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What doesn't kill you makes you stronger?

I saw a music video which focused on "What doesnt kill you makes you stronger." It got me thinking. I used to believe this was true but now I dont think I agree with this statement.

Whats your thoughts on this? Do you agree or Disagree?


  • 16 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Looking back on struggles and challenges I've gone through in my life, yes - there's truth in the old cliche. I think it's easier to believe the statement once a struggle is OVER ("Wow, I can't believe I got through that in one piece"). Much harder to cling to those words when we're in the thick of an issue.

    I'm midway through my treatment right now and today I can honestly say I'd like to backhand that statement right in the mouth.
  • Hmmmm... emotionally I can see how that could be true although it probably depends a bit on the individual- but physically perhaps not so much.
  • I don't think so. Getting bullied didn't make me stronger. Nope, that just helped bring out my depression (although obviously my depression is a chemical imbalance). So yeah, I'd like people that say that saying to talk to the family members of people who want to commit suicide or have committed suicide.
  • Now I have that Kelly Clarkson song stuck in my head...

    But because of that song, I've been thinking about this a bit lately. I'm not sure I agree with the statement either, but I can't articulate why...
  • Rather than thinking about whether I'm stronger, I've thought about the expression "older and wiser." If I hadn't spent the last couple of years fighting cancer, I would still be older right now, but how much wiser would I be?

    Figuring out scheduling and insurance forced me to become more assertive and ask for help more often. Living in the hospital taught me to appreciate that I'm a kind, patient, and gracious person and to really appreciate those qualities in other people. If I want to take the word wise pretty literally, I've even gotten quite the education from this experience: a couple of years ago, I wouldn't have been able to tell you all about the lymph system, how fast fingernails grow, cheesemaking*, controversies in cancer fundraising, or the state of American science education, but now I could talk your ear off.

    Maybe instead of asking yourself about how strong or weak you are, you should reflect on what you've learned along the way. I'm not saying to look for obvious lessons with clear morals, but more just things you've absorbed along the way.

    When people tell me that I'm strong, I think about my diminished lung capacity or extensive scar tissue and have to roll my eyes at them, but sometimes you just need to accept the compliment that someone thinks highly of your ability to face a scary, crappy situation. It beats the alternative: what if people told you, "My, you seem to be dealing with this all very poorly"?

    *when I was told I couldn't eat brie, I HAD to know why :)
  • strong has many different meanings. in some respects, yes, it has made me stronger. in others, that's a resounding no. for example, I am by no means any stronger with regards to concentration and memory these days. I'm pretty rotten at that stuff now. BUT, nothing shakes me after going through cancer. I might vent here and there, but I don't panic about anything anymore. I'm not nervous about any of the little things that used to make me nervous. I'm not shy.

    my response to physical pain....meh. needles and medical procedures don't bother me anymore. I don't care about that stuff anymore. so yeah, in some respects I am stronger.

    as for physical strength and capability, that's a wash. I certainly went a long ways backwards shortly after diagnosis. I am not 100% back, but for the most part, most outwardly, I am...and with some things I do better now. I think at this point, only I am able to recognize any of my physical limitations compared to B.C. (before cancer).
  • I prefer "you don't know how strong you are until you have no other choice." It's amazing what we can go through mentally and physically when we have no other choice.
  • gahendersons;6455 said:
    I prefer "you don't know how strong you are until you have no other choice." It's amazing what we can go through mentally and physically when we have no other choice.

    I like this. This is basically how I feel. I remember right after my diagnosis I was so terrified, I was a sobbing mess on the floor. And I was so incredibly surprised that I was able to get up and go to class and work in the lab and take exams. I thought the world would stop because I had cancer - I didn't realize that life goes on, and I think that figuring out that life does go on and you just have to go with it was really important for me. (A couple of days post dx I had this sushi date with a friend that we had planned on for a while. I didn't really want to go, but I figured I'd been crying in my bedroom for long enough. So I went, and we just talked about random stuff - she had no idea about anything at the time - and I came home and realized, holy crap, just because I have cancer it doesn't mean that everything I planned before cancer can't still happen after. Real lightbulb moment, even though it was just sushi.)

    At the beginning I was totally sure that I would have to either fail out of med school or take a long leave of absence, because I didn't think I could handle school and cancer. (and my boyfriend of 5 years leaving me AND finding out I couldn't have kids, all in one summer.) I handled it. And now that my scans are starting to loom on the horizon, I realize I am so calm about it because if I have a relapse? Yeah, it will SUCK. But I'm tough. I'll handle it. I don't think cancer made me stronger. I think it made me realize how strong I really was.
  • medstudent;6457 said:
    I don't think cancer made me stronger. I think it made me realize how strong I really was.
    AMEN! That is exactly my sentiment- we all have it in us we just have to tap into that reserve. It annoys me when people complement me on my strength because I don't see there being an alternative. Yes, we have those nasty ugly crys (that some times comes out of no where) but isolating and acting as though all life on earth had come to a standstill does nothing to fight cancer! If anything we just dig outselves a deep hole of self pity and depression that becomes increasingly harder to get out of. Nope, to me being strong is the lesser of two evils- we won't go down without a fight damnit!
  • No there is no alternative but to fight if you want to survive, but you can be the strongest person in the world and cancer can still kill you :(.

    It didn't make me stronger; I was a fit triathlete before stupid cancer! It made me feel like an old lady (early menopause >:( ), ruined my sex life, gave me arthritis, fatigue and things about which I NEVER thought I'd have to deal in my 30s! Maybe in my 80s, but not NOW! Ack!

    No, most definitely cancer made me weak, old-feeling and resentful of my body which I now hate. :/
  • In my thought, every adversity makes you wiser after getting over it and wisdom makes you strong. That strength is not about that you beat everything but that you have confidence that you can handle this better than before.
  • "What doesn't kill you makes you stonger"

    I disagree with this statement. Cancer didn't kill me but it didn't make me stronger. Instead it made me wiser. It made me learn to live each day as if it were my last. It made me understand that I can do nothing without God. And finally, it made me appriciate the people around me, the good, bad and ugly. I love em all. No cancer did not make me stronger, but it did help to make me who I am today, and I am proud to be me!
  • I would always say that I was Superman, but chemo turned out to be my Kryptonite.
  • I agree more with the lyrics of the Frank Turner song that goes "things didn't kill me and I don't feel stronger"
  • I disagree. The more things happen, the more I seem to be falling apart and unwinding, yet still hanging on by that tiny string. I pray to God all the time to give me a break because I think I proved my strength enough for 10 lifetimes!

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