I can’t believe I have never written about this! Well, back before my narcolepsy was diagnosed, I lost my mind for a while. Seriously.In narcolepsy, you are always sleepy and tired, but never rested, even if you go to sleep, because you never get into the deepest, restorative sleep. So who knows how many years of sleep deprivation can build up before diagnosis. A lot of times, they will diagnose depression, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, etc, and I can vouch for the fact it can cause you to experience what looks and feels like all of those things. I think my narcolepsy was probably triggered by one of the shots nurses are required to have or else they can’t practice. In fact, we had to have them in nursing school too.
Anyway, I had been through quite a lot by the time it was properly diagnosed, and at that juncture the diagnosis was still yet future. But I decided that I should celebrate my survival of so many really difficult years. So I threw myself a ” Happy Party”. On the invitations, I stated that everybody who comes, should bring something that would make me laugh. It could be a joke, a funny story or personal experience, or a tangible thing. The flower headband was something I bought. Every winter, I would hang on to the hope that comes when the daffodils start to bloom. That was before I even knew Daffodils literally, universally stand for hope, in flower-language. That yellow daisy-looking thing was the closest I could get to a daffodil. All I knew was that my depression got much worse in winter, and spring meant I had survived another winter. I decorated with a springtime theme, and made it an open-house come-whenever-you-want thing, so I could spend time with each person who came. I was truly surprised at how many came, and from how far some came. I tried to grab a a photo with each guest, and we all took turns with various funny hats and headbands. So, that image came to represent my own personal “journey” through some very hard things, back into the sunshine. It covers so much more too, though. About being a woman, femininity, our concepts of beauty and worth, being vulnerable, learning to accept things, learning to forgive yourself. So many things wrapped up in that image of my younger face in that silly flower.
Same goes for the purple morning glories and the gold ladybugs. Little things that God sent my way, to remind me He sees and cares. Hope is a fragile thing. Even when you have done your best to put your hope only in the Lord, other things creep in there. Especially while you are still learning how to walk with Him. Which continues until the day you leave this life.