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Changing Your SC Mentality

Have you ever thought about sickle cell from a different perspective? Tosin explains how she has changed her view of sickle cell over the years. The sufferer is no more.

I’m turning 30 in a few months, and as I look back on my sickle cell journey, I realize that I learned the most about myself when I was in a sickle cell crises. It’s kinda weird to say that, but I feel like when I’m in crises, that is my lowest point physically, mentally and emotionally. And yet, through all that, I’m still able to survive, rise above  and keep moving.

Sickle Cell is not my enemy, as my greatest enemy is myself. I feel like in some ways, I needed to have sickle cell. Without it I would probably work myself to the brink of exhaustion, or stress myself to a psychotic break. Such is my personality, a worrywort, an overachiever, a constant doer. Sickle cell makes me stop (even when I don’t want to!), take a break, re-focus my priorities and evaluate my life. Sure, it happens very regularly and most painfully; but do ‘normal’ people ever get to take that time out? Do they ever have that internal warning system that is screaming for them to get back on the right track?

When I’m overworking my body, and not getting enough rest, or drinking enough water, sickle cell tells me, “Hold on sista girl, your body is your temple and you have to take care of it.” When I’m booking appointments and planning trips to and fro, working mad overtime, and packing my schedule; sickle cell tells me, “Tosin, you need a few days rest in between these trips and shifts.” Sickle cell has made me eat better foods, cut out the fried foods and junk, and get extra friendly with fruits and vegetables. Sickle cell made me not drink alcohol excessively, and prevented me from falling into the ‘wrong’ crowd in my impressionable youth.

Sickle cell has made me live a better life. A life of balance, a life of temperance, a life of listening to the inner workings of my body and soul. Buddhist monks study and meditate for decades to reach this level of self awareness. And it came to me, directly through my DNA.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that sickle cell is the greatest thing since man discovered fire, but at the same time, it’s not the enemy. Sickle cell does not control me, limit me or own me. Sickle cell empowers me. Sickle cell has given me a calling, my own imprinted destiny. I do not have to go through life wondering, what is my purpose, or my mission. I’ve never been confused as to my purpose on this earth. I never had to go through the angst of teenage rebellion, or the quarterlifer crises, or any other hurdles that other people go through. Frankly, I was too busy during those times fighting for my life to be concerned with such little issues.

So I guess, as I look back, I see sickle cell not as a curse, but to me, it has morphed into something more. For without it, I think I would not be the person I am today. Without it, I would not have the relationships I have today. Without sickle cell, I would not have the life I have today.

My mom has always said, “Your life is a life of testimony. So live my child. Live.”

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Sickle Cell Warrior

Sickle Cell Warrior

Tosin is dedicated to perpetuating healthy and positive messages about sickle cell. Although sickle cell is a subject often taboo in the communities this condition is most prevalent, Tosin's message is that sickle cell is not something to be ashamed of and you can live a rich and fulfilling life with sickle cell. Sickle cell warriors are the most amazing people in the world, with a great fortitude for compassion, willpower and strength.

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10 Comments

  1. Nutty
    Nutty September 22, 02:37

    This is very encouraging and well said.

    I agree with you on every point… Sickle Cell isnt what we asked for but to an extent it has helped us discover who we really are and made us find a place for ourselves in this world unlike some of my peers who are still struggling to find their place and some who the world has found a place for them without their consent.

    Keep living girl…

  2. Sickle Cell Warrior
    Sickle Cell Warrior Author September 22, 04:20

    J, you are completely right. You totally get it. It just makes me appreciate every aspect of life even better, because when I’m healthy, I don’t want to waste time sweating the small stuff…I want to live and fulfill my destiny.

  3. Jason@JLHealth
    Jason@JLHealth September 24, 08:26

    Tosin, I have followed you for some time after meeting a young man about a year ago named Joseph from Tulsa, OK that has Sickle Cell. I’m the first to admit I haven’t kept up like I should because life gets so crazy but I do what I can. I can’t imagine the struggles you have endured along with all of regular day to day stuff that just wears on you. You are truly serving others by telling and sharing your stories and knowledge.

    I would like to have you visit my blog and watch a video testimonial about Joseph and a little bit of his story.

    Be blessed.

