Ana E. Lara: 2022 National Poetry Month Part 4

April is National Poetry Month! Project Sleep is proud to highlight poets and poetry from our community throughout the month of April. Curated by Ana Lara.

Meet the Poet:

Ana Elena Lara is an Arizona native, living in the Phoenix area with her husband and daughter. Her journey with narcolepsy started several years before being diagnosed in 2015.

Ana is a stay-at-home mom, a writer, and an advocate. She writes about her experience living with chronic illness and the hope she has found through community. Ana also serves as a board member for Project Sleep!  

About the Poem:

“The poem is about my journey before I was diagnosed and how narcolepsy still affects me today. Narcolepsy can be invisible and hard to catch which makes it difficult to diagnose but the impact it makes on my daily life changes everything. I called the poem “Brave” because often we have no choice but to live with chronic illness and adjust our lives accordingly. I don’t know if it’s bravery, strength or self preservation. All I know is it’s kept me going, learning, loving, evolving and surviving.” – Ana E. Lara


Second opinions I couldn’t afford.
I was powered by coffee so no one would know.
Medical bills became a small tower.
Debt slowly started to take all the power.
I cried to myself, saying it’s under control.
I took naps in the bathroom before the drive home.
All expectations I put on hold, to keep alive, a part of my soul.
There were no goodbyes for my childhood dreams.
I remember them all as a nice fantasy.
Looking back on it now, some may call me strong.
What they don’t see is the illness lives on.
That lack of sleep fills my body with pain.
There’s unrest in my mind, loading my heart with rage.
With no other choice but one day at a time.
I pretend to be brave so that I can survive.

Thank you, Ana, for sharing your poetry.  Connect with Ana via Instagram at @ananapz.  We hope you have enjoyed this year’s features for National Poetry Month. Watch for more poems from this incredibly creative community next year!

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