Made Up of More Than Sick Cells
It just dawned on me that I’m more than a warrior. Realizing the number of times I didn’t give up even though I had all the reasons to, wow, that is a power only true warriors possess. I’ve fallen so many times that I’ve lost count, but it has never stopped me from living my best life. While others might see it as rebellion and stubbornness, to me it’s freeing myself once in a while.
What other people see
The sad thing is, when most people see us, they only see a sick person trying to live their best lives. It’s mostly pity or hate for a condition that is no fault of ours... I think this is why people look down on us. They only see a weak, sick person ignoring the other beautiful components we are made of.
We are more than our fight
Let me shock you- there is much more to our personality than fighting sickle cell. We are revolutionaries. We have dreams and aspirations. We are filled with lots of hope for a successful future.
For some months now, warriors all over the globe have been coming out without apology to advocate for sickle cell. Seeing all these beautiful warriors sharing their life stories with so much confidence and fearlessness is an art for your sight.
We can be anything we want
Warriors out there are doctors, surgeons, dancers, models, photographers, singers, writers, etc. They are kicking ass at their professions and making something out of their lives. At least we are trying.
Warriors out there are parents, doctors, teachers, ministers, lawyers, engineers, etc. The unfortunate thing is, most of these talented warriors are either jobless (because of their sickled state), unnoticed because of the mindset others have about us, or unable to keep up because of unplanned sick episodes and absences due to sickle cell crises and complications.
My life, in general, I must say, is a series of testimonies. I need to put this in a movie or something. It is true that I’ve seen really terrible days that most people could never survive, but I’ve also had testimonies most people have never experienced.
Sickle cell has been tough on me. It has given me a lot of heavy blows. Some of which I’m still trying to recover from today. But then, equally, it has also saved me from many situations.
Stop labeling us
Why do some people choose to tag being sick with only the weaknesses? I may never understand. Living with an illness is not a death sentence and should not be seen as one.
While my wishlists, to-do list, dreams, growth, and glow are my topmost priorities. It just doesn’t seem to be enough for those around me. Sometimes, all I hope for is for them to see the effort I'm making to match up to their abilities, so they can appreciate me for more than being the girl who lives with sickle cell. The need to be seen and appreciated is not always something to write home about, as it can sometimes cast a shadow on your self-esteem.
Focusing on the can, not can't
The bottom line for me, at least, is that it is time to replace the pity with determination, the focus on what I want to do instead of what I can't. Sickle cell warriors are geniuses and warriors all in one body, superheroes in real life.
Superheroes that are not appreciated enough.
At the end of the day, most warriors have to do these all by themselves while going through a series of mental torture as to whether whatever they do will leave an impact and prove them strong too.
I have learned to appreciate life more by the little things that I am able to do for myself and others in my own way. Notwithstanding the challenges, I make sure I thrive on my strong will as a warrior to make such things happen.
I am willing to pull others with me, warriors or not, to stay on the course of proving that sickled or not, we are all able to leave our footprints in the lives of others and the world at large. This is the beginning of a beautiful and brilliant future in the lives of sickled warriors all around the world, bringing out our worth.
We are warriors
And note this, just because we might not be able to sustain a regular job or be financially sound most of the time - and yes, we have special needs - this does not make our dreams and aspirations a fallacy. Many a warrior is found in the field of medicine, engineering, modeling, and great positions in life, making huge impacts.
So next time you see a warrior, try to see beyond the weaknesses, financial constraints, unstable mental state, and pain and see the beauty in the strength of holding on because we are worth much more than our sickled cells.
Have you taken the Sickle Cell In America survey yet?