The Gleeson family unite for gas new Irish sitcom ‘Frank of Ireland’
The Gleeson family unite for gas new Irish sitcom ‘Frank of Ireland’

Sarah Finnan

What to eat tonight: Green quinoa burgers
What to eat tonight: Green quinoa burgers

Meg Walker

Everyone’s favourite carpenter says he’s back for the ‘Sex and the City’ reboot, but SJP’s not sure
Everyone’s favourite carpenter says he’s back for the ‘Sex and the City’ reboot, but SJP’s...

Sarah Finnan

These luxurious modular homes are anything but basic
These luxurious modular homes are anything but basic

IMAGE Interiors & Living

Paying rent is making it hard to save money, how can I get on top of it? 
Paying rent is making it hard to save money, how can I get on top...


Cream bronzers are a simple summer staple for sun-kissed skin
Cream bronzers are a simple summer staple for sun-kissed skin

Holly O'Neill

Here’s what to expect in seasons 3 and 4 of Netflix’s Bridgerton
Here’s what to expect in seasons 3 and 4 of Netflix’s Bridgerton

Jennifer McShane

Image / Editorial

‘I am impossible’: a collection of Elizabeth Wurtzel’s most famous quotes

by Grace McGettigan
13th Jan 2020

Best-selling author and journalist, Elizabeth Wurtzel died on January 7, 2020, at the age of 52. Here is a selection of the New Yorker’s most famous quotes

Elizabeth Wurtzel was never one to shy away from difficult or controversial subjects. In her 1994 book Prozac Nation, she spoke candidly of her experience with depression, self-harm and substance abuse, not to mention her eventual treatment with Prozac during her undergraduate years at Harvard.

The New York native later went on to write about her absent father (a man who turned out not to be her birth-father at all), as well as her 2015 cancer diagnosis in articles for The Guardian and The Cut.

A self-proclaimed ‘impossible’ person, Wurtzel was exceptionally creative. Here are just some of her most famous quotes.

On finding her real father

“I have spent my whole life driving people crazy. If you should not say it, I can’t wait to scream it out the window. I am impossible. I never understood why I was so wild. I never knew how come I had to be a firebrand. I thought there was something wrong with me. Then I realised there is something right with me. Now I know I was born this way.” – Elizabeth Wurtzel for The Cut.

On cancer and optimism

“Cancer has made me optimistic. We live in the age of wonders and miracles. Doctors can now cure the incurable. The bad part is the waiting rooms with dated magazines. If you don’t like waiting, don’t get cancer.” – Elizabeth Wurtzel on Twitter.

On cancer and discomfort

“Chemotherapy will show you what you are made of. I am stealth. I know things you don’t.

“Do you know what I’m scared of? Nothing.

“Cancer just suits me.

“I am good in a fight. This one goes on for the rest of my life. But I have been fighting with myself in one way or another all along. I am used to it. I can’t think of a time when my mind or my body was not out to get me. I am at ease with this discomfort. I am a ballerina doing a pirouette with perfect turnout in toe shoes, and it does not even hurt any more. I am elated. I love spinning this way. I would not have it otherwise.

“I am a con artist and cancer is my final con.” – Elizabeth Wurtzel for The Guardian.

On controversy

“I love being controversial, because that’s the closest you get to everyone agreeing with you – the other choice is no one is paying attention.” – Elizabeth Wurtzel for The Guardian.

On choosing your own narrative

“You cannot choose how you feel, but you can choose your attitude… We are human. Unlike other creatures, we live in narrative. We are conscious. If you make up the right story, it will be so.” – Elizabeth Wurtzel for The Guardian.

On her late (and loyal) dog, Augusta

“Dogs do not give up – even on the owners who treat them badly. What a gorgeous persistence.

“Augusta looked me directly in the eye with the intensity of the wolf she descended from. Human beings don’t do that. Human beings have too much to be ashamed of.” – Elizabeth Wurtzel for The Guardian.

On marriage

“Before I got married, no amount of counsel or rumination would have made me see how serious the bargain is, but I now feel the weight of wedded bliss on the other side of ‘I do’.

“It is heavy. It is years and years of figuring it all out.

“It isn’t that I feel I’ve made a mistake: I love my husband; I hope I die before him, because I do not want to be without him. But I thought marriage would be a continuum of our life before it. I must have been crazy to believe that making such a serious commitment would not be transformative.” – Elizabeth Wurtzel for The Guardian.

On depression

“That’s the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it’s impossible to ever see the end.” – Elizabeth Wurtzel in Prozac Nation.

On doing enough to get by

“At heart, I have always been a coper, I’ve mostly been able to walk around with my wounds safely hidden, and I’ve always stored up my deep depressive episodes for the weeks off when there was time to have an abbreviated version of a complete breakdown. But in the end, I’d be able to get up and on with it, could always do what little must be done to scratch by.” – Elizabeth Wurtzel in Prozac Nation.

Read more: 20 Dolly Parton quotes that prove she’s the wisest woman in the room

Read more: 8 things we should stop feeling guilty about right now

Read more: Why Jennifer Lopez swears by positive daily affirmations

Also Read

Keith-_-Tara_130_Web Shantanu Starick painting kitchen cabinets
How to limit drips and brush strokes while painting kitchen cabinets

Painting kitchen cabinets can be transformative and can be achieved relatively low-cost,...

By Amanda Kavanagh

Taylor Swift
I was not a fan of Taylor Swift. Then I watched her documentary

The documentary Miss Americana has shown a different side to...

By Edaein OConnell

Monica Lewinsky
Monica Lewinsky will soon get to talk of scandal on her terms

It was on this day, January 17th, 1998, when news...

By Jennifer McShane

Rosanna Davidson and her twin boys
Rosanna Davidson: ‘I had sort of accepted that I was a girl who couldn’t have a baby herself’

For Mother's Day Lia Hynes sits down with Rosanna Davidson, whose exceptional journey into motherhood has given many hope.

By Lia Hynes

Eclipsed: The powerful, all-female play exposing a Magdalene Laundry you need to see

‘Eclipsed’ director Kate Canning told Jennifer McShane of the challenges...

By Jennifer McShane

Has society become more tolerant of the idea of dating interracially?
Interracial dating: “People kept asking ‘where is she from?'”

With diversity on the rise, what struggles do interracial couples continue to face today? Filomena Kaguako speaks to three couples about their experiences.

By Filomena Kaguako

Women with MS who take medication, especially immunosuppressants, cannot become pregnant unless they come off medication.
I had to weigh up the possibility of losing my mind against losing my future children

Holograms of the children she may never have dance across Dearbhla Crosses' mind as an MS diagnosis and Covid-19 are unwelcome reminders of her biological clock ticking.

By Dearbhla Crosse