The Relentless Paralysis of Sleep

The sounds, the mental noise. I know I am tired, I know I need sleep, but my mind won’t allow me. I plead for it to recognise my weary, worn-out body, tell it to please let me sleep. But it won’t.

I turn on my back, making my space comfortable. I shut my eyes, I focus on my breath – in, out, in, out, in – hold…. and out. I feel it’s calming me. Then I hear the noise, the other one; it hisses intermittently in my ears as my head falls under its spell and I know I must fight the demons that come when my mind is awake and my body slowly locks as it falls into paralysis.

I fight, using every bit of strength in my body to kick myself from its constricting grip. I don’t want to see the monsters, I don’t want to hear the moans that taunt me by calling my name. I’m able to move again, sighing, asking why it happens to me.. But, to date, I’ve found no answer I’m yet to believe.

So when the buzzing passes my ear, I know I am slipping down once more. Again, I muster all my will to pull myself from its nightmare hold.

I have to get up.

I go to the lounge, curling up on the sofa, hugging the pillows close to my head. I’m not out of danger yet, but at least I’m no longer in the room where this terror usually occurs.

How wrong was I.

Hissing and buzzing – like electricity scorching through my brain. I get up, so tired I almost fall, the frame of the door holds me. I rub my eyes as I decide whether to be safe, and opt for a decaf, or know through my many accounts of this, to give in and work.

I opt for decaf just in case it has passed.

I don’t distract myself yet, as I am consumed with exhaustion. So I give it one last shot, offing the light, resuming my place, closing my eyes and wishing for sleep.

I wait, almost holding my breath far too long; then a hand brushes my face, a buzz passes my ear again and I know that I am defeated. The sleep paralysis has taken over and I can fight it no more.

I pull myself up, the computer comes on, I make a strong coffee and I start to work.

Taking comfort in knowing tonight’s nightmare has ceased, I agree that later, I will sleep. Because by then, through enough experience, I know I’ll be able to rest… The omen of the night is now the past and just a shadow I want to forget…Again.

And I make another coffee.


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