My dad taught me how to box and dance salsa; with these two skills鈥攕alsa and boxing鈥擨 learned how to defend myself and to never give up. I learned to always take notes on movements and to dance my way to resilience.

Have you ever had the biggest hiccup that you just couldn鈥檛 get rid of? The kind you think you鈥檒l never get rid of. But here鈥檚 the thing: hiccups come and go. My late brother would always tell me when I was feeling down and out, 鈥渋t鈥檚 just a hiccup鈥ou will be okay.鈥 Life is full of challenges that will come and go, just like hiccups. Breakups, failing a class, losing a job, having a fight with your best friend, losing a loved one鈥 or receiving the news that your child has a chronic illness. In the moment, these 鈥渉iccups鈥 can feel like the worst thing in the world, but that feeling is only temporary. You can wave goodbye to those feelings; but if you鈥檙e going to do that, you have to learn resiliency.

Resilience is defined as the capacity to 鈥渂ounce back鈥 or recover in the context of trauma or adversity. Resiliency is all about adapting in the face of challenges and 鈥渂ouncing back鈥 from difficult experiences. When it comes to resilience, you鈥檝e got to press on. I want to share a few tips that have helped me find resilience:

  1. Keep laughing because having a sense of humor is needed when faced with hard times. Watch a funny movie or go to a comedy show.
  2. Learn lessons 鈥 As my twin sister said, 鈥渆xperience is the teacher.鈥 Let go of asking 鈥渨hy鈥 and focus on the now. Focus on the positive lessons.
  3. Stay connected with people you care about.
  4. Write in a journal 鈥 It really helps! Or speak into your phone and take time for yourself. Even if it鈥檚 just 10 minutes a day, take time to get connected with yourself.
  5. Release tension and relieve stress by exercising, dancing or even walking. Just take a moment for you to let go the tension.
  6. Finally, meditate and/or pray…whatever works for you!

Becoming more resilient takes time and practice. If you don’t feel you’re making progress 鈥 or you don’t know where to start 鈥 consider talking to a mental health provider. With guidance, you can improve your resiliency and mental well-being.

I鈥檓 so proud of the way Omar faces the challenges of hemophilia with, resiliency, humility and empathy. I think he picked that up at a very young age. My aha moment was when Omar was around 3 years old and we were living in Florida; I would always take Omar to watch the football games, not realizing he would be inspired to be a football player. We would always go and cheer on my students as they play the games. My son said he wanted to be a football player. I gulped for air. I remember calling my husband over phone saying what Omar wanted to do, 鈥淣o worries鈥 He will be on the school鈥檚 band and DJ, you鈥檒l see.鈥

Today my son is 14. He loves to DJ (he learned this skill from his dad), golf, piano, the school band, and video games. He鈥檚 a neat freak, like his mom, and has all his Legos and Pops collection lined up neatly on shelf. And now that he鈥檚 in high school and is facing new milestones, he鈥檚 realizing that he has to face the music about his limitations. He wants to play hoops, but he鈥檚 prepared if he doesn鈥檛 make the team. He has a backup plan of playing golf鈥攂ut for now I鈥檓 letting him pursue his dream, because I know he always has a plan B. He sees me working with kids with cerebral palsy, autism and other serious conditions, he knows he has it lucky. He tells me, 鈥淢om, I think I鈥檓 going to be okay.鈥

Omar also knows there are options available to him. He鈥檚 looking at his future and what he wants to do and what he has to do to get there. He鈥檚 already talked about wanting to go to universities based on if there are HTCs nearby, because he doesn鈥檛 want to worry me. I feel like I鈥檓 talking to an adult sometimes! Now that鈥檚 unstoppable resiliency.


Mily lives in New Jersey with her husband, Harry, and her son, Omar.

*Note: 鈥淚nfusing Love: A Mom鈥檚 View,鈥 is a blog collection of personal opinions and a representation of individuals experiences. While extensive efforts are made to ensure accuracy of the content, the blog entries do not represent HFA or its Board of Directors. The blog is also not intended to be construed as medical advice or the official opinion/position of HFA, its staff, or its Board of Directors. Readers are strongly encouraged to discuss their own medical treatment with their healthcare providers.

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