    Jason

  4. -ayo
    -ayo October 20, 22:49

    I love this!… I know, I feel these words. I do appreciate the kind of life I have lived and continue to. But I am still working through getting to that point where it (SC) is not my little secret! UGH… I wanna be free from the label put on SCWs, which is one of the reasons I am following you Tosin. I turn 25yrs old in just 4 months and I am hoping by my 25th I can freely and openly talk about SC, instead of living with it in silence a lot of ppl in my life do not know because I have chosen to be quiet about it in fear of what others might say or how they will perceive me. 4 months from now, I hope to be free!!!! wish me luck and keep the encouraging words coming and maybe share some stories of how you got to this point. xoxo

  5. Sickle Cell Warrior
    Sickle Cell Warrior Author October 21, 23:08

    @Ayo, I was the same way 9 years ago. Until I met someone who was open and upfront about their disease. This allowed me to share my testimony, and all the growth has been from there. The first step is the hardest, but once you have overcome those initial fears, you will find a whole new world of possibilities. We have to educate everyone we come in contact with, so that we can end this stigma and ignorance.

  6. Toks Jr
    Toks Jr November 02, 16:38

    I am 22 and I have been fortunate to have a milder experience with my anemia. But I still don’t pay attention to my body’s “voice” so to speak. I just came back from the gym and I can feel my crisis starting, if only I listened to my body. I’m hoping the awareness you reference will be present in my life soon enough. It would save me a lot of grief haha. Anyways I really just wanted to say keep it up and I am glad sites like this exist.

    -Toks Jr.

  7. Adedoyin
    Adedoyin November 10, 07:41

    Hello Tosin,

    I really appreciate what am reading today. I’m proud cos it shows that SCD will have a lasting solution very soon. I’m proud of the awareness you guys are showing to the whole world that having SCD is not the end to life. 31 years living with it, seeing all types of reactions, people not giving me the chance to live a normal life has tipped my scale to the other side. My rebel against this stigma sort of cured me from SCD. Like I said in my reply to insomia and SCD, I hardly have crises anymore, neither to I live on drugs anymore, not even anti-malaria. And its because I want to be normal for once in my life. I have a brother living with me right now, he is a sickler also. He is following my footsteps and he is enjoying his crises free life for once. I came to appreciate my crises period then because thats the only thing that slows me down. I’ve been told several times to slow down, but I’m like what the heck, as long as I’m strong enough to be on the move, why am I slowing down. Even the strongest of men slow down sometimes and thats what I learnt the hard way. Post secondary school years, I had the chance to counsel teenage students living with HIV and I appreciated what I have. People might look at me with pity, they might be careful around me, but they are not running away from me and I’m not regarded as an outcast and thats the truth. Then, there was no anti-retrovirals, no hope. Anytime I end my counselling session I always soak my pillow with tears cos all I could see then is resignation, regrets and no hope witten on their faces. Kunbi (late)who contacted HIV at age 15 told me that, If SCD was offered to her she will take it, cos she is counting her days. I never counted my days, It never crossed my mind. So having SCD is just to slow you down once in a while although with lots of pains, but it never stops you neither does it make you to count your days. We are created to add flavor to the world, and that is the gospel truth. I’m so proud of you guys, so proud.

  8. shakirah
    shakirah December 23, 15:20

    My b-day is coming and so is a new year. I’m going to be reading this blog until I can’t get enough! No more being scared, no more confusion and finally people that truely understand.

  9. A fellow Sickle Cell Warrior
    A fellow Sickle Cell Warrior October 18, 04:50

    Hello Tossin, this is my first time every visiting a website so detailed and down to earth as this one. helpful pages to understand what sickcle cell is, how to fight it, foods to eat even easy to cook home recipes. WOW!!! and now an inspirational story of how you view sickle cell, i would just like to say, you are very blessed (by the way i am a christian). i am thankfull for your life and i pray that you shall continue to reach people with and without sickle cell with your life experiences. Continue to do what your doing. The lord continue to keep and uphold you until grey hairs on your head. Weldone and God Bless.

  10. Sickle Cell Warrior
    Sickle Cell Warrior Author November 30, 11:58

    @ Olatunbosun, thank you so much, it’s always great to get positive feedback from the community that I’m passionate about.

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