Rolling With the Punches

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by Tito Oye |

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rolling with the punches

Life can change so unexpectedly, especially when dealing with the unpredictability of sickle cell. Sometimes we have to warm up to the idea of rolling with the punches. 

What does it mean to roll with the punches? In fighting, rolling with the punches refers to how the fighter maneuvers their body away from an attack, which lessens the force of the impact. This phrase also refers to someone who faces setbacks and difficulties but adapts and keeps moving in a way that minimizes the potential effect of the setback on their life.

As someone with sickle cell, my understanding of the phrase is that we must keep moving forward and try not to let things get us down. Let’s not spend so much time getting hung up on hardships. Instead, try to assess the situation and figure out what we must do to keep moving forward on our journeys.

This is 100 percent easier said than done! Many aspects of this condition catch us completely off guard.

I’m reading a book called “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway,” by Susan Jeffers. It highlights that even when faced with our idea of the worst possible situation, we can handle it, we do survive, and we can adapt. Things don’t stay bad forever.

The main issue in these instances is the idea of change. Like many people, I am comfortable with the way life is going, I have my set routine, and I am happy. But, when something threatens to change my way of life, I instantly view it as a bad thing. Ultimately, this may not be the case. But I will never know unless I embrace the change, whatever it may be.

I wanted to share some practical tips for facing these situations: Ways we can roll with the punches.

Don’t lose hope when things go wrong. 

Things will bring us down. That’s normal. But don’t stay down and shut down. Instead, make adjustments. For example, you had plans one day but a sudden crisis means you have to cancel. Instead of feeling down, make plans to reschedule when you are feeling better. Remember that there is always a way around the issue you may be facing. Adjustments can always be made.

Learn from the setback.

Once you have experienced something unfavorable, learn from the situation and try to avoid it in the future. That could mean learning a new way to care for yourself while you’re in pain or trying out more preventative measures such as stretching or changing your diet.

Stay positive.

Focus on what you can do as opposed to things you cannot control. Think of actions you can take to better your situation and thoughts you can think to elevate your mood. Staying positive is so important. Life will hand us some hard blows, no matter who we are, but it is how we react to these tough times that determines the type of life we live. Research has also shown that those who are positive are more capable of dealing with challenging situations.

If you have any other suggestions on how to roll with the punches, please share in the comments below. I’m sure we can all learn from you!

In the meantime, keep your head up and keep going.


Note: Sickle Cell Anemia 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 Anemia News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sickle cell anemia.


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