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Why I Am Strong Despite My Chronic Muscle Weakness

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Strong people don’t begin their lives with the courage to be mighty. Life happens, and it teaches them to keep pushing despite blocks and hurdles. In my case, life happened, and threw chronic muscle weakness at me. And while it initially stunned me and knocked me down, I had no choice but to get back up and stand strong against the grain. My muscles may be severely weak, but here are the reasons I am strong.

It has been over a decade now that I have been dealing with chronic muscle weakness. It takes over my muscles, like rust on old metal, as it takes away my ability to stand, walk and hold my body upright. It does not take into account what my schedule is that day, week or month; it flares whenever it sees fit and it never completely leaves my side. But despite this gray cloud hovering over me, I keep a small amount of hope in my pocket. It sits there until my day becomes so unbearable I can’t possibly go on. So I reach into my pocket and squeeze that hope until I remember there is still a chance for a diagnosis. There is still a chance for treatment. There is still a chance to feel better. And for holding onto that hope, I am strong.

I live for the better days. Some days I can’t leave my house. Some days I barely make it to bedtime. After putting my children to bed, I drag my weakened body and collapse, with pain throbbing through my joints and my muscles tender and shaky. But that’s OK. Because I know a better day is on its way. It may not be tomorrow and it may not even be next week. But I know how lucky I am that a better day will eventually show up at my doorstep. And for knowing that, I am strong.

The depth of the wound from dealing with ongoing muscle weakness has no limits. It has drilled its way into my soul and changed who I am and who I will become. It is not an easy road to walk; in fact, it is quite unimaginable. But despite the fear and the distress that follow me each and every moment, I always welcome a new day. No matter how rough of a beating my muscles took, another day is another chance. And for knowing this, I am strong.

You see, strength is not just a physical capacity. Strength is determination and courage. Strength is the ability to see the positives in a sea full of turmoil. My muscle capacity may have been taken from me and my outlook may waver from time to time, but I am strong for having made it this far.

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Originally published: December 14, 2016
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