A woman's head is shown with a missing puzzle piece

Is It Me or Is It Narcolepsy?

I often wonder if narcolepsy is to blame for my lack of focus or if I am. We know that narcolepsy has an impact on behaviour and personality, but to what extent?

Every day is an enormous struggle to focus

Every day, I wake up and tell myself that today will be different. I will sit down, focus and be productive, and every day I fail. Some days, I can get more things done than others, but every day it is an enormous struggle.

It's something I have to fight within myself all the time, and it's bringing me to exhaustion. The most troublesome part is that I feel it worsening with time, and I am powerless to stop it.

It sometimes feels as though it’s more than just a lack of focus. It’s as though nothing interests me anymore.

What is responsible for the things we feel?

Overall, my life hasn’t been easy in the last few years, and maybe this has impacted me in ways that I haven’t been able to realise. However, when I look back at my past, focus has always been something I have grappled with. This is nothing new. On the other hand, I was always someone who had more interests than I probably should, and always enjoyed doing these.

How are we able to know what is responsible for the things we feel when living with narcolepsy?

Wondering who I would have been without narcolepsy

I find myself questioning what is really me, and what is simply a manifestation of my narcolepsy.

Who would I have been without narcolepsy? Would I be more successful because I would have more ability to focus and motivation? Would I have a better relationship with my family because I wouldn’t be labelled as moody or aggressive? Would my life be more stable because I wouldn’t be taking medication that makes me act in impulsive and unpredictable ways?

These are the thoughts that I feel I can’t share with anyone because they simply won’t understand.

I was told to stop blaming everything on my narcolepsy

The only time I shared that narcolepsy could possibly be the cause of my lack of focus, I was met with scoffs. The response I received was that I had to stop blaming everything on my narcolepsy.

After this, I stopped sharing these concerns.

People will never understand the depth to which we are shaped, influenced, and governed by narcolepsy and just how much it can manipulate our inner workings.

Dwelling on the 'what ifs' is harmful to my mental health

At the end of the day, I know that I will probably never have the answers to these questions that plague my mind. Nobody will ever know, including me, who I truly am without these interfering factors.

I also know that no good can come from dwelling on the “whats ifs”. It will change nothing, and will probably only result in causing further harm to my mental health. But sometimes we need to externalise these feelings in some way, so that we can hopefully keep them from consuming us.

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