Welcome to another coffee share. We’ve had some rain today so it’s cooler (a little bit), but still I’d rather recommend ice coffee than normal hot coffee.
If we were having coffee I’d ask everyone of you how you’re doing and what’s been going on for you…
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’ve had a rather rough week, particularly last days of it, but I’ll get into it later on.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you it was my aunt’s 40th birthday on Monday. I supposed she’d be doing something massive as it would be quite her style but there was only a small, or relatively small, family gathering. I planned not to go and just phone her and wish her happy birthday, but eventually I decided to go because she wouldn’t answer. We aren’t really getting along too well with that aunt, despite she’s my God mother and it wasn’t always this way, I guess our personalities clash totally and in a way are too similar, but on the other hand we’re too different in other aspects at the same time. And there was a minor but quite nasty incident with her that regarded me which left me feeling quite unstable, but I got over it rather quickly since it’s rather about her issues than mine or anyone else’s.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you I’ve started some collaboration with Nameberry. Don’t know yet what if anything will come out of it long term, but as you could notice I wrote a guest post for their blog. It was a lot of fun and I feel quite excited about it, and proud of myself cause I think the post is really good.
The following few paragraphs may be a bit lengthy and might feel hard or perhaps potentially triggering for someone, so if you feel uncomfortable just skip them.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you I had an awful, absolutely shitty day on Thursday. I just thought my brain will explode with anxiety, even on my extra anxiety meds, it was just nuts. That night my Mum couldn’t sleep so she came to me – ’cause if anyone can’t sleep in this house it’s of course usually me so she usually comes to me when she can’t sleep and checks if I’m up too so we can share the pain haha. She took a mattress with her and said it’s very hot in her room and whether she could sleep in mine, so I agreed. There was my poor Braille-Sense charging and the light was flickering so I told her she can switch it off and she did. Then we both fell asleep and slept rather soundly. But at like 6 Braille-Sense couldn’t stand it any longer and woke us up that it wants to eat. It’s so old it literally can’t make it without a recharger, even when you don’t do anything to him, a total addict. So I jumped out of the bed to shut him up immediately. Unfortunately Mum woke up too and decided it’s time for her to get up. We chatted for a while and she went out, I still felt quite sleepy though so went back to bed. Despite sleepiness, I couldn’t fall asleep for like 15 minutes, maybe a bit more. Usually, when I wake up at night but still want to get back to sleep but the break is too long, like 30 minutes or longer, and I still can’t fall asleep, I don’t try anymore, because then I usually end up with sleep paralysis. But it was just like about 15 minutes and I definitely felt like I still could use some sleep. I guess my brain was in a rather malicious mood and it wouldn’t let me. Instead, I did fall into sleep paralysis. Sometimes it lasts longer, I can notice when I float away and with some physical and mental effort get away from there, but this time it all just happened so rapidly, plus like I said I felt sleepy so didn’t fully realise when my sleepiness turned out into floatiness and everything felt distant, gloomy. It was only when I felt that awful, huge wave of anxiety washing over me, actually filling in the atmosphere arund me, that I realised what’s going on, and it was way too late. My brain felt tired and floaty, my consciousness started to change in that weird way and my limbs felt heavy. I started to feel dizzy and slip down into the darkness with light speed, I actually never was falling so quickly before, or can’t remember.
I won’t go into details as for what happened next, I mean as for the exact content, because it’s incredibly hard to describe those, hm, “dreams”, first because it’s just all so abstractive, elusive, subjective, but also because it’s just too scary. Sometimes I feel I maybe should write about it in detail somewhere or talk to someone but it’s always too scary and way too hard to describe. But what I can tell you is that it was al full of anxiety, doom and gloom. I feel like maybe in other circumstances it wouldn’t be so scary, it’s mainly just the atmosphere of anxiety and inevitable danger around that makes it so horrifying, most of the anxiety provoking things are actually things I was very afraid of in childhood, now either not so much (in real life) or I just don’t have contact with these things anymore. These dreams are full of very anxiety provoking, aggressive sounds, don’t know if they’d sound so for everyone, but so are they for me, often with very intricate, gloomy harmonies. All those anxiety stimuli are actually weirdly personified, they’re all like real people, spirting with hatred towards me and doing everything in their might to make me feel more helpless.
