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I have Narcolepsy. I was diagnosed when I was in college, where I was sent home from school and put directly into the hospital.
The beginning of this was the bizarre dreams I was having. Dreams where reality was mixed with fantasy. I couldn’t wake up out of these dreams until I could get something moving on my body; such as moving my little finger, and then another finger and finally a hand, and suddenly, I could wake up.
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However, if I was to lay down again I would go right back into that dream sequence that captured me, not allowing me to break out of it. I would scream, in my head, hoping someone would hear me and come to wake me up. But, the few times someone heard me I would only be making these moaning or guttural noises, but not screaming.
The only way I can truly get out of going back into the sleep state is to get out of bed, wash my face with water, or go to the bathroom, and drink some water. Then, quite frankly, I’m afraid to go back to sleep for fear it will all start up again.
It doesn’t matter if it’s day or night, this can happen to me. I’ve not been able to tell if there is something that warns me I’m building up to this sleep disturbance event. Sometimes while being in this sleep state I feel like I’m suffocating, that I’m unable to breathe deeply; I can only breath shallowly.
Also, while in this dream state, especially if the TV is on, or noise of something is happening, I evidently mix reality with something fantastical, that is NOT reality, and this is what composes my dream; like a pot being stirred up with fragments of reality, fantasy, and whatever else can be thrown in there.
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This is extremely horrifying. Once, while in this dream state, I dreamt that someone was holding me from behind (while laying on the bed), and then something was thrust up through me (stake-like), all the while being held in place by this Being or Person. When I awoke I was in a state of panic, breathing so fast, my heart racing and I couldn’t go back to sleep because I was so afraid that would happen again.
This sleep impairment rules my life. I’m 65 now, and it hasn’t gotten any better. I won’t sleep with my hands tucked under me for fear I’ll go into one of my dream states and I won’t be able to break out of it. I also won’t sleep with my face too close to the pillow, or on my belly, of fear, I won’t be able to move and I’ll suffocate. I’m just so tired, all the time, from my lack of good sleep.
IT JUST MAKES ME AFRAID!