Meisha’s Diaries: The Mental Battle

by Meisha Armstrong

There are no greater battles that a sickler has to endure than the mental battles we face. What is a sickler? Just my own way of identifying us, people living with sickle cell disease, as opposed to those sick people with something that most don’t understand. It’s challenging enough just trying to live life without the extra burden of having a debilitating genetic lifelong illness.

In life people have shown me that they will always greet the unknown the unfamiliar with ignorance. It appears to be human nature to shun what they do not understand. So how do we, the ones suffering, not do the same? Am I the only one whose subconscious goes to such negativity? I’ve spent enough years shunning myself, running from what I always believed to be my curse. But in hindsight, it seems it may be my blessing.

See, our whole life we are taught that being different is a bad thing and then we spend half our life trying to fit in and be like everyone else. But then we spend the other half of our life trying to do anything and everything to prove we are different than everyone else. Majority of my life all I’ve ever wished for was to be ‘normal’. There’s no such thing and even if there is at this point I have no desire for it.

In my opinion everything that’s challenging in life is twice as hard for us, those living with sickle cell. We have a list of do’s and do not’s. It gets hard to deal with a factor like your health that you can’t control. You can’t schedule in a pain crisis. And believe me I’ve tried. So how do you not let this youth sucking, life stealing, uncontrollable disease, consume your world? Because there’s not a single aspect in your life it won’t affect. And it sucks that it seems like you’re the only one going thru it. No one else around you can feel your pain so how could they understand.

As you get older, at some point, all you’re ever going to want is someone to understand and care. Eventually you may realize obtaining that seems harder than it should be. Opening up loving caring trusting becomes harder after rejection. It’s hard enough to be a young adult entering the world of love without adding the extra entity like being sick and hospitalized, often and sporadically. Some people will say it’s too much. I say to them, I’m the one living it. How do you think I feel? So how do you let someone in when you’re so used to keeping everyone at a distance. It’s hard to be loved if you don’t love yourself. And you can’t love yourself if you shun and hate parts of you. But you’ve been this way as long as you can remember.

So consequently, having a desire to be loved and desired means you have to let someone in. Doing such things will always be trial and error. There’s no way to ensure that the one person you decide to break barriers for and reveal the inner workings of your mind body and soul, will lovingly, with open arms and mind, embrace the good, the bad and the things you fear are unlovable about yourself. But you have to make the effort. You have to put out the vibes you want to feel. Your aura should ooze self-love and appreciation because the universe only gives you what you put in to it.

I wish I knew then, what I know now. But seeing as I didn’t have a blueprint for this life I’m living all I can do is apply what I learned yesterday to tomorrow so I have a better day as I continue to learn, apply, and grow.

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