Sleep or Shower

(written November 15, 2015)

In 8 days I am turning 21, and I have never felt more imprisoned, dependent, or incapable of taking care of myself than I do right now.
Tonight I stayed in the shower for longer than normal, because I knew that as long as I was standing underneath the running water, I would not be able to fall asleep. In fact, that is the only reason I turned on the shower to begin with.
You would think that having Narcolepsy, doctors and pharmacists would recognize a serious need for medication, at the time that you requested it. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Long story short, I am now on my second day without my prescriptions and hardly able to distinguish wakefulness from deep sleep, let alone stay awake long enough to function.
Midterms are coming up soon so I try to study and outline essays in preparation, but before I know it, I am opening my eyes, stretching my stiff and sweaty body, and mumbling under my breath to myself in anger as I notice that four hours has passed since I sat down to study. I only have a few moments to beat myself up over it, because my mind quickly lapses back into REM, and I am once again rendered useless.
This happens for days. For days I wake up, not remembering falling asleep, and knowing I have many things to get done. If no one is around to wake me up, kind of like a sleep accountability partner, I will lapse in and out of REM for multiple days. I have just slept for 12 hours and after a few minutes of wakefulness, fell back asleep for another 6, and then another 7. In the blink of an eye, I have lost an entire day. This is why when I finally open my eyes again, I sprint to the tub and immerse myself underneath the stream of hot water. Realizing what I am having to do, how desperate I am to ensure just an hour of staying awake, I slide down the back of the shower wall onto the floor and cry.


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