I Can’t Stop Falling Asleep | Living Differently


I mean, there are days
that I do give up, and those days make me super sad. I call my mum crying, like, I don’t want to do anything
apart from sleep. Narcolepsy has changed
my whole life. Excessive daytime sleepiness is what
I think it defines as. They say that people with narcolepsy
feel like if a normal person was not to sleep for 48 hours and
then just be put in a working day. That’s how I feel every single day. If, four years ago, you were
to put me in this position now, and tell me,
“By the way, in four years, “you’ll have to sleep
eight times a day, “you won’t really be able
to sit down for lunch, dinner “or breakfast without
falling asleep,” I’d be like, “There’s no point in
living. I don’t want to live.” The narcolepsy has changed my life. I don’t really go out and socialise
that much in the evening. I get very paranoid or, I suppose, I get very panicky
if friends invite me out, because I want to go and I want to
go and experience that sort of stuff with them, but I’m so scared
that I’m going to fall asleep. I can’t get an office job. I wanted to do interior design
at university – I couldn’t even finish school. I can’t even sit and have a meal
without struggling. I’ve had boyfriends
I’m out for dinner with, and I always start doing
something weird, and he really was like,
“What the hell are you doing?!” It made me feel so small. I’ve had boyfriends in the past
actually who have broken up with me because of it. I would say Maikel is one-of-a-kind in the way that he deals
with what I’ve got. I first met Annabelle when I was
on a skiing holiday in 2014. We went out for some pizza
that evening with a big group, and came home and then,
my brother Nick said, “Did you notice that blonde girl
just falling asleep all the time?” and we were like,
“Oh, she must have been so wasted. “Jesus, that’s weird!” The day after, I saw her
in the apres ski bar again, and I was like,
“How drunk were you last night? “You just kept falling asleep.” And then she was like,
“Well, actually, “that’s not just the alcohol.” And then, when you said that you’d
googled it and it was like, such all bad videos and
everything, and then I just said, “Just get to know me, and trust me,
it’s not like that.” I remember one time we were in Paris
and people were just staring, kind of you were some circus act.
Yeah. That was one moment where I was
really close to stepping in. So, when Belle is drifting
into an episode, I can kind of notice that
straightaway, because one moment we’re talking
about something and she’s quite lively,
and then the other moment, she’s just kind of gone, and she’ll
be talking about a completely new subject and doesn’t really
know what she’s saying. We used to watch films together,
and sometimes a series, but it’s not really fun, because… ..you know, she’s just asleep
most of the time. So now, I never watch a series
with her any more. If she doesn’t have this sleep,
she’ll stay, she’ll keep fighting and fighting
and fighting, but she won’t snap out of it,
so it’s good for her to, yeah, to be safe and have a sleep. I think she’s always quite shocked
when she wakes up. She’s like… She just wakes up, and, “How long was I gone for?”
is always the first question. What time do you guys need to go? SHE MUMBLES What time do you guys need to go? Mikey, what’s the time? It’s 4:05. What time do you want to go? At 20 past. I need to get changed. Nice little power nap! How long did I sleep for? Er, ten. Oh. Nice. I needed just that little… And just ten minutes,
then just back. Back now! So, I’m just packing my stuff now.
I’m actually going back to the UK. But I’m really excited,
I’m going to see my mum. Oh, wow! VOICEOVER: I discovered I had
narcolepsy when I was 17. I said to my mum,
“I sleep really well at night “and I’m still falling asleep in the
day. Can I go to the doctor’s?” This one, I look like, um, a genie. I remember, we were like,
“What is narcolepsy?” I remember you saying,
“Is there a cure?” And the doctor was like, “It will
only ever actually just get worse.” At school, there were a few people
in lessons that would tap each other, they would film me, my friends have drawn on my face,
like, countless times. Actually,
the teachers were the worst, because the amount of times
they’d be like, “Belle, what were you doing
last night? “Belle, maybe don’t go out so late.” A teacher threw a pen
at me once, they were like, “Don’t fall asleep in my class!
Am I that boring?” So, that’s actually why
I left school. My biggest concern
was leaving you alone – are you going to fall asleep in
a sort of dangerous situation? Yeah, because I fell asleep one time
when you were in France, and I had that really bad hallucination, and I
called you, crying my eyes out. The biggest scare
is the hallucinations. Thinking that there’s somebody
stood outside her bedroom, somebody coming in her bedroom,
somebody holding her down, and when you’re not there,
it’s very scary, because, is there somebody actually
in the house? Is there somebody going into
her bedroom? Because she really does believe
that there is somebody there. Everyone worries
about their children, it’s quite a natural thing. Less so now, because Maikel is
an absolute huge support. When I’m in the gym and I’m doing
running or high-intensity stuff, that’s when I feel the most amazing, and I thought,
“I want to be a personal trainer.” Hey, Belle. Hey. OK, let’s go! Make sure you stretch
when you get to the top. Six, five, four, three… After I’ve done an exercise class,
I literally feel – it might sound
a little bit cliched – but I just feel on top of the world, and I think that’s because I know
the extreme other end. I understand that
some people are like, “Yeah, you feel good
after exercise.” But I’m like, “You don’t
understand HOW great I feel.” After I’ve done a class, instead of
driving straight home, I normally just come in here
and take a quick nap. And these are really convenient –
I don’t actually know what they’re used for, exercise wise,
but I use them as a pillow. And then, I grab one of
these blankets. I suppose they knew I was coming
when they built the gym! It may be only, like,
10 or 15 minutes, but everyone here completely
understands and knows and they’re like, “Belle’s in
the yoga room, sleeping,” and it’s completely normal. I don’t think I could have got
to where I am today without my mum and Maikel. I think those two are the two
that really stand out. I will do everything I can to
overcome every aspect that hits me of narcolepsy, because I’ve got it,
but it doesn’t have me.




Comments
  1. I can kind of relate but I don’t have narcolepsy I have an un known condition where I faint 3-4 times an hour but it’s just as draining as this
    It’s really horrible and I’m only nearly 13

  2. Think it’s really nice that she has managed to find a job that will keep her awake. Would’ve been very easy to give in and just do nothing all day

  3. I don't know what it is about blonde hair blue eyed white girls that make them so "beautiful " I mean she cute but not all that

  4. I’m so happy to hear she has found a guy that simply just loves her understands her and takes care of her. ❤️

  5. What a beautiful young lady she is in such a situation most peope wouldn't be able to live like this shes amazing I feel so sorry for her the boyfriend is a hero what an amazing guy

  6. Narcolepsy sucks to endure, but man does she have it bad. It made me super happy when she was talking about her job, she has something to do that can actually make her do well for herself that overcomes it. Amazing.

  7. can we talk about how when she met her boyfriend, he literally googled what narcolepsy was. that’s a real man. I’m happy she found a man that treats her right and stays with her despite her health difficulties

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *