January 8, 2007

Why Me? Depression and Narcolepsy - What I Have Learned

Why me?

Have you ever thought this, or said these two words?


I am a person who has Narcolepsy. When I was diagnosed with Narcolepsy, at first, I felt so much relief. I felt like finally, I know what it is! Finally, I knew why I fell asleep so many times when it wasn't normal. I knew why I couldn't focus on one thing for very long. I knew why my knees would buckle, and why all of the sudden I just couldn't talk! Wheew. After 14 years of wondering what the heck was wrong with me, I'm not crazy, or lazy, I just have Narcolepsy! WOOHOO!!!

And then came the hurricane. Why me? Why me? Why didn't the doctors test me for this 10 years ago? Why didn't they listen to me? Why did they just say "you have depression, that is why you are so sleepy." And all of the people in my life, they got so mad at me. They told me I needed to get more sleep and eat right. I remember people telling me everything from how selfish I was for not doing things that I should have been doing, to someone asking me if I had a drug problem. errrrrrrr. I got so mad. Mad at the whole world! Mad at God for giving me this illness!!

Today, thank God, I am not mad anymore. Ok, I admit, I still have my "not so pleasant" moments, and sometimes I do feel depressed, but I stopped blaming other people for just simply not knowing. I stopped the inner hate that I had for myself for not being able to live up to other people's standards. I started living again. One thing that helped was finally admitting to myself that I have Narcolepsy. I have limitations. I still am working on that one, but I learn more each day.

The really strange thing is that even though Narcolepsy is not my friend, it has been my teacher. I don't believe that God wants anyone to be ill, and some illnesses are caused by the way we care or don't care for ourselves. I don't know why I have Narcolepsy, but I don't think about as much anymore. If I ever start thinking about how bad I have it, it takes just a few minutes to remember how much worse it could be and how many other people in this world have so much less than I do. So many people suffer with so much, and I know that I am so fortunate.

I have learned that having an illness that is not easily visible to the eye is not easy. I have learned that someone telling me that they care and that they understand means more to me than anything anyone could ever say to me. And here's a little tip, If you ever want someone to know you really care, flowers and gifts are nice, but telling them is by far the most incredible, healing gift anyone could ever give and receive!!

I now feel that my illness has allowed me to relate to others with more compassion and empathy. And let me tell you, when I have a day that I feel awake, I mean really alive, I appreciate that more than you could ever know.

I ain't gonna lie, I do have day where I don't as if I really want to live. But, at the same time, I certainly don't want to die. I just want my life to be different, and I know that that is something that can only come from within.

I drive, I live independently. I can care for myself, and I am free make my own choices. I am not sick, and I am not crazy or lazy. I am blessed. I am not only a survivor, I am a conqueror!

Of course, if I had the chance right now to get rid of this Narcolepsy, I would jump and jump and jump at the chance to be Narcolepsy free!! But until that day comes, I thank God for everything that he has taught me, and teaches me from having Narcolepsy.


If you have gotten this far in reading...Thank you. I just want you to know, whoever you are, you can find good in the rough things in life. God loves you. There is a reason for everything...just do your best to use it all; It is a struggle, and we are all human, just do your best, change it around and turn it into somethin' good. You are loved. You are a living, breathing, human being. You have a purpose, and life is the journey in which the many purposes unfold.

Go easy,
Ja:)

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