,, In all disorder, a secret order. — Carl Jung

oh the horror,, , //a sleep paralysis story

John Henry Fuseli – The Nightmare

Last night I fell asleep with no problems. Ease; letting go the intense mind crunch & instead surrendering into that blissful non-thoughts phantastic we all have at the edge of asleep.  Hypnagogic consciousness, it’s called, the falling asleep mind still churning. But that’s not where our story begins.
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Episodes of sleep paralysis are made up of a feeling of being paralyzed upon waking or falling asleep. In other words, the mind is awake while the body is not. It can be accompanied by hallucinations & occurs primarily in sufferers of narcolepsy & sleep apnea; though it is common enough in healthy people too.

Where do I fit into this? It happens that I have had my run in with the hideous monster that is sleep paralysis many a’time. It started in high school. I didn’t know what was happening to me, only that I was waking up in a body that was not reacting to my commands. //I’d thought this was it, I’m dying. I’d thought oh my god, is this life now?

800px-John_Henry_Fuseli_-_The_Nightmare

John Henry Fuseli – The Nightmare

My ultimate fear: paralysis. ,,Struggling to move, mustering up muscles that seemed exhausted, & which exhausted me to squeeze them, gather the courage & strength, & holding it, holding,.. & finally

TWITCH.

I’d wake up gasping. Alone & terrified. What had happened? I did my research & came back with the term sleep paralysis. I sat in my dark childhood bedroom, monkey faces on my pj bottoms, face lit by the chunky computer monitor’s light, & thought: What else could go wrong? What else could happen?

In the years to follow I would be finding myself in a state of sleep paralysis nearly every night on & off months at a time: The self-mind chaotically thrashing about while the imagination, in such proximity of the dreaming-self, explodes in hallucinations of any or all types. Tactile, auditory, visual (for those times I could pry my eyes open. A mistake.)
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wp-1486920952994.jpgOkay, but to fast forward: The night before last I had a particularly bad series of sleep paralysis episodes. ,,I fell asleep my usual 8:45 (don’t judge me) with no trouble, as usual. I have, actually, a very healthy sleep schedule. In the last year I’ve settled into the very old person routine of passing out around 8:30/9ish, & waking up around 7a. Work or no work. That night, I’d thought as I settled into the boyf’s comfy bed, would be no different.

I woke around 11p.

Sky rocketed into my body, the thing vibrating in vertigo as I felt myself sliding, or being pulled, away from the boyf & instead into their Bad Place. I screamed, but only in my mind. I tore at the air, feeling them coming closer, clawing, trying to protect the parts of me I could feel being uncovered by the very real blanket shared between us. It was no use. //I retched, but only in my mind. I felt like spinning sick & dizzy. I felt like my soul was exposed & for the taking.

Later, the boyf would tell me (we were holding hands) that I was digging my nails into him. I’d nearly gasped when he told me, dramatic. Slowly I’d thought, “I was trying to. Oh my god, I thought I was hallucinating the sensation…..” I’d thought, “What’s real?”

I woke up about a million times that night, only to fall right back into the horrible sensation & paralyzed body; the incubus smothering me, touching me. I finally settled around midnight, falling into a deep sleep with vivid, terrible dreams.
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So hey, you read me up to this far & might be wondering what the point of this piece is, right? Well,, , ,,I woke up to real-life vertigo, had to go to urgent care to get checked out & have a sneaking suspicion about narcolepsy. Moral of the story: If you suffer from sleep paralysis, your best bet is to relax your body & mind into it. If you struggle, anxiety will bring out the demons. Think good vibes, & you’ll escape unscathed. Also make an appointment with the sleep doctor. I just did.

AR

 

 

 

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