It is always wise to plan activities way ahead of time. This is supposed to help make the outcome be well planned out before the day to avoid stress and pressure. However, this is not always helpful in my case as a sickle cell warrior.
Celebrating love and friendship
A few months ago, one of my friends got engaged and asked me to be her chief bridesmaid. Although I’m not really interested in getting married myself, I was genuinely happy for her because I’ve seen how hard she prayed for it. The excitement about weddings in Africa is a different vibe altogether. If you ever attended one, you will know what I mean.
The day before...
On the wedding eve, I got sick.
The pain was not devastating enough, I was filled with grief and disappointment in myself for almost ruining a beautiful day. Even though the wedding went on without me, I know my presence would have made it more memorable to my friend. But my body had other plans.
Most of the time, the impact made after missing special occasions hits harder when the pictures and videos flow on social media and your face is nowhere near. Especially after you’ve announced to the world you were the chief bridesmaid. It makes you look like a liar.
It's not fair...
Life has never been fair to Warriors or any other person for that matter. The ups and downs, the twists and turns, and the waiting tend to depress and frustrate a person who has to go through this... over and over and over again.
Delays and postponements to my project
What initially started as the search for sponsors for this project so that my beneficiaries (15 single women living with sickle cell), quickly turned into a crisis and then bipolar disorder as they say.
For instance, here I am stuck in the hospital even though I am fine enough to go home, but have yet to be discharged. Whatever is delaying my discharge, I have no idea about it. Yet, I have so much to do concerning my project which should’ve started this week, but it had to be postponed till next week and now I don’t know if I’ll go home soon enough to achieve the goal next week.
Feelings of guilt
I might even have to postpone to next month! The delay is not only making me frustrated and angry, but it’s also making me sad because it looks like I am about to disappoint the very people that put their trust in me to help them. Of course, I actually promised to help them. Do I now go back and tell them I’m postponing it because I’m sick? Even though I know they might understand, I cannot shake off the feeling of disappointment and the frustration is killing me inside.
One would ask, did I even bother telling the doctors about all this? Yes, I did. Not once, not twice, not three times, not four times... to be honest, I’ve lost count but it looks like all my efforts to explain to them why I need to get out of here as soon as possible has been futile.
Coping with the mental health impacts of a crisis
To date, I have not been able to recover from most of the memorable times an amazing woman had to miss because of hospital visits all because I had a crisis or because of something beyond my control as a sickle cell warrior.
Will this ever change? Will things ever get better? How many times do we have to miss all those wonderful moments before sickle cell decides to leave us the hell alone? And for how long will our loved ones understand or keep understanding that we had to miss because we are sick all of a sudden? All this and many questions run through my mind and this is not good for my mental health. How do I get out of this situation, trust me I have no answer to this.
Adjusting to these conditions in moments is always a hassle for a while no matter how many times you’ve gone through it never gets better and the anxiety never stops. Neither does it mean that because we are strong enough to carry our pain do we deserve it.
What awareness month activities do you plan to get involved in?