10 years ago today, I came out as a person with narcolepsy. On November 10, 2009, I started this REM Runner blog, disclosing on the internet for the first time that: “I’m Julie Flygare, a person living with narcolepsy with cataplexy.”
From my original About Me:
“Narcolepsy has changed my life for better and worse. I am proud to be a person with narcolepsy, yet I hope to build a brighter future for this serious chronic illness… On this blog, I will share some of my experiences as a person with narcolepsy, and as a runner, yogi, and photographer. In doing so, I hope to shed some light on narcolepsy, a little known and often misunderstood condition.”
Feels like yesterday? Nope.
I wish I could say “it feels like yesterday,” but honestly, it feels like a lifetime ago. My drive and mission remains the same, but this past decade has been a tremendous period of growth for me, the lowest of lows and highest of highs. Some of the lows I’ve shared here, like losing my dad and the nutty rollercoaster of publishing my book, others I’ve kept private.
At the same time, I ran three marathons, published Wide Awake and Dreaming: A Memoir of Narcolepsy, created the Narcolepsy: Not Alone campaign, founded Project Sleep, moved across the country, co-founded the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship, worked full-time in the cancer non-profit space, fell in-love with speaking, and eventually took on my dream job of running Project Sleep.
My blog is OLDER than Instagram.
When I started this blog, it was an important platform for me to share candid stories about living with type 1 narcolepsy with cataplexy. At the time, blogs were fairly new and Instagram didn’t even exist (IG launched the following year, on Oct. 6, 2010).
Today, I don’t publish here as much as I’d like. I have dozens of half-written posts and ideas listed in notebooks. When I prioritize my time so carefully, blogging often gets cut. At some point, I started to over-think each post. Meanwhile, Instagram snuck into my …