Besides, she was not sure that she was really face to face again with the bitter problem of self-sustenance.
Though she was always pale in colour and frail looking, there was within her a great power of self-sustenance.
Perhaps they suffer less than their white sisters, who have more aspiration and refinement, with little power of self-sustenance.
c.1300, "means of living, subsistence, livelihood," from Old French sustenance (French soutenance), from Late Latin sustinentia "endurance," from Latin sustinens, present participle of sustinere (see sustain). Meaning "action of sustaining life by food" is from late 14c. Sense of "nourishment" is recorded from late 15c.