I woke up screaming again last night. I thought my night terrors had run their course and they would be over for good. I was wrong.
Let me explain: I’ve always had problems with sleeping, I can be dog tired but as soon as my head hits the pillow I’m wide awake again. Or I’ll fall asleep just to wake up every half an hour. Or I’ll lay awake all night then just as I finally start to drift off my alarm will go off. This went on for years until I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and prescribed medication to help me sleep; 30mg of Amitriptyline before bed to help me have proper, refreshing sleep. That was 6 years ago, at the last doctors visit I was up to 150mg a day and they were starting to need increasing again. They don’t particularly work to be honest and they give me a terrible hangover. The last straw came when having a severe bout of Labyrinthitis the doc couldn’t prescribe me anything because they’d interfere terribly with my meds, so I thought “Fuck this! They’re clearly not working properly, preventing me from taking other much needed pills and causing a bunch of unwanted side effects. That’s it! No more!” and since then I’ve been reducing them steadily, luckily without side effects, or so I thought.
I started with sleep paralysis about 3 years ago. Eyes wide open but still in a dream state, seeing the room as normal but unable to move. Not fun but not awful. Then one time I woke up picking kittens off my husband and thinking it was completely rational until my brain finally caught up with the rest of me and fully came round. Again, not awful and slightly funny. Then it took a turn for the worse, I’d wake up screaming or shouting because I’d see spiders crawling on my pillow or hanging from a web near my head, shadow people moving around the room or faces appearing at my bedside. It became quite frequent, once or twice a week for about 3 months then it gradually slowed down to nothing, except for the odd occasion, about 6 months ago. But now they seem to have started up again, I’ve been seeing the spiders again but my sleep brain has cottoned on to what’s happening and I can just ignore them or push them away, literally not figuratively, so a lot easier to deal with. Then last night it got worse. It was possibly the most frightened I’ve been in a long time. My entire body was trying to fight off the paralysis so I could get away from this “being” that was trying to attack me where I lay, it was closer than any of the other manifestations have ever gotten. I don’t know if I woke myself up screaming or whether Adam had to wake me up to shut me up, but all I know is that I was breathless and sweating and on the verge of tears. I could only apologise and try to go back to sleep despite still feeling terrified.
So what does this all mean? Is there some deep rooted fear of something that manifests itself in my sleep causing me to be an insomniac? Are the drugs responsible for the terrors? Is it just another symptom of CFS? Is this just the path my sleep problems are taking now I’m getting older, and will this continue to get worse? I don’t know and I’ll probably never have a real answer. I’ll just keep plodding on until whatever’s after me in my dreams either finally catches me, or I blow its fucking brains out with a dream shotgun.
This is the guy I saw hovering over me. What a bastard!