Earlier this summer we launched the new Mighty Well Ambassador Program, which brings together a community of people in the chronic illness space — from patients to caregivers — who want to help spread awareness about theirs and others’ experiences. Hanna Muir is one of the amazing advocates who has recently joined the program, and we are excited to share her story of turning sickness into strength with you today.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a lover of travel, adventure, yoga and the outdoors. I’m passionate about health and wellness, working hard to feel my best and helping to inspire others to do the same. The most rewarding feeling for me is finding out that I have taught someone something new or inspired them to make a positive change or keep fighting!
Can you tell us about your experience with chronic illness?
I had symptoms of Lyme disease starting in middle school. I had pain in my joints which I was told was nothing and I was also diagnosed with depression, anxiety and ADD.
When I was eighteen a whole new set of symptoms came along and my illness became debilitating. Even when I was sleeping 13 hours a day and still exhausted with constant migraines my doctor insisted that nothing was wrong. A friend of mine had Lyme and suggested I get tested. That’s when I got my diagnosis. Even then I didn’t receive proper treatment for seven more years. SEVEN YEARS. I have now been in remission for two years and have been working hard to continue improving my physical, mental and spiritual health. I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for everything I went through.
How have your Friends in the Fight supported you along the way?
I fought this fight alone for many years. I don’t mean I didn’t have support from friends or family, because I did and I am incredibly grateful for it. I mean that nobody understood what I was going through and I can’t think of anything more isolating than that. I was in so much pain physically and emotionally that I didn’t know how much longer I could take it. That’s when I took it to Instagram to search for others going through the same thing. It turns out there are a lot of us! Connecting with people through Instagram and later through events in Boston was a game changer for me. Having people to vent to who actually understood, people to discuss treatment options with and having people to support who knew I understood their pain made me feel like I was part of something important.
What are some words of inspiration you can give to others working to turn their sickness into strength?
It does get better. And it will be worth every damn day of the fight. You will learn lessons you should never have to but you will be better for it. You will gain perspective that you never could have imagined. You will appreciate the little victories and see beauty that you never knew was there. It’s okay to want to give up sometimes. It’s okay to grieve the life you lost and the things you missed out on. It’s okay to get frustrated and to cry and to scream. But don’t ever give up. It will all be worth it. You are worth it.
We’ll be featuring stories and interviews from our Mighty Well Ambassadors throughout the coming months! Are you interested in joining the ambassador program? Click here to submit your application.