health and a hope tree that has lost the faculty of putting out blossoms. Mark Twain
And nothing to look backward to with pride, / And nothing to look forward to with hope. Robert Frost
In the real dark night of the soul, it is always three o'clock in the morning. F. Scott Fitzgerald
The despairing soul is a rebel. Joyce Carol Oates
Action is the antidote to despair. Joan Baez
There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. Nelson Mandela
Do not stray into the neighborhood of despair. For there are hopes: they are real, they exist – Do not go in the direction of darkness – I tell you: suns exist. Rumi
Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget / falls drop by drop upon the heart / until, in our own despair, against our will, / comes wisdom through the awful grace of God. Aeschylus
Hope is good as long as it doesn’t become delusion. Fear is good as long as it doesn’t become despair. Shaykh Omar Suleiman
Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope. Martin Luther King Jr.
I have no faith in the world and have learned to despair. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Don't get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble. John Lewis
Do not despair. In every defeat are found the seeds of victory. Walter Mondale
When despair for the world grows in me... / I come into the presence of still water. / And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. / For a time I rest in the grace of the world, / and am free. Wendell Berry

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