So, I titled this post '7 strikes' because that's how many I seemingly have against me. We all have things, or strikes, about us that make it challenging to cope in society, and some of our strikes are blessings from God. My strikes are:
2. My ethnicity
3. Good looks
6. My size
People say be positive, but it's kind of hard not to see the dark, especially when it's shoved in our faces often. Many people live according to a false reality, then there are those that just see reality for what it is. Many would say my '7 strikes' are part of that false reality I mentioned. Well, other than my experiences, even statistics, sociology, history, and psychiatry would agree with me.
Narcolepsy and my other strikes
Having narcolepsy is already a difficult factor to deal with in life, but when combined with the other strikes mentioned, life feels nearly impossible. Living in a world where racism, discrimination, and profiling still exist, being a big black man is difficult. Then add such blessings like good looks, intelligence, and uniqueness to the load, and life becomes more unbearable.
Navigating through life with my 7 strikes
In times past when morals and relationships were more successful, humanity's self-confidence levels were different. However, competition has always existed, but our modern world's decline in views of competition causes greater foolishness among us. As a black man, I was always taught verbally and through life experiences, I'd be treated as "less than" but it's something I must accept and get over, or suffer the consequences of losing in life. My whole life I've always been blessed with good looks, size, and intelligence — three blessings I never thought would play against me. With social views depleting in concepts, such as self-confidence, people are viewing the blessings of others as threats.
Life as a Black man with narcolepsy
Now, believe me when I say I always try my best to see through the eyes of others. That said, let me be more specific on what it's like as a narcoleptic black man. I have often been asked by white individuals why is it black people seem to be so detached from our emotions, in other words, why aren't we quick to cry? Whether or not modern humanity would like to admit it, our ancestors' good and bad decisions affect us to this very day. Throughout history from Africa to now, Africa is in the top 2 greatest slave continents.
One thing slaves of any culture were trained not to do was/is feel, and such teachings run through the veins of modern African bloodlines. All my life, I have experienced females of other ethnicities and those of dominant European genetics be nurtured when upset, but when black people get upset we're just seen as "loud" and "angry". And, especially don't be a black man expressing any unpleasant emotion! Such experiences, added with narcolepsy, have lead me to feel like I'm supposed to be an ox; never supposed to be tired, don't cry, and matter of fact don't even speak out of terms. I am always walking on eggshells to stay out of trouble and succeed, but it's so hard when the selfishness of humanity refuses to understand my genes weren't my choice, narcolepsy definitely wasn't my choice, and I am a human with feelings too!
Do you feel that others judge the severity of your narcolepsy based on how you look?