Hypnagogia and/or Hypnopompic

I didn’t realize these conditions had actual names. I always just said I was half awake and half asleep. I’m not sure if my hallucinations come as I fall asleep (hypnagogia) or as I wake up (hypnopompic). Either way it sucks.

I used to have this happen a lot when I was much younger. It happened off and on over the years, especially during periods of great stress. It hasn’t happened for a long time, but last night was terrible!

The most common hallucination I would have when younger was that I am in bed but not really asleep or awake. I am looking in my room and am aware I’m not really sleeping. But, I can’t move or make a sound. I feel someone/something crawl into my bed and hug me very tightly. I can barely breath and I actually smell this thing! I know it’s evil. I wake suddenly and it takes a long time to shake off the feeling. I had a lot of sleepless nights from this. Another one was a giant spider in my room, slowly advancing and I couldn’t do a thing about it.

Last night was different. I am not really able to move and I am staring towards the bedroom door. The room is pretty dark, but I can still see an outline of what looks like a skinny man. The shadow man is much darker than the room and it is clear. He/she/whatever slowly approaches me. The arms are so thin and the fingers are long with claws at the end. Suddenly, a blindingly bright light is flashing in my face and that startles me out of the trance. It happened three times between 12:30am and 3:00am. I tried to stay awake but would start to doze off and it would happen. I was so upset after the third time that I made myself get up and didn’t try to sleep again.

I am going to have to do whatever I can to not think too much about this or tonight might not be much better. I have a headache today and I am so tired. I am hoping for a better night tonight!

The Thing About (my) Depression

For whatever reason, I have been having deep thoughts. Well, as deep as they can get for me that is. Most of the time (actually, all of the time) I just think these thoughts and move on but I don’t share them. Lately, I have been posting some of my random deep thoughts on my Facebook page just to release them to the universe. I find as I get older I no longer care if anyone agrees with me or not. I just say my piece and move along.

I can’t remember a time in my life that I didn’t fight depression. It always seemed like I was constantly digging myself out of this deep, dark hole. I was alone in that hole and there was little hope that I would ever get out. At times, I would actually see myself in a hole, such as a deep well, and I would look up. I saw people looking down at me and I wanted to be up in the light with them! I just didn’t know how to get there. I climbed but fell back down. I would dig, but never seemed to make progress.

At some point, not that long ago, I discovered that the people looking down at me were talking. They were shouting at me! Could they be giving me encouragement or support? Maybe, they had ideas of how I can get out of the dark hole! Perhaps I needed to listen to them. I needed to concentrate on their words.

The joke was on me. It turns out that every one of those people looking down at me and yelling was me! I have always been my worse enemy, I just didn’t know it (or at least I didn’t acknowledge it) for most of my life. When I fell into that dang hole, I would look down at myself and cuss myself out. The many clones of me would shout down all of my failures so I would not forgive myself. They would tell me that it will never be light, that I did not live up to what was expected of me. When I would get close to getting out of that hole, they would shove me back in!

Society has rules of how your life should go. If you don’t fit into that mold, this world can be a cruel place. There are certain expectations we are expected to live up to as our lives progress. I always had trouble understanding and following those rules. I wanted to, but my friend OCD made it so very, very hard. I failed over and over again to live up to the expectations.

Or did I?

My mother used to tell me I was too sensitive. I found problems where there were none. I “borrowed trouble”, as she put it. She was so right. I was and still am my worst enemy. But, as I get older, I have slowly let those voices go. The ones that tell me I never did what society expected. All of that seems less and less important. Now, when I fall into that dark place, it’s mostly from worry about what will happen to my kids when I’m gone. They both struggle so hard with the same dang depression and OCD that I did.

The world, our society, even your family and friends, might have opinions on what you should do with your life. Opinions on how you should feel and act. They all want to guide your beliefs to align with theirs. If you don’t, you are odd man out and you might get shoved into that dark hole alone.

That’s okay. If you are not hurting yourself or anyone else with your beliefs and with your life choices, then it doesn’t matter what those other voices say. And do NOT listen to those clones of yourself when they try to yell down at you from up above. The world is harsh enough without beating yourself up about every decision you have made. Turn those voices off, one by one, and your dark hole will slowly fill in.