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My Narcolepsy Is Not an Excuse, It Is My Reality

Something I would hear quite often growing up is that I was making things up, or I was just lazy and didn’t want to do anything. I still, to this day, hear it far too often.

I get why people would think that before my diagnosis. Because no one knew how tired I really was and how much narcolepsy affects me daily. Even I did not know that being that tired wasn’t normal.

I still hear inaccurate comments

I am a little more surprised that people are still saying these things, along with other things, such as telling me I am using my narcolepsy to get out of doing things and that I can’t just lie in bed because I want to.

Pretty recently, I have had some family members tell me those 2 things. They know I have been diagnosed with narcolepsy, but they do not fully understand how it affects me daily.

I did not choose to have narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is not something you can “fake.” I do not get to choose when my symptoms are going to be worse on certain days. I would much rather not be lying in bed feeling exhausted, but there is only so much I can do to try and distract my sleepiness. Sometimes distraction isn’t enough.

I would much rather have a full-time job, make more money, have more of a social life, but I cannot control when my sleepiness decides to kick in. People act like this is something that I want to do when I would rather do almost anything else in reality.

It took a lot of time for me to fully process that it is okay to not have a full-time job like others my age. It is okay to not be like other people my age in general because, well, I am not like others; I am living with narcolepsy.

No one knows my sleepiness better than me

Some people in my life think that I use narcolepsy as an excuse to get out of things when in reality, I am trying to help others understand more about narcolepsy. I have to put myself first, and that is okay to do because if I don’t, who will?

No one but me knows how tired or sleepy I am and how it affects me daily. I would never stay in bed to get out of something. I would do anything to not have this sleepiness and be able to do anything I want to do, whenever I want to do it.

Putting myself first

I have found out that if I live my life trying to please others, I would be trying for the rest of my life. I have been focusing on myself and my health more recently, and it is one of the best decisions I have made.

Putting myself first means I don’t have to do certain things just because others think it is what I should do. I take naps when my body needs them, and I do not let others question them or try and put me down because I need a nap every day.

Listening to my body

Some things I have found that have helped me and my sleepiness are trying to stay busy and distract my sleepiness. When my sleepiness is too strong, and distraction doesn’t work, I let my body have a short nap because fighting my sleepiness will only make me more sleepy. I also try to get most of my important tasks done in the morning before my sleepiness kicks in.

Every person with narcolepsy and their sleepiness are different. This is what I have found helpful, but it may not always be helpful for others. If you have any things that help you and your sleepiness, feel free to leave a comment below!

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

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