Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Sleep Paralysis: My Story

Photography not mine. Charlotte Godfrey
I have been wavering with the decision whether or not to talk about this subject since the very beginnings of this little blog of mine. Eventually I thought this may be a good opportunity to get things off my chest and unburden myself with the memories. It may also perhaps help others gain a greater understanding of what this "thing" is or lend an empathetic hand to another who may be experiencing this too. Here's my story.

It was surely around 2010 that I first had my terrifying experience. It was a generally stressful time coming to the end of year 10 and school work had taken its toll on me. Looking back I can see that factors like this contributed greatly to what was happening to me and continued for a few years after. It was time for me to go to sleep and to my knowledge it was an average night; my lights turned off but my tiny television on so it wasn't completely pitch black. Just how I liked it. I lay comfortable in my bed contented, with the feel of my face against my soft pillow. My mind flickered from thought to thought about school, boys, family, the usual things, all concluding my day and winding down for sleep. The ill-lit room turned into deep darkness as I slowly drifted into slumber. My awake state became more of a dream and my entire body began to gradually rise upwards from my bed. I was levitating. I was moving around the room, flying, spinning; until my subconscious mind questioned my elevation being controlled by me, but someone or something else. It was at this thought that my body felt firmly pressed to my mattress; so firmly that I could not move. I was paralysed. The only parts of my body that I could move were my eyes. They darted around the room searching for a way out. There was none. I was sinking deeper and deeper down into the bed, down past the floor, down underneath my house, down into the soil and to the core of the earth. I was drowning. There was a gargantuan pressure, a weight forcing down onto my chest that I struggled to breathe. With the breaths I could take I tried screaming for my mum and dad. "HELP!" I cried. To my knowledge, I was dying. The drowning began to suffice and as I lay still in my bed I thought it was over. This was until I began to hear something. I thought it may be my mum, did she hear my cries for help? Footsteps. They progressed louder. And louder. And louder. Until "it" was at my door. I watched the door slowly creep open. I remember being so terrified and desperately trying to shake out of my paralysis. There was something in the room, an energy. I could feel its presence and it was so close to me. Above me, next to me. It was all around. With all my strength I convulsed myself out of my stone-like prison and I sat up in bed, covered in sweat and panting like a dog. The door was still shut, the sheets were still wrapped around me, the television was still on. It took me a while to catch my breath but when I did ran into my parents room but they could not understand me beneath my tears. I did not understand me. At the time I could not put into words what had happened because it was alien to me. I did not sleep that night.

It happened again and again, sometimes worse, sometimes not so bad. Sometimes two or three times in one night. Sometimes I was able to shake myself out of it. Sometimes I was lying there for what seemed like an hour, terrified and frustrated. It deeply affected me in my day to day life as the lack of sleep made me incredibly fatigued at school and unable to focus on schoolwork. It also gave me a general air of malaise; I was a zombie. I was so scared of going to sleep at night. At the time I discovered a song by City & Colour called 'Sleeping 'Sickness' and it explained how I felt better than I ever could. The lyrics were "And I'm afraid to sleep because of what haunts me, such as living with the uncertainty that I'll never find the words to say that will completely explain how I'm breaking down". It sounds strange how a song could help so much, however I felt somewhat connected to it.

I needed to understand what was happening to me so I researched on the internet and it did not take me long to find so many other people across the world who were explaining the exact or similar situation. Some of the stories I had read from others felt like they were talking about me. This was when I realised it was called 'Sleep Paralysis'. It happened so often back then that I had to talk about it to my GP, who shrugged it off and barked at me that "Sleep Paralysis does not exist." Bullshit. I should have known I wouldn't have been taken seriously. So I had to take matters into my own hands and try to 'cure' myself.

It took me a couple of years to finally grow out of having these nightmarish experiences but I did find ways of helping myself. At the beginning I was having paralysis nearly every night of every week so I purchased some 'Kalms Sleep Herbal Tablets' that I took most nights and most of the time they did help. I sometimes wonder if they really did work or if it was more of a placebo effect. On the nights where nothing helped I found it helpful to sleep in a different room. So many nights I slept downstairs on the sofa. I'm not sure why this helped but it did. I went through a dormant period where I stopped having them, this was until I got to sixth form. Sixth form was one of the worst and toughest times of my life. The paralysis got so bad that nothing helped and I could only sleep in the day. This resulted in me quitting sixth form, of course along with a lot of other reasons. However, I was eventually able to stop the paralysis happening all together. I read online of a little trick someone had posted and that was to come out of it slowly. So when I was paralysed I focused on just moving my fingers, and then my wrists, and then my arms. Slowly but surely I was set free and if ever I had another it became easier and easier to break out. They came fewer until they were gone completely. I haven't had another for around 2-3 years now. And I'm so much happier.

I hope this helped anyone out there suffering from the same thing or helped anyone gain a better understanding of what happens. If you want to know more about it, a quick search on Google will give you all of the technical information - I'm not great at explaining that. Thanks so much for reading guys, your support means the world. If you have any questions feel free to ask away or if you want to talk about it privately I'd love to talk to you, just e-mail me at abieelucas@hotmail.co.uk
Has this ever happened to you?

Abiee x

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*This post was obviously not sponsored.
*Photography is not mine.

4 comments:

  1. Wow I'm glad you overcame this! I've experienced this myself so I know it's real, however mine was not to this degree. Mostly because it wasn't usually a scary situation (I remember one time I was surrounded by all the characters from 'My name is Earl' lmao). And it tended to happen when I napped during the day. I did have 'beings' or feel a presence around me which can be quite scary but after I stopped trying to fight it, they lessened for me.

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    1. It can be so scary can't it! My name is Earl hahaha that sounds really strange! At least yours weren't too bad :-) I'm glad you have overcome yours too! Best wishes xx

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  2. I've nominated you for the Liebster award you toad, fancy you.

    http://jessscanxo.blogspot.co.uk/

    xxx

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    1. Yaaaaay thanks fish :D I'll do it on Tuesday! :-) Fancy u 2! xxx

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Thanks for commenting! If you have a question the fastest way to contact me would be twitter @abieelucas feel free to say hello! :-)