The Warrior, by Kay Sera

Today, I met the warrior next door.

I’d known her for several years, but never knew about the battle she has been fighting on a daily basis.

I only knew her as the kind, funny neighbor that always made an effort to support me in my own battles.

When she began to tell me about the wars, I could see the depth of the toll they had taken on her. It began with the unexplained tiredness. She made a million excuses in her head — hormones, overwork, emotional stress. But eventually, there was no way to deny a physical reason.

The first battle she fought was with doctors. During the Battle of Medical Blundering, her doctor looked at her scars (fatigue, overweight, foggy thinking) and, instead of looking to the root cause, blamed HER. As if her scars had caused the war. She fought witheverything she had, rallying allies and reaffirming the battle cry — “I AM WORTH IT”.

She won the first battle with allies and pure determination when they finally found the root of the problem.

The second battle was fought within the community. During the Rumor Skirmish, nasty gossip was spread about her. People who could never understand what she had been through criticized her instead of helping. They attacked her personally and attacked with a vengeance. This battle confused her as she had spent her time in the community as a kind and active member. She had hoped that people would remember her contributions. Instead, they discussed her weaknesses and laid the blame at her feet.

She won the second battle by ignoring the falsehoods and surrounding herself with the people who love her. Those friends and family formed a protective wall to block the arrows thrown her way.

The third battle raged within herself. The Self Esteem Blitzkrieg may have been the most difficult. Why couldn’t she shake free from the
fatigue? Why had her own body betrayed her? Had she done something wrong?

This battle was won with the love and support of friends and family. Her husband and children proved to be her staunchest allies, standing up to the havoc her own mind tried to play on her.

Sadly, in spite of winning every battle she’d been through, the war rages on. It will never stop. There will always be an uninformed
doctor, a malicious associate, or a vicious thought sent from the darker side of self.

The war will go on, but she has become stronger with every engagement.

Things are becoming easier for the warrior. With each new scar, the battles no longer seem so big or frightening.

When she shared her story, it empowered me in my war. We will fight together, she and I. We know we will not win, but us two scarred
warriors WILL NOT LOSE. We will go to combat every day with honor and resolve. We will EARN our scars and carry them with pride. Our fight will help others following in our footsteps.

And that is enough.

Kay Sera, the author, is a person living with narcolepsy.

To learn more about narcolepsy, please visit www.WakeUpNarcolepsy.org