“Strong is fighting. It’s hard and it’s painful; and it’s every day." – Buffy Summers (Amends, Season 3)
I was watching Buffy yesterday and this quote jumped out at me to remind me that no matter how weak I’ve felt previously, each day is a new chance to be strong again.
I always see comments about how brave and strong people with chronic disability are. I’m not refuting the fact that these comments are well-deserved; but I have to admit that it can make me feel a little uncomfortable. This is partly because everyone has to be brave and strong to get through life (not just those dealing with disability) and partly because I often feel like a failure in comparison.
The thing is, I’m not strong. At least, I’m not strong every day. Sure, the majority of my days are spent fighting my M.E. and I guess that could be seen as strength (to me, it’s more a survival kind of deal). But I have quite a few days where the last thing I feel is strong. I feel like giving up; I feel pointless; I feel weak.
I ‘m not writing this to garner a lot of ‘but you are strong’ responses – I’m beginning to realise that for myself. I am writing this to let you know that it is okay to not feel strong every day. As far as I’m aware, it’s part of being human (and if not, then almost everything I’ve ever read is a bad portrayal of humanity). Just because you have moments, perhaps long periods, when you feel like giving up, doesn’t mean you can’t be strong again. I am relatively sure that you will start fighting again (again, it’s part of being human), and when you do, don’t let the fact that you felt weak stop you.
Just remember that not being strong every day doesn’t actually make you a failure (after all, failing is just not having tried) and you are, in fact, stronger than you could ever give yourself credit for.