We need to redefine strength

You never realize how strong you are until you are faced with a challenge that tests your strength. Many people see being strong as hiding your emotions, censoring how you feel and keeping it together at all times…basically to lie to yourself and to others that you even feel or have any problems in your life.

Why do so many people believe that tears are a sign of weakness? How many times have you heard “suck it up” when you were hurting so badly that you didn’t even have any breath to suck up in the first place? Those kinds of words drain any remaining life out of a person leaving them hopeless and wounded. Life isn’t fair…absolutely, but that doesn’t mean pain should be swept under the rug and invalidated.

Pain is real. It stings. It hurts.

The truth is, there are times when life knocks the breath out of you without warning and leaves you down on the floor seeing stars. When that happens, you don’t need another slap in the face or kick in the gut by an insensitive person throwing out cliches and half-baked solutions.

We need to redefine strength.

Being strong isn’t denying your emotions…it’s embracing them. It’s saying yes, I’m hurting, yes multiple sclerosis is kicking my butt, yes I’m tired, then allowing yourself time to face those challenges head on. It’s crying when you need to and screaming if you have to. You don’t even have to succeed in order to be strong. Trying your best and failing shows greater strength than doing the victory dance at the finish line. You have to be honest with yourself and acknowledge your feelings. You can’t hold back what makes you, you!

The important thing is to not allow those feelings to control you. Give yourself thirty minutes to cry that gut wrenching cry you need to get out, then catch your breath, blow you nose, dry your eyes and hold your head high.

Never give up the fight to survive no matter how weak, hopeless, or completely powerless you feel. You are stronger than you give yourself credit for. Remember, tears aren’t weakness, they are simply parts of you leaking out to make room for those amazing muscles you are developing.

MS Gets on My NervesMS WarriorMS Superhero  


About the Author

Penelope Conway

Penelope Conway
Penelope started Positive Living with MS as a way to help others with MS stay positive in the midst of a terrible disease. She believes that staying positive and holding onto hope is the key to waking up each morning with the strength to get through the day. Multiple Sclerosis may never go away, but neither will her determination and her drive to help others through the journey.

8 replies
  1. Peggy
    Peggy says:

    Soo many times I’ve ..”done the times to cry that gut wrenching cry you need to get out, then catch your breath, blow you nose, dry your eyes and hold your head high.” Penelope but not looked at it as you’ve so eloquently said it. Thanks!

  2. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    Thanks Penelope it’s a good thought and we do need to get more strength. My arms and upper body still work ok, but my right leg has gone on holiday and left no address to get it back. Oh and the fatigue has ruined my life in all respects, the least of all is walking ability that has gone.

  3. Jan
    Jan says:

    Thank you for saying it’s OK to cry. I have many times & do feel stronger afterwards. Peopke always say I “look good” when I’m hurting so much. Maybe it was from the “good cry” I had the day before that gave me the strength to have them say that?
    😘 Jan

  4. Brigitte C.
    Brigitte C. says:

    My name is Brigitte and the definition of my name is strength. However, I feel that strength comes from a place deep inside of you that tells you no matter what you are going through or whatever your circumstances may be, giving up is not! an option. Thank you Carol for all that you do to encourage us to stay strong. I hope that I have encouraged you to do the same.😊

  5. Carole K.
    Carole K. says:

    Penelope,

    Simply wonderful! Thank you for putting in words the thoughts in my head!

    Stay Strong,

    Carole

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