Sometimes you end up on a journey that you have no idea why you are traveling it. As a child, I suffered from Asthma and anything that upset me would freak me out and would cause me to have an Asthma attack. Today, Sickle cell has altered my family’s life to the point where freaking out was no longer a luxury I could afford. It changed the whole management of my emotions. There is no exact science to what works for everyone but to become that solid rock that your sickle cell warrior needs, getting control of your emotions is a definite must. Your whole emotional support system depends on how you control your emotions.
My baby had her first crisis just shy of two years old. The doctor had prepared us best as he could to remain calm. I was able to not freak out openly but once alone I did break down and cry for about a good hour or so. I needed to pray but I couldn’t find the strength to stop crying. On the inside, I started to encourage myself and tell myself I could do this. God would not give me a journey I couldn’t successfully take. Before I knew it, I was up and by my daughter’s side. It was frustrating to not cry when she was crying in pain but surprisingly I had did it. Instead, I focused on comforting her with songs and massaging her down. I had conquered my stressor and now I found out that day that my emotional strength starts with me.
We are in our fifth year of this journey. Today, I’m no longer married and my mom passed away from cancer in 2012. They were my support system physically and emotionally. Knowing they were there comforted me emotionally when dealing with my daughter’s sickle cell. The physical support allowed me to easily draw from their strength and take breaks when I could not.Just when I thought I didn’t have to worry about that stressor of not having to handle it alone, my whole support system was gone. I thought back to that first crisis and remembered my emotional strength started inside of me. My “ah ha” moment had finally hit me. I cannot let my negative emotions run my life and don’t have time to concentrate on who is not supporting me. I have to find solutions to this problem instead of focusing on why it exists. I replaced my negative emotions with positive thought and took action. Negative emotions will have you all over the place; will lead you to feel sorry for yourself and not take action to change things. I made a new plan that would keep me emotionally sane because I am responsible for my own emotional support system. Who better to understand my emotions other than me?
Taking actions to successfully manage the stress in one’s life can keep emotions under control which helps produce a healthy lifestyle. The first action I took was to counter those negative emotions with positive thoughts. Then I took action with these steps remain emotionally strong daily by being proactive:
- Take breaks daily to do something enjoyable alone
- Go and enjoy things with other grownups without kids
- Journal to God
- Don’t over react when things don’t go as planned
- Schedule everyone’s doctor’s appointments in advance including myself
- Put together a support system to assist with SCW
- Attend church regularly
- Keeping an active prayer life
- Establish a relationship with a spiritual leader
- Asking others for help
- Conduct weekly family meetings
Taking care of me is as important as taking care of my girls and keeping my negative emotions under control is a huge part of staying healthy emotionally. If your negative emotions are not controlled then you can not be emotionally healthy. You have to work through them by talking it out and replacing the causes of them with successful solutions. Remember that no matter what your stressor is in life there is always a way to conquer it. If affirming yourself daily, taking breaks, and staying organized can help you become emotionally strong then what do you have to lose?