Besides all those anxieties, there’s also often some plot in those dreams, often very chaotic and consisting of single, not related, scary events, although I’ve been having those dreams since very early childhood and at the beginning they were always very schematic and predictable.
I actually don’t know if it’s exactly sleep paralysis, because people who have sleep paralysis usually seem to have full consciousness, while in my case it’s like I’m half-conscious most of the time, and often things that happen in the outside world mix quite creepily with my dreams. Sometimes I am only aware that I am dreaming, or sometimes I have sort of two perspectives – one is inner where I only see what’s in my dreams, and another is where I only can see what’s on the outside, can hear the music, people talking, but obviously can’t interact or anything. Sometimes I know I am dreaming but I don’t know what’s going on on the outside and my brain makes up things that don’t happen, but are very, very, very realistic. Also, people with sleep paralysis often have a sensation that someone or something is literaly sitting on them, like they feel strong pressure which makes breathing harder. For me breathing in those dreams is often very difficult but I had this pressure only once, however I’ve had the motive of someone assailing me, knocking me off, wanting to harm me physically, not letting me move etc. But I too, like many people with this condition often feel some sense of someone’s presence before I fully fall into it and am having other sorts of delusions before it really starts. Besides those people with sleep paralysis I know of usually feel very frustrated with not being able to move, they are aware they can’t move, while I often am not aware that I can’t. I see myself doing different things in dreams, hear myself screaming, fighting with my dream “friends”, getting up, etc. while in fact nothing happens and I’m just lying. Sometimes it may be that I dream I am going to my Mum to help me, and then another creepy thing happens, making me realise I’m still at the very same dead point I was before and no one is going to help me except for myself. I dream I am turning on music on my Plextalk to get rid of the nasty sounds and the anxiety but of course since I can’t move my hands I don’t do it in reality, so either my Plextalk also is against me, or doesn’t work, or something creepy happens. Also some other things don’t look exactly like sleep paralysis but I don’t know what else it could be and still it’s incredibly similar to what I experience so that’s why I call it this way, since I didn’t know for years what it actually is, I just thought everyone’s nightmares look this way for a long time.
And what’s very characteristic to those dreams for me lately, and the most exhausting I guess, are false awakenings. I just hate them so much.
If you don’t know what a false awakening is, although I guess it’s pretty easy to guess, imagine that you sleep happily, or not happily, doesn’t matter, then you get up as every normal human being, do your morning routines, go out to work, or do whatever else, and out of the blue you realise you’ve been in your bed all the time and it was just a dream. Incredibly realistic, with all the things you do during the day, just in the same order as you do them, with people saying normal things, the only abnormal thing being it was just a dream. And, if you’re particularly lucky and dreamy, then it can go over and over and over again. Wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast… back in bed…
And so it is often for me, only that if it happens during sleep paralysis, it occurs in a very scary form.
I scream, fight, run away, choke, fall down, rise up, do whatever to just survive, and then… boom! it’s as if you fell down from somewhere high on your bed. Oh, great, so I’m awake! Thanks Goodness, finally! Get up, get dressed, feed Misha, and suddenly… hmm, where did actually Misha disappear? he was right in front of me a second ago wasn’t he? But now it’s not Misha, but one of my dream “friends” right in front of me, laughing at me like crazy, everything is dizzy and I slip back right where I was before. Etc. etc. etc. in the same pattern.
