My Experience with Sleep Paralysis

It’s almost too difficult to put into words.

Anyone that knows me or follows my social media is familiar with my depression/anxiety/OCD. I purposely put everything out there, in hopes that maybe someone that’s silently struggling won’t feel so alone.

I’ve had lots of treatment throughout the years. I’ve seen people, I’ve visited a psychologist, I’ve taken various medications to no avail. It’s all a part of finding what works best for me, a battle fought fairly.

After a couple of years, I finally found something that eased all three of my issues enough for me to function normally on the day-to-day.

It’s a medication called Effexor XR, which should be taken extra carefully– those withdrawal symptoms are no joke. I truly believe you should try out all forms of medication before you attempt this one. It’s a doozy.

Effexor XR has soothed a lot of my problems, but has also created one major issue in my life: sleep paralysis.

If you don’t know what sleep paralysis is, imagine your mind waking up before your body and not being able to physically move. Along with that craziness, imagine hallucinating the craziest shit.

It’s terrifying. And I experience it nearly every day.

It doesn’t get any easier, regardless of how often it happens.

Some nights I feel tears forming in my eyes because I want so desperately to get a good nights sleep, but I just can’t.

My mind will wake up and I will be able to see around the room, but my body can’t move no matter how hard I try. Sometimes my hallucinations involve seeing myself move, or envisioning demon-like creatures around me. Sometimes I hear sounds even if no one’s around. Anyone who hasn’t experienced it won’t know how horrifying it is until it happens to them. I hope it doesn’t.

One night it lasted so long I swore I was going to be glued in that position forever. I tried to yell for my mom, but nothing came out. My lips wouldn’t move. My eyes fixated on one object, and I tried to whisper for it to go away. Eventually it did.

The most defeating part? I can’t do anything about it. There’s no cure. No way to stop it from happening.

What am I supposed to do, choose between my happiness or between a good night’s rest?

Unfortunately, I’ve made that decision. For once, sleep didn’t win. My happiness comes first.

I imagine one day it won’t be so bad.

It can’t be.

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