Sometimes the Truth is Hard to Hear

In a previous article, I talked about my weight loss adventure and how hard it was to get motivated and STAY motivated.

I would like to explain a little more in detail about the positive changes that have occurred concerning my narcolepsy.

The guilt of missing out is no longer a daily struggle

I had gotten used to the foggy feeling we experience daily, and this affected my life in many ways throughout the years. I have had to plan my activities around my "tired hours," resulting in many missed opportunities. Of course, when you miss an event, there is guilt, shame, and embarrassment associated with it.

Since I have lost over 100 pounds in the last year, I have noticed that I have had more clear-headed days. I have been able to attend more activities and the guilt and shame is no longer a daily struggle. I sleep better and find the more I exercise, the easier I fall asleep at night.

No longer needing my daily scheduled naps

I have always taken scheduled naps. I am sensitive to medication, so I would alleviate my symptoms by taking a daily nap to keep my head straight.

Since my lifestyle change, my scheduled naps have ceased. I have more energy and seem to keep myself much busier in the day. I could never stay awake long enough to finish a project in the past. Concentrating on anything for any significant amount of time would knock me out. I feel like I am capable of so much more than I allowed myself to believe.

Noticing a drop in my anxiety and cataplexy attacks

Not only has the weight loss given me hope that I can live an "easier" life, it has opened my eyes to how much I limited myself in the past. When I was asked to attend an event, my first thought was always how my narcolepsy would be affected and I would shoot plans down. Feeling better has allowed me to handle my anxiety over socializing; therefore, my life has opened up tremendously.

Anxiety can be a major player with us narcoleptics. Feeling anxious is the biggest trigger for my cataplexy as well.

Anyone who has cataplexy can understand how scary it can be, since we cannot control it completely. Sure, we can take medication to alleviate symptoms; however, it does not completely go away and can surface when we least expect it. I have noticed a significant drop in the number of cataplexy attacks I've had since I have lost the weight. This change has been good for me. I no longer feel like my narcolepsy runs the show. I feel more in control.

Dietary changes improved my digestive health and tiredness

My digestive problems have almost ceased since my diet has changed. I truly feel that my brain was saying, "You're awake, you're asleep. You're awake, you're asleep," and this was causing my digestive process to start and stop during the day. I would feel tired after eating and suffered stomach issues for years. I was in denial and kept eating what I wanted and when I wanted.

I really wish I had taken control of my diet and lifestyle years ago, but the important thing is that I finally did. I eat a reasonable meal and feel energized after eating instead of drowsy and confused. This improvement alone has been a big contributing factor to my new quality of life.

Losing weight with narcolepsy can be a struggle

Doctors have repeatedly told me to make changes to my lifestyle throughout the years. I was always so resentful when hearing that. I would brush it off and make excuses for myself.

Now that I have put in the work and have reaped the advantages of a healthier body, I understand how important that phrase was. The domino effect of being overweight caused me a lot more pain and aggravation than what I was aware of.

I know that losing weight with narcolepsy is hard for us. We have so many obstacles and sometimes it just seems impossible. I found what worked for me. It took years of struggling to figure it out, and I am so thankful I did!

Find what works for you

It is hard to face the truth sometimes, especially when you know you could try harder but do not have faith in yourself to do so.

I know losing weight did not cure my narcolepsy. I will always have it and will always deal with it daily. The difference is now I feel like I have more control and am not so hopeless.

Find what works for you and go for it! It may be weight loss. It might be a change in your job or school. You may need to reevaluate a relationship or living situation. Denial can sabotage us so easily, and the result is never a positive one.

One change can turn into many changes. What have you got to lose?

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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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