Matt Horsnell: 2022 National Poetry Month Part 1

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:

Matthew Horsnell is a father of three living with type 1 narcolepsy (narcolepsy with cataplexy). With symptom onset beginning before age twelve, Matt searched for a diagnosis for thirteen years. He has been a strength athlete since his symptoms began and enjoys powerlifting and strongman lifts.

Matt is an incredible advocate in the sleep community and is continually involved with awareness efforts. He focuses his advocacy on narcolepsy and mental health awareness and legislative efforts. One fun fact about Matt, he has the longest hashtag in narcolepsy: #worldsstrongestpersonhavingnarcolepsywithcataplexy

About the Poem:

“Living with narcolepsy means meandering between being awake and asleep. Walking that trail can be full of paradoxes, but there is hope abounding. Learning to embrace the positives and troubleshoot the negatives has been essential for my journey. Expressing myself through art and poetry allows my heightened creativity to flow.” – Matthew Horsnell

What Madness Is This?

Dichotomy of asleep and awake, conjoined as a union of neither.

Dreams interrupted blurring into daytime imprisonment of sleepiness.

Vivid sensations overlaid on the disoriented canvas of wakefulness.

Alone in a crowd, surrounded by unfamiliar faces leering of judgment.

The cacophony of existence silenced by an abundance of thought.

Sunshine and cloudless days enveloped in a fog of confusion.

Strength projected hiding the emotional muscle loss of cataplexy.

Abundantly rare searching for those embracing this life of narcolepsy.

Thank you, Matt, for sharing your poetry. Hear Matt’s narcolepsy story in his own words via his Rising Voices of Narcolepsy Story Sharing Session. Connect with Matt on Instagram via @mhorsnell. Stay tuned – more poems from this incredibly creative community coming soon!

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3 Comments. Leave new

  • Thank you Matt for sharing your work with us!

  • Laurel Devere
    May 2, 2022 2:17 pm

    We’ll written and described perfectly for how the struggle feels. On good days I feel like there isn’t enough hours in the day to enjoy the high from tackling tasks and on a bad day I still feel I need more hours in the day because I can’t fully conquer a task. It’s a constant state of feeling incomplete. I appreciate your share, Matt!

  • Anne Taylor
    May 3, 2022 8:38 am

    Thank you Matt for so delicatly using your art to describe living with narcolepsy, I appreciate you so much and for ALL you do for this community. My daughters future living with Narcolepsy is better because of people like you


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