A transparent shadow of a black woman supports a full color version of herself sitting on a bed, fully dressed and accessorized to leave the house, but sweating and tired.

Still Trying to Accept My Limits

Yes! I finally got Jury Duty! I have never been selected before, and it finally happened: I was given the opportunity to contribute to my community, and I was excited!

Internally I struggled with whether I should fill out the exception form for my narcolepsy. I asked myself if I could stay awake and remember all the information they would discuss. Something inside of me said I would be fine and to at least try.

The day before, I did everything right

I convinced myself I would be capable and that it was just 1 day. I was sure it would be over by noon, and I could take my Ritalin, drink some coffee, and I would be OK. I figured this would be a good plan and I was able to start preparing the day before.

I didn’t drink caffeine after 6 PM on the evening prior to jury duty. I made sure I didn’t eat anything that would bog me down the next day and make me sleepy. I did everything right. I took my Xywav on time and took it when my alarm went off for my second dose. I left plenty of time between my second dose and when I was supposed to wake.

Waking up the morning of the court day

I woke on time and started to walk toward the bathroom, and my narcolepsy said, "NOPE, GET BACK IN BED." My eyes and legs were so heavy I went right back to bed. I didn’t even have time to set the alarm again! I might have been asleep before I even hit the pillow.

I woke up after the jury duty was supposed to start. As you can imagine, I was upset and depressed I couldn’t do this 1 thing! This was important to me. I wanted to experience it and I wanted to contribute to my city and my county.

Being excused from jury duty due to my narcolepsy

The next thing I had to do was to reach out to the judge. If you miss jury duty, you will have a warrant issued and you can get fined.

I was able to email them and explain my situation, and within a few days, I was sent an email saying I was officially excused. It was such a relief! The stress of thinking I was responsible for missing such an important proceeding, and what the consequences could be, was very consuming.

I need to remind myself that I have limits

It is the little things like this that remind me I must stop and listen to myself. Pushing myself results in the opposite effect with narcolepsy. The excitement and planning will knock me out, and I need to accept this. I have been diagnosed for over 10 years now, and it happens a lot.

There was something inside of me telling me that it would be hard, but I ignored it. I need to remind myself from time to time that I really do have limits. I must learn to accept that I cannot do everything I want to do.

I'm working on accepting myself

I get the same result when I am happy to go shopping. One time, I attempted to "run in quickly" to a store, and my husband found me in an aisle with no recollection of why I was there. How on earth could I have thought I could be on a jury and be fair to someone?

Years after my diagnosis, I find myself feeling resentment that I have limits that are real. I’m working on acceptance, and I feel it is getting better. I don’t like it, but I am trying!

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Narcolepsy.Sleep-Disorders.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.