Everyone has heard of sleep paralysis, hell, more than half of you have probably experienced it yourself and we can all agree it’s not the most pleasant thing in the world. But how bad does it get? You’d think seeing couple of demons dancing around your room or a shadowy creature whispering your name is the most frightening thing, then you wake up all sweaty and chat about what happened with some friends. I’m not saying it’s not scary, but have you ever stopped and truly wondered what’s the biggest fear one can feel? I’ll tell you this, one pitiful, imaginary entity trying to kill you for a few minutes is nothing compared to what happens when those dreams don’t die when you awake.
It starts different for each person, sometimes it’s a teenagers sleep deprivation from watching too many series or playing too many games, for some it’s plain old psychological stress or even severe cases of narcolepsy. Also the way it manifests can’t be predicted and can range from seeing and hearing things when you’re wide awake to being physically in pain for no medical reason. Some of the side effects can also be feeling nauseous, anxiety, nose bleeding and so on. I can keep talking about symptoms for days, but it’s pointless, god knows how many of them exist. I can only tell you how it happened for me.
At first I started going to bed extremely late, sometimes even after 7-8AM and developed a habit of sleeping through the entire following day, which honestly wasn’t too bad since I still managed to get a decent amount of sleep. The first problems started appearing when school came along and during morning shifts I usually didn’t sleep for more than two hours. After two weeks the first sleep paralysis came along. Upon “waking up”, there was some tall black figure, much like the famous Slenderman, standing in the hallway. It didn’t do anything besides staring at me for a solid five minutes. But what gave the situation a more frightening kick was the toxic yellow light surrounding it, as well as my inability to move or speak. I was simply condemned to lying down helpless and being watched. It took me a solid ten minutes to clear my thoughts and move on with my day. But the worst was yet to come.
You’d expect sleep deprivation would be the cause, but it was the other way around. During this year I’ve started living alone in my own apartment and as summer vacation came along there wasn’t much to do. Also I hate the burning sun so going out before 4PM is a no for me. And so I started sleeping too much. But not in a healthy way, no, I’ve started waking up and delaying my alarm clock for hours on end and interrupting my sleep and dreams every fifteen minutes. Things were slowly getting worse as sometimes I was unable to distinguish what’s real and what was just a dream. At first there were small things, I’d wake up thinking I have responded to all of my messages only to find out later that I’ve only read them and dreamed about responding. Then came a time where I’d wake up convinced someone died because of me after some wild dream and had to check up on them to make sure. And then after things going from bad to worst they finally escalated to unimaginable hell one morning.
I’ve been talking, for what seemed like an hour, with one of my closest friends and all of a sudden got a feeling that something is terribly wrong. Being used to weird events after the past week I simply asked: “You’re not real, are you?”, after which he just evaporated from my sight and left me to stare at the wall for what felt like an eternity. Then followed a series of fake awakenings each one filled with bloody scenes and super creepy creatures. After they all ended I came face to face with the mentioned friend once again, only to have a demon take his place and grin at me. Finally awake I moved one with my day normally. That is until I met with that friend and noticed that his voice and gestures were different. All the time I was talking to him an uneasy feeling followed me. I couldn’t wait to go home and be alone again. And then day after they a similar thing happened with numerous people, it felt like my subconsciousness was acting up, telling me not to trust the ones close to me. I couldn’t endure talking to anyone for longer than a few minutes and pushed everyone away. Spending my nights alone in the dark was only making things worse and it a repeating cycle that started to drive me crazy, all up until the point where I wasn’t sure if everything was just a bad dream.
Although I broke free from that misery by getting my sleep schedule and thoughts in order, there are still times when I talk to a person and see a demon smiling at me, staring into my eyes eagerly, almost as if he is waiting for me, waiting for dark dreams to take over my mind once again.
The picture was made by my best friend specially for this story, hope you like it! :)