Writing, My Only Escape From Life With SCD
For many years, writing has been my perfect escape routine. I write about all I feel and think. It is my confidant.
When I started, I wasn’t comfortable with sharing my issues with people. So I would talk to a book instead. The impact is the same to me. I could be indoors all day, just writing away the day.
My parents and loved ones complained that I was being too reserved. Little did they know that I needed that space for escapes. Escape from sickle cell, school bullies, life’s stress, and the world in general. It was my self-care routine.
Eventually, I took my writing into the poetic style. My dad was my biggest fan. He got me airtime on radio stations, attended some of my shows, and was always eager to hear my next write-up. I enjoyed every bit of it.
After a while, I joined writing clubs. It was in one of our meetings I heard about the poetry competition. My grammar teacher and drama club president were convinced I would do well in the competition.
I didn’t want to do it at first, but the cash prize motivated me. I knew it will go a long way to help me clear bills so I finally decided to compete.
The first round of competition
The first rounds were smooth and nice. We were given topics to write on. This was mostly environmental issues like drug abuse, moral values, etc. I enjoyed writing about them too, but for some reason, it wasn’t enough to fill that space.
Time for the finals
To my surprise, I won all rounds into the national competition. While preparing for the finals, I had a really severe crises. By the time it healed, it was already close to the big day. I had not written as much as a sentence.
15 topics. 3 rounds. 5 poems each. I hurriedly wrote as much as could but couldn’t meet the deadline.
The day of the competition
Finally, the day was here and I’ve only written 12. “I won’t make it that far,” I kept telling myself.
Guess what? I made it to the finals! After exhausting my 12 well-written poems, I had to find a way to complete the last round with the remaining 3 poems. I politely asked the MC to allow everyone else to go before me. While I was panicking, I started having a mild crisis. I managed to perform, but headed straight to the hospital after. I was now very sure I won’t win.
A few days later, I recovered and went back to school. Everyone who saw me congratulated me. Confused, I ran to the school notice board and there I found a big notice saying I won the poetry competition.
The winner of the competition won an all expense paid trip to the US for a 2-month exchange program. Preparations for the trip had started but sickle cell interrupted and I couldn't go.
I don't feel bad, at least, I enjoyed the fame and respect that came with it.
A change in path
Later, I performed some poems on some radio stations and poetry shows in Ghana, but again, something was missing. For some reason, I lost interest in writing completely, and back to modeling, I went.
After all the twists and turns my life took, I found my voice and began to share my story. Campaigning and advocating for myself and others living with sickle-cell.com. We must be heard.
Until sickle-cell.com found me and gave me the platform to voice my experiences out through writing, I didn’t write a single meaningful thing. I even thought I lost the talent. But here I am again, getting another chance at life, a job, a voice, community, and family.
Writing is my language
Writing is my language. For a person who finds it hard to trust people enough to talk to, the pen is my best friend. Not writing made overthinking worse because all the emotions were still bottled up inside me.
As I write off my pain, I heal. As I heal, I grow. I pray my words provide meaning to someone out there.
Ever since I started writing again, I’ve seen changes in my moods and energy. It’s more positive and energized with lots of hope for the future. Indeed, writing is my go-to place for self care, stress, depression, relief, a confidante, hobby, and a place of mental sanity. It’s my yoga.
Everyone needs a break sometimes. If writing does not do the trick for you, I'm sure you can find something to explore from the billion interesting things we can do. Aside from writing, I love road trips, parties, fashion, dreams of traveling the world, and a huge wishlist I hope to tick one step at a time.
What's your escape?
Whatever your escape place is, I hope it helps you as much as writing helps me. May the days that follow bring me fresh ideas and courage to open up more about my silent battles and the demons I face because of sickle cell.
Do you have a good relationship with your doctor?