A woman looking frustrated with her head in her hands and elbows on a table is annoyed with another woman sitting next to her.

Unconsciously Irritated

Not long ago I got a call from a friend who I actually consider a sister. She walked around for months with an unpleasant feeling from a "meeting" I had with her. We saw each other again after years and she described our meeting as distant, silent, dreamy, different!

She had asked herself so many questions. What had she said wrong? Did she do something wrong? Why am I being so strange to her? Do I still see her as a sister? Did something happen?

The fact that she had been waiting for months for the right moment surprised me a lot. And especially because I could tell from her voice that I had really hurt her with my appearance.

It has nothing to do with you

I started my answer with "it has nothing to do with you". That sounds so cliche! But it really had nothing to do with her. I took her through a very difficult period where I was faced with very difficult choices as a mother, and although I was actually on vacation, I preferred to be alone and sort out my concerns.

We had just had a meeting with a medical team to find out if my child could participate in a clinical trial, and my husband and I were debating whether to move to a warmer state. I just had way too much on my mind, because I had to make choices as a mother, wife, and of course as a person.

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The choices we would make had an impact not only on myself and my daughter but also on our marriage, my bonus children, and my whole life really. And while it seemed easy when I was confronted with the choices, I realized more and more that I was literally being sucked empty by everything that came at us. I really wanted to go to an island, to recharge for a while, to be alone, and think quietly about what to do next.

Real life can be hard

Unfortunately, life doesn't work that way. Because you can't take a break to sort everything out and then come back to real life so you can move on. You have to combine reality with all setbacks, lashes, and challenges.

What I didn't realize is that my indirect environment was also "affected" by it, or noticed that something was wrong.

So after months, my girlfriend called me and I explained that I was actually “stuck”! But now it's going well! “Are you really okay, Anne?” she asked in a concerned voice. And I was very proud to say that after all these months things are going really well! My husband and I have found our solutions, we have a beautiful house now in Florida, my child is healthy, we have put the clinical trial on hold for now, and we are enjoying a normal life again with no monthly ER visits. So yes, it's going very well!

I could proudly tell her that I am truly happy and grateful. And that from now on she won't have to wait months to ask if there is anything. And no, I don't always immediately share what bothers or concerns me, but sometimes it's nice when someone asks how you are really doing!

Handling stressful periods of life SCD

I learned so much from this conversation with my girlfriend. Usually, we look at a situation from the outside and prefer to assume that someone is strong and everything will be fine! But sometimes those strong people also need a shoulder or a push in the back.

As a mother, I now realize even more that it is very important to do a self-check-in between. Take the time to charge, and give yourself the time to quietly consider what should or can be done differently. Because when you are “stuck” you have to find a way to “release”.

I did some nice things which helped me to feel more energized:

  • Went to do my hair at the hair salon
  • Made an appointment for a facial
  • Went on a couple of dates with my husband
  • Mommy-daughter dates are "it"!
  • Purchased the new book "Illogical" from Emmanuel Acho as an audible and listened to it twice
  • Tried to surround myself with things that gave me positive vibes and hope!

At the end of the day, we will always need to face difficult situations. But never give up, and remember that we're in this together!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Sickle-Cell.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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