When battling chronic illness you are left, as I am today lost, tired and weak. Basic tasks are harder and more challeneging.
These days it’s harder to get up out of chairs, beds and so forth. It’s not about being sleepy or wanting to sit, lie down and so on.. it’s the fact our body fails us. It doesn’t want to move for feeling like we are carrying ten tonnes on our limbs.
We are far from weak- despite our feelings.
We are surrounded with smoke screens of successful people in life whom on the surface seem to have it all. Good health, wealth & talent. All leading to the end goal we all hope to achieve - success and happiness.
It’s these times we have to expose the people we admire, to understand their daily struggles, battles and failures. To teach us that anything is possible and our weaknesses can often become our strengths or at the very least help us build into someone far stronger than we ever believed we could become.
1. John F Kennedy: the charmastic, deeply loved President throughout the 50s and 60s painted a picture of as he called himself - Camelot. He was King Authur with this family whom sat around his table. His advisers whom helped him become an unstoppable, successful force.
He was uber talented, listened to his people and has gone down in history as one of America’s great and most successful President.
Many only saw the shell and the surface of which he sold to us. His links to the mafia and his Father’s polictical connections being the reason for his success. No doubt they play a part- but he was the person, the person who fills the history books and whom is the legend.
His determination and strength are what made him the legend we know today.
Where did he get such drive if all was so easy for him? He painted the perfect life which was far from reality.
In the years after his death, secret information exposed his secret life of affairs and a life that was truly plagued by health complications.
After his near death experice in the war, JFK went on to suffer with back problems that led to him having to wear a back brace everyday. Alongside this pain Kennedy also suffered with Addison’s disease & adrenal deficiency. Leading him to suffer with many food intolerances and leaving him rolling around with stomach pain after a reaction. These diseases also suppressed his immune system and meant he was regularly sick with infections.
JFK had everyday treatments of histamine, pain and anti-inflammatory shots to control his symptoms and pain levels.
The strong, healthy man he portrayed was far from the truth. Jackie said in 1960 that Jack was deeply depressed with his health & his every proctols of shots and pain relief.
2. Roosevelt : the wartime President. The one who founded the United Nations, after building upon Wilson’s idea of the League of Nations. To ensure countries spoke of their disagreements, rather than jumping into a war.
Roosevelt the President that is rarely seen standing in pictures, hid his disability from the world whom expected him to be the strong man like their husbands, brothers and sons who had gone to fight for his country.
Polio was a disease that was seen to infect children. So in 1921 when Roosevelt at the age of just 39 was now a man left unable to walk, do basics things for himself and needed round the clock care. He was determined he would not allow his ‘child’s disease’ stop him from his political goals. He has chairs and metal legs made for him to allow him to be able to walk only aided with a stick as he addressed his people.
America entered the war, Roosevelt determined to build bridges with Europe, end empiricism ideals and build a strong League of Nations which the American people would buy into. This meant travel... world travel, thousands of miles.
After a trip to The Soviet Union and back in 1943, Roosevelt was exhausted and had contracted flu. He never fully recovered. There was no more walking with sticks, only the wheelchair. Days had to be cut down to four hours of work everyday. His smoking & health had meant he was now in cardiac failure. He was on borrowed time.
It’s at this point he was forced to hide away and lower his stress levels. He only made it into office for half of 1944 and at this time he was forced to be open and vunable to his returning soldiers. Addressing them too in a wheelchair.
Despite this.. all photos apart from a few family photos exist of the President in a wheelchair.
Roosevelt was set on seeing out the war. This goal he just missed, he suffered a massive heart attack in 1945 and missed all peace talks with his allies Stalin and Churchill.
He goes down in history as the strong war President who frozen out fascism and who put into motion a union to help prevent further world wars.
‘There is no bigger fear, than fear itself.’
3. Woodrow Wilson - the Great War President, whose ideals in Roosevelt’s words were beyond his time. He is seen as the President who built the fundamentals of the union at the time he created as the League of Nations and that we know today at the United Nations.
Along with hypertension, Wilson suffered with headaches and suffered many strokes. Leaving him paralzyed down his left side and wheelchair bound.
He tried to hide his declining health, not just from his people but from the world he was trying to sell the ideal of a strong union led by the strong world leaders of which the world needed to see him as one.
Unfortunately a massive stroke ended his life and his goal of being involved in the League he created as never lived out.
4. Eisenhower; the President facing a post war America that was sucked into a Cold War with the Soviet Union and a world wide fight against Communism.
How are you supposed to sell Capitalism as the stronger world wide force over Communism when you yourself are weak?
During his time in office the President suffered with heart attacks, strokes and suffered with Crohn’s disease.
His stroke was the health complication which he never was able to recover from.
5. Ronald Reagan: he was almost assignated and often seen as a dodger of death.
The Cold War and the aftermath of a tired, frustrated nation over the wars to fight Communism. Reagan was left to be the stronger leader that would rebuild the nation and restore the country’s rather broken ego.
Reagan although the oldest man to even take office was plagued with on-going kidney infections and suffered with joint diseases leading the arthritis. He suffered with both prostrate & skin cancers. It’s also said he suffered with Alzheimer’s.
These man ran the strongest country in the world. They fought wars that changed the course of history and painted the pages we and our children read today.
They are painted as strong, successful and determined men. Not men plagued with living on borrowed time and declining health.
Their struggles and their time spent in hospitals, away from office, wheelchair bound and times where they were bedridden prove that we must use our weaknesses as strengths.
The days we miss social events, spend the day in bed or feel unproductive aren’t us being lazy.
We all live on borrowed time - healthy or not. Nobody can live forever.
The thing we must take from the people we idolise above that we can fool so many and our health may make us fight personal wars that we leave from to be able to fight wider wars more efffiencetly.
Never doubt our drive, worth and strength.
We do the best we can.
We can’t all be President, on the stage, the screen and so further. We don’t need endless amounts of intelligence or buckets full of talent.
We just need heart & motivation.
A strong heart that is filled with kindness and creative ideas is what won’t only allow your world to keep turning but kindness & love is the best medicine which is what keeps the world turning.
Our focus shouldn’t be on our weaknesses.
Health can take so much away from us, our kind hearts it can never take from you. Use this as your secret weapon.
I hope I have restored a little hope ..
As we continue battling the endless battle to live as well as possible.
‘The biggest fear, is fear itself.’