A Cataplexy Attack

I’m sitting with my family, and I know they can tell it’s one of those days.

It’s one of those days where my mood is sour and my energy is nonexistent. So I’m keeping to myself in order to avoid arguments and because, in all honesty, I just don’t have the energy.

Conversations arise between them, and still, I keep quiet.

Anger swells inside me

Maybe if I was “normal” I would participate and have a lot to say, since the subject being discussed is definitely something that involves me. But no matter how much I (internally) disagree with some of the statements being made, I say nothing.

However, on the inside, I can feel anger swelling inside me. As much as I try to remove myself from the current argument that is growing more heated between the others around me, I can't stop the feelings from surging inside me.

An explosion of emotions

On the outside, I imagine I continue to look calm and removed, but internally there is an explosion of emotions threatening to erupt until my body finally explodes and exposes my inner turmoil. The glass I was holding on to suddenly escapes my grasp and crashes on the floor.

The room finally goes silent and everyone is suddenly looking at me as if waiting for me to express some form of disagreement or annoyance. But I can’t even speak. My insides are shaking and my legs are growing weaker by the second.

Retreating to my bedroom

My mind is screaming that I need to get away from this situation. It takes every single strength I have within me to shakily put my hands on the tabletop and lift my trembling body up.

I put one foot in front of the other and force myself to keep moving until I can get to my bedroom, where I finally allow myself to collapse on the bed. I don’t know how long it takes until my breathing returns to normal as I try to calm the intense, suffocating emotions in my chest.

My emotions trigger cataplexy

Cataplexy attacks are some of the most debilitating and physically exerting times of my life. They can be triggered by various emotions depending on the individual, such as laughter, fear, anger, frustration, and even passion. In my case, most emotions will trigger a cataplexy attack in some way, but anger is the one that completely cripples me.

What most people don’t know or understand is that many times I don’t need to have an actual argument with someone. Cataplexy attacks are triggered by pure emotion and nothing else.

All I have to do is feel.

The hardest part of narcolepsy

It’s not only emotionally frustrating, exhausting, or even humiliating; it is physically strenuous on your body. It could be, in some ways, exerting the same energy as a panic attack. You can feel extremely weak immediately following a cataplexy attack.

The hardest part of narcolepsy for me, at times, is living my life having to basically avoid all emotions.

Do you experience cataplexy attacks? What are some things in daily life that tend to trigger them? Have you found any strategies for coping with cataplexy attacks or the exhaustion that comes after? Share with us in the comments below.

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