Thursday 19 November 2009


Come home, pass out, wake up paralyzed, hallucinate: story of my life.

Right now I'm sitting here with this headache, which is most likely caused by the three hour nap I just endured - yeah, endured.

At several points I woke up, thinking I should get up and get moving, studying for my test tomorrow or writing an article. I couldn't. It's not that I'm too lazy or I was too tired, my legs wouldn't move... and neither would my arms, or my fingers, or my toes, or anything.

Once during this nap, I thought my dad was trying to wake me up. I tried to tell him that I couldn't, because I couldn't move, but he didn't understand. Of course none of this actually happened, because I'm in Albany and my dad is in Rochester. Was it a dream then?

No, it's sleep paralysis, the most bizarre part of my life. I wake up, cannot move for a few minutes, and then either fall back to sleep or regain movement. During these episodes it's not uncommon for me or anyone else, let me stress, to see hallucinations or hear voices. In fact, these hallucinations often cause people to pass such experiences off as dreams. At a young age, when I would wake up immobile to images of monsters and the like hanging over me, I certainly thought I was simply cursed with horrible nightmares. Most people experience sleep paralysis at least once in their life. It doesn't mean anything serious, health-wise, unless it happens often.

Since I've been at college, I've experienced this at least twice a week, and sometimes several times a day. I struggle to go a whole a day without napping, and sometimes awake totally disoriented and confused (and my roommate Bridget will tell you, sometimes incredibly bitchy). I even had a Tyler Durden moment: upon waking up, I had a full conversation with Bridget one night before falling back to sleep. I had no recollection.

What does this mean? Well I think it means I'm narcoleptic. The frustration of this is waking up at 4 O'clock in the afternoon, after lying down to watch TV for a moment, finding myself out of it and dazed. It's frustrating to wake up at 5 O'clock, to a dark sky, when I planned on running around campus that afternoon. The most frustrating part is when I actually do make it through an afternoon, and I finally get to spend time outside, being productive, doing something with my day; I realize everyday could be like that, but for me, it isn't. I'm an active person, but this issue makes me feel as though I'm sleeping through life.

Hopefully I'll get some answers when I go to my doctor over Thanksgiving. This is a big step for me - anyone who knows me knows I'm not a fan of asking for help.

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