My name is Matthew Wright. Welcome. This site explores my life with the sleep disorder narcolepsy, and how it relates to mental health. I’m one of the lucky ones. My struggles no longer have to do with the symptoms. I’m effectively cured by medication.
Untreated narcoleptics never achieve sustained, restorative, deep sleep. Our lifelong sleep deficit amplifies and distorts reality, pushing both negative and positive emotions to extremes.
I read that if you want to know how it feels to have narcolepsy, stay awake for 3 days. Day 3 is every day 1 of a narcoleptic’s life. Having experienced both sides of that, that’s pretty spot on.
I used to think the paranoia, fear, and delirious fatigue I experienced was a failure of character. I made decisions based on those extremes of emotion, sometimes diving deeper into jobs or relationships or situations, and sometimes running away from them. Usually both (okay, always both). Then, in 2016, a treatment gave me deep sleep for the first time. From that point forward I’ve been enviably well rested.
What I’m left with though is a decades-long mess of a life created by an exhausted me who was out of his mind half the time. I’m building a new life, but I still have to clean up the demoralizing defoliation of his past. It’s hard sometimes not to hate that guy, but most days we work it out.
If you’d like to say hello, to either of us, we’d be happy to hear from you.