What is Weakness
Is weakness a state of mind? A feeling? Is it physical or mental? Can I control it?
The definition of "weakness" is lacking in strength, feeble or slight defect so I don't like to think about it in an any capacity. I truly believe that anyone with a chronic illness is strong, not lacking in mental acuity and a superhero. I may not feel that way at times but I remind myself my body is going through a lot and it takes a very strong-willed person to live with that.
I am a confident person. I probably even border on cocky. Every so often though, these thoughts of inadequacy shovel their way into my forebrain. I can’t work full-time because I’m weak. I can’t hold a glass of juice because I’m weak. I can’t rock-climb anymore so I listen to people think I’m weak.
What we can change...
I remind myself that I can’t control my pain or fatigue. I can’t control my tendons and ligaments releasing so they avoid injury.
Or, can I? I always believed if I thought hard enough I could exhibit pure mind over matter and dominate my body. I feel myself losing my grip around the dog bowl but if I concentrate “really, really hard” I won’t drop it. But then again, my joints start to scream in pain.
Can’t I just change my diet or exercise more? Am I mentally weak for not being able to push my body to those limits?
I am not as good a climber anymore (level/rating-wise) so am I both mentally and physically weak because I can’t just push back to my former power?
I keep cycling through good days, bad flares and everything in between. Am I fragile because I can’t will my RA symptoms into remission?
Am I weak because I no longer have the confidence in my physical capacity? Am I weak because my first thought in the morning is what am I capable of today?
Why do I have RA?
I often ask myself the golden question “Why do I have RA??” I come up with all sorts of theories and occasionally (read: rarely) I ask “Do I have RA because I am feeble? This thought is rare because my mind doesn’t usually go there but it does make an appearance at times.
Every so often I’m pelted with these insecurities. I know how people look at me. I’m sure they’ve wondered why my “condition” (just saying from their point of view) changes from day to day. And usually, I don’t care. Autoimmune are difficult to see and only a rare few try to really understand for me. I don’t let the majority bother me. But, sometimes, it’s hard to ignore myself!
We all have that little voice that tears us down just as we have the little angel who builds us up. So, how do I stop the nasty one from eating away all my confidence?
I recently wrote about being kind to myself but every so often I feel drained, depleted, devoid of strength (oh, alliteration, cool!) but I think this is my Achille's Heel. We all have one, even Superman, and I personally think it's best to acknowledge it.
What do you think of weakness? Do you let yourself feel it, do you believe in it? Or have you mastered staying away from it?
When was your last flare?