Joe Logue reflects on Light at the End of the Tunnel
Joe is a 36-year-old father of one from Renfrewshire, Scotland. He has Becker muscular dystrophy and uses a walking stick and a wheelchair to get around. His experience of disability and mental ill-health has fostered a passion for advocacy and sharing his story with others.
This is important, as talking about difficult situations openly reduces stigma and helps people realise they are not alone. Joe has been writing and blogging as Dystrophy Dad for two years, sharing his life and the experience of being a disabled father with the world.
As Joe often says, ‘Even the strongest among us, need help sometimes.’
Creativity is my medicine, the light I seek when days are dark.
When a diagnosis is given, it’s quickly followed by a prognosis, a conversation on how a patient will be affected by the condition, common milestones and the quality of life that can be expected as they age. However, there’s very little focus given to how a progressive condition affects your mental health. I defy anyone to live this life and not experience mental ill-health.
Becker muscular dystrophy is unique, in that it gives many of us a childhood where we can run around without the physical limitations that come in our future years. This is a childhood that’s lost to those with more severe conditions. This is both its blessing and its curse.
Childhood is often the only time we are allowed to play and to indulge in our creativity, before the burdens of work and adult life take hold. We’re free to explore in the forest of our mind, to waste time making mistakes and find out where our talents lie.
All any of us aspire to do is leave our mark on the world before we leave it behind, but in the grip of a progressive muscle-wasting condition, it’s easy to feel that your efforts don’t matter.
When the light dims, we’re quick to forget what we’ve contributed to the world. We may feel there’s nothing more to give, but there always is. Whether you express yourself through writing, art, music, really anything that brightens the days of others. It is needed.
Sometimes you need someone to help you through the darkness, other times you’ll find your own way, but I promise you the light is there.