What everyone should know about sickle cell warriors is that Sickle cell is a group of disorders that causes the red blood cells to become misshaped and this change in shape makes it difficult for the cells to move in the blood vessels which in turns causes different types of pain.
Living with sickle cell disorder is living with the pain and more. People living with sickle cell disorder might feel discouraged about life and have no plans for the future.
This post is for you, if you think all there is to sickle cell is pain or you have given up on life.
You can live a full, active life with sickle cell. You can turn your dreams to reality and most importantly live your best life with sickle cell disorder.
“Thriving. That’s fighting… Surviving is barely getting by.”-Jillian Michaels
Tips to living your best life with sickle cell disorder
Accept the disorder
“Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.” –William James
Having lived with sickle cell for over 25 years myself, I have realized that acceptance is the first step to living well with sickle cell.
Accepting sickle cell opens your mind to looking for ways to manage it well or finding ways to cure yourself.
Some people living with sickle cell disorder live in denial and this causes even more damage to their mental health.
You have to let go of the blame and what people would think of you and accept your life as a warrior.
Develop the right mindset needed for sickle cell warriors
There are basically two types of mindset; the fixed and the growth mindset. For sickle cell warriors, mindset is everything
The fixed mindset never sees a way out in something because it is focused on the problem and would always whine and complain about the problem.
The growth mindset finds ways to solve a problem, never complain about a problem. Which are you?
Do you still think sickle cell is all there is to you?
You are more than sickle cell and with the right mindset which is the growth mindset, you can start learning how you can become a better person and deal with pain purposefully.
Honour your limitations
Everyone has limitation but as warriors, there are lot of limitations. These limitations does not make you weak, it only shows that you are human.
You do not have to prove to anyone that you can do it if you cannot. Accept that, honour that and ask for help whenever you need one.
I should state that asking for help does not make you weak either, it shows that you value your health and wellbeing. This brings me to the next tip
Support from others is quite important when you live with sickle cell. Everyone needs someone to cheer and push them, people living with sickle cell disorder needs someone too.
Living with sickle cell can be lonely and isolating. This sometimes come from the fear of being stigmatized but that is not enough reason to withdraw.
You can get support from professionals, fellow warriors, family and trustworthy friends. Just find your own tribe.
Turn pain to purpose as sickle cell warriors
Yeah, you read that right.
There is purpose in pain. If you doubt me, you should read the story of Nick Vujicic. A man born without arms and limbs who does things everyone else does and even better. Nick travels the world preaching the existence of God and his awesomeness.
Everyone has a purpose, including you and I. Pain, adversity, struggle can be used in a positive way sometimes. They can be turned into purpose.
If your pain doesn’t kill you, then it is supposed to make you stronger.
A man without a goal is just a walking dead. This also applies to sickle cell warriors. He would take whatever life throws at him because he never had a goal for himself.
As someone living with sickle cell, most importantly as humans, you should have long and short term goals. These goals will be the reason you want to get back after a crisis. It will be the reason you would rather not give up on life.
Your long term goals can be as long as twenty years or three years and short term can be as short as weeks or even days.
When you set goals, remember to use the S.M.A.R.T acronym.
Knowledge is available to you in this modern day world but that is if you are ready to learn. Always try to learn even when you already know, develop a beginner’s mind.
Drink from the well of good books and search the internet for education. This will not only raise your value as a warrior, it will also boost your confidence as human.
Self-love is key and as a warrior, your life becomes better when you love yourself. The first step to loving yourself is accepting your limitation and imperfection.
You cannot be perfect and that is okay. Learn how to love yourself and put you and your health first.
Living with sickle cell is not and should not be the end of the world for you, instead it should a source of inspiration for you to start living your best life.
People living with sickle cell can do anything even though it needs to be done in another way or take a longer time to achieve.
Nothing is impossible with the right mindset, it all begins and ends with mindset. If you want to live your life fully as someone living with sickle cell, you need to have the right mindset. Train your mind to see opportunities in situations whether good or bad.