While My Health Challenges Are Tough, I Smile Through Life

While My Health Challenges Are Tough, I Smile Through Life
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One of my favorite features is my smile, and I find that in life, I have many things to smile about.

I have very good people around me who provide an amazing support system, I have a home, I have a job, I live in a country that provides me with free healthcare and effective treatments, I have high hopes for my future; if I wanted to, I could fill this column with a long list of things I am grateful for.

Bryant H. McGill said, “Life is like a mirror. Smile at it and it smiles back at you.” (Courtesy of Tito Oye)

Even with all of this, people constantly ask how I can smile so much, given everything I go through. They’ll tell me they are surprised to see me so positive, and that they would be depressed if they were in my position and had so many health-related complications. But I hate these types of questions and comments, because it is not an encouraging thing to hear — not at all. Do people honestly expect me to be miserable 24/7?

In life, everyone goes through one hardship or another — absolutely everyone, whether that difficulty is medical, financial, or emotional. Everyone faces some kind of difficulty. In my case, it is my health. Sickle cell disease is very difficult to deal with, but I believe that perspective is important. My attitude about how I live my life can either be a reaction to the hardships, or a reaction to the good things, and I prefer the latter.

With that said, no matter how positive a person you may be, life still has highs and the lows, and the lows can get pretty low. I don’t mind sharing how I feel during those low moments, but I try not to dwell on those feelings. When I feel a bit down, I remind myself of all the things I am grateful for. I remind myself that things could always be worse. And I actively do things to improve my mood, such as listening to music or watching a show. If I am unable to improve my mood by myself, I surround myself with loved ones who I know can make me feel better.

Has anyone ever questioned your positivity? I challenge you to share something you are grateful for in the comments below or at our Sickle Cell Disease News Forum. In moments when you feel low, what do you do to lift your spirits?

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Note: Sickle Cell Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sickle Cell Disease News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sickle cell anemia.

Tito is a 23-year-old London-based tenancy manager and lover of life. For as long as she can remember, she’s had a passion for helping others. She writes to help others realize that sickle cell doesn’t need to define their entire identity.
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Tito is a 23-year-old London-based tenancy manager and lover of life. For as long as she can remember, she’s had a passion for helping others. She writes to help others realize that sickle cell doesn’t need to define their entire identity.
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