I feel so tired all the time.
That’s what I kept telling myself. I feel so tired all the time. I feel so tired all the time. And on and on that record kept playing in my head.
Until things started to shift for me over the past couple of years.
I’ve started to develop a different relationship with my narcolepsy and how I view it.
I don’t think there’s a day in my life where I haven’t wished for more energy since my diagnosis.
More energy in the morning to start my day.
More energy right around lunch to remain productive at work.
Or just more energy on the weekends to enjoy leisure.
But that’s a wish that will never be granted.
At first, that pissed me off.
Made me downright furious that everyone else around me has it so good.
My mom will never suffer through EDS 17 times in one day.
My brother will never have to stand up in the middle of meetings just to keep from nodding off.
But then something changed over the past year.
I had a breakthrough of sorts.
I said enough with playing the victim.
I got back an answer: wear it like a badge of honor.
Be proud that you’re still here, still working, still exercising in spite of this.
Do your goddamn best to stay awake. Show the people around you that being tired isn’t an excuse. Oh, you didn’t sleep well last night so you’re less productive today?
That’s not an excuse today. I just did an exercise in the breakroom to stay awake.
You’ll never know the fatigue I feel on a daily basis. You can’t comprehend how exhausting narcolepsy is…yet I’m still here working right beside you.
You feel sleepy? …I battle with EDS every.damn.day and I still showed up.
You didn’t have the energy to go to the gym this morning?
….well I did.
Yes, I feel so tired all the time.
But it doesn’t matter.
I feel as though I’ve been walking around with ankle weights ever since this disease came into my life.
I’m no longer ashamed of those weights strapped to my legs.
They make me stronger.
Yes, my calves will always burn harder for the same amount of work than you do.
Watch me produce. Watch me outwork you with this handicap.
I’ll still struggle, I’ll still stumble with these weights.
But watch me outwork you.
Oh, you felt tired so you didn’t do your best?
Watch me sprint past you with these weights.
You’ll never know what “heavy” truly means.