A person reaching out their hand and a ghost reaching back

Is There Anything Positive About Narcolepsy?

I was recently asked to say something positive about narcolepsy. I must admit, I could not come up with anything right there on the spot. This disease has affected so many aspects of my life, and thinking of anything positive has been difficult. I don’t want to be negative; however, I don’t think there are many advantages to living with narcolepsy.

The emotional toll of my narcolepsy diagnosis

When someone is diagnosed, it is like getting hit with a ton of bricks. My friends and family have participated in sleep tests to find they have sleep apnea. This is what I thought my diagnosis would be. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have narcolepsy!

The first few years of my diagnosis were filled with trying to get my medications right and finding ways to get through the day. I lost friends and family through this process, and it took an emotional toll.

Letting go of toxic relationships

I started counseling, and I am grateful for those appointments. My counselor showed me that the problem was not me, and if people left my life, it was because they were never invested in me. I remember her saying this as if it was yesterday. It made total sense. I thought about the people who were no longer talking to me, and I realized that I was the one keeping our relationships going from the get-go. Most of the communication was one-way, and I never realized!

Was this one of the positive things that they were asking about? I guess I could say it was a blessing to have the toxic people flee from my life. I went through years of pain and feeling abandoned, while I should have realized it was a good thing. I did not need negativity in my life while trying to figure out the biggest medical issue I have ever experienced.

Finding closure in my dreams

Once I figured out how to look at things in a different way, I realized that my dreams could be a positive thing. Dream hangovers can alter your trajectory for days, especially if they are about loved ones or tragic events.

Just as a dream can be a nightmare, it can also help you heal. I have had dreams of people I have lost through the years, and it has brought me closure. I have been able to clear my conscience and say things I should have said before they passed away. This may seem strange to anyone who has never had a lucid dream, but trust me, these dreams feel very real in the moment. Having the ability to have meaningful conversations for closure has been a game changer. It has helped me deal with guilt and regret that would normally fester inside.

Setting emotional boundaries and advocating for myself

Learning to keep my emotions on a level playing field was very difficult to master. I used to jump at every loud noise or scary scene in a movie. It has taken years for me to keep a stoic reaction to these things.

I’ve learned to avoid getting caught up in other people’s drama, as I do not have the space for theirs, too. I can give support when needed; however, I am far removed from getting personally involved.

I have always been a caring person, and I feel I put myself too far out there. I no longer do this unless I feel very strongly about someone. Learning to advocate for myself is a positive thing! It has taught me that I am worthy of respect and love. I do not need to lower myself or expectations to keep friends or family around.

There are some positives about my life with narcolepsy

I’m glad I was asked to find something positive about narcolepsy. I didn’t think it was possible, and it took me a long time to analyze my life and think things through.

The disease itself is a negative for me; however, the personal growth has enhanced my life in many ways.

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