My Twisted Fairytale: A Poem by Shelby Stein

I feel like a princess locked in a tower. 
My Narcolepsy is my dragon guard.
My weight loss is the lava moat that makes me cower more.
My evil witch is merely my medicine,
At first we didn’t see the harm,
For it had a magic disguise to seem so beautiful.
My poison apple of my story is this place I’m in.
All those cute animals represent my friends.
And now the magic mirror on the wall shows me their true form,
As they reside in the dark.
My fairy godmother is that flame with in me that refuses to die.
The prince I long await is no man at all.
But time, time for things to fix and level out,
Time for things to get better,
Then I will wear my tiara proudly.
Once my dragon sleeps,
The lava becomes rock,
The witch’s curse is broken,
I rid of the poison apple,
I befriend people not shape shifters,
My fairy godmother no longer needs to struggle,
And the magic mirror breaks,
Because that is when my fight is over.
That is when I will truly be a princess!

About the poet:
Shelby Stein is a 17 year old living in Texas. She was diagnosed with narcolepsy with cataplexy last year at age 16. Her symptoms started before the 7th grade, but her family had no idea that these symptoms could possibly be narcolepsy. Shelby is a military child with her father deploying every other year since 2005. She loves to write and wants people to understand her narcolepsy without letting it define her. 

REMRunner’s note:
Thank you, Shelby, for sharing your powerful poetry! It gives me chills and brings tears to my eyes. From one “Sleeping Beauty” to another, I’m cheering you on! 

More Narcolepsy Poetry:
Tears on My Face by Elizabeth Olsen
A Narco’s Tale by Maureen Caden


  1. Sharron on June 1, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Thank you for sharing, Shelby. I loved your poem.

    • julie on June 6, 2013 at 6:54 pm

      Thank you for reading and leaving this comment, Sharron!

  2. Johnnetta on June 3, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    That was beautiful. I work for SDS pharmacy and I deal w/ narcolepsy patients everyday. I read and loved Julie’s book Wide Awake and Dreaming. I was privileged to also meet her in person and I think it’s wonderful that you all speak out about living with this condition. I enjoyed your poem, it gives me a better perspective of what you all go through everyday. I can better connect with patients and it makes me feel blessed to have a part in helping make people’s lives better. You are in my prayers. Keep speaking and giving a real voice to narcolepsy!

    • julie on June 6, 2013 at 6:56 pm

      Thank you so much for your support, Johnnetta! It was an honor to speak at the SDS pharmacy. I’m SO glad you enjoyed my book too. Thank you for helping patients with narcolepsy everyday! Big smiles and many thanks, Julie

  3. A Narco’s Tale: A Poem by Maureen Caden on June 27, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    […] inspiring narcolepsy poetry:My Twisted Fairytale by Shelby SteinTears on My Face by Elizabeth Olsen […]

  4. Things I love: Powerful Poetry on June 27, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    […] Narcolepsy Poetry:My Twisted Fairytale by Shelby SheinA Narco’s Tale by Maureen Caden […]

  5. Callie on July 11, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    I am so glad that Shelby shared this poem! What I was most affected by was the things that she shared about herself. I’ve had similar experiences with my symptoms in my life, although they are not the same as hers. What completely echoed with me though, was the last line, “wants people to understand her narcolepsy without letting it define her”. That has got to be my biggest struggle. Especially as a 17 year old who is still trying to figure out who I am, narcolepsy is not helping out with that at all! It was nice to know that I’m not alone in feeling that way. 🙂 To the point of this whole comment: thank you Shelby!

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