But most often it’s like I am in there, in my dreams, and desperately want to get back to life, try to move, test whether everything around me is real or not, do anything to get rid of the floatiness in my brain and get closer to the real world. I often hear people calling me, like my Mum waking me up, even if it is not true, motivate myself to get up and… finally I manage. I am glad, but still the anxiety flows everywhere I feel floaty, and often even like I was still in some way paralysed, like I wouldn’t have much control over my moves or something. But I try to not care, or ignore it completely, usually in this situation I go to whoever is around to help me and make me feel safer, although I never do this when I really wake up. They often help me, are very compassionate, sometimes are cruel and turns out they’re collaborating with my dreammates, like when I was a kid I once dreamt that my Mum wanted to cut my foot because they forced her. 😀 Sometimes they don’t want to cooperate with them but have to, sometimes they’re very willing. Whatever happens though, finally I always slip back there, scared and disappointed, and confused as for what is real. Sometimes it is so that I may live my “normal” life for quite long and then finally realise that something doesn’t really look very realistic and that then it has to mean it is a dream, and then everything starts over with a lot of chaos. Usually then I see some creepy scenes not necessarily with me in one of the main roles, often as an observer. And then again I’m scared and want to wake up, gradually more and more confused as for what is real, am I sleeping or awake, what’s generally going on.
Often after that episode I’m exhausted and fall into very deep, heavy sleep, sometimes it’s completely dreamless and sometimes I have some disturbing bad or weird dreams, but rather mildly bad in comparison to the sleep paralysis. But despite it’s so heavy it’s rarely really good sleep.
When I finally wake up for good, I am usually very puzzled for a little while and obviously usually feel a lot of anxiety, but it usually passes away quickly. I mean, I can be anxious for quite a while, but not as much as when I wake up, when it can be really really high. I usually get over it quickly.
But the last time, that Thursday morning, it waas a hardcore. It lasted for like THREE HOURS, I fel like it was scarier than ever. I have very good dream memory, which is also a blessing in many circumstances, but when I woke up after all that and remembered what I dreamt about, it was hard to get over it and get some distance to it, just feeling relief that it was only a dream. When I wake up for real, after all those false awakenings, I always know well I’m awake and am no longer confused, but last time I started to wonder. What if I am still asleep? Deep down I knew it’s over, but what if not? What if some day I’ll wake up and just won’t be able to tell what’s real from what’s not? It scared me even more.
I went downstairs still feeling a bit floaty from the dream and very scared, tired as if I really was fighting with someone for three hours and unsettled. Mum was in the kitchen and said she couldn’t wait for me to come and that now I am surely well rested after so much sleep. She said she was in my room twice and I slept so heavily. I guess I could hear her once, or it was my imagination.
I usually try not to make too much drama around my dreams because I know there isn’t any universal cure for it and that it always distresses my Mum cause she doesn’t know what to do about it and feels helpless, but this time it was that little bit too much to bear for me. I felt shaky like jelly and couldn’t stop tears from falling so she was quite amazed what’s going on, and it took her a while to get it out of me because I was a real real mess. I took all my anxiety meds, I mean two pills of my basic one and one of the extra med, but I was still shaky, my head was hurting like a bitch, and I felt like a true drama queen because it was actually Mum’s nameday so the guests were about to come. Poor Zofijka was looking around puzzled askign everyone what happened and not getting any consistent answer. Finally I managed to take a long bath and then Mum sent me back to bed although I was really anxious as for that since I didn’t want to get trapped by my beautiful brain again.
I was so tired that I did fall asleep almost immediately but slept very soundly. Things have changed a little bit after I woke up, I mean outside, not so much inside, I was still in pieces and very hypervigilant and all. But felt good enough to get down to the guests for a while and keep a socially decent and logical conversation.
I got back to my room and then I realised the cold, hard truth… the Internet was off! That meant a really hard day for me. After those dreams I am always very sensitive as for silence and can’t stand it, same as some particular sounds. Most of my music was online. Most of things I could do at that moment to distract myself the best were online, particularly now as the guests were in. Smalltalk isn’t particularly stimulating nor distracting for me and I would rather feel bored, and I couldn’t ask my parents for any help as they were with them, and Zofijka was playing with other kids who came in. Misha always escapes when too many people are around, and usually to my room, but when they came I was asleep and my room was closed so he went somewhere else and I didn’t know where he was. So there weren’t many things I could do, I was mostly reading, and listening to music I had, helped Mum in the kitchen afterwards, but was still incredibly tense and overloaded. It was just so horrifying, I haven’t feel such extreme things for a long while before then.
The Internet hasn’t come back even at night, so again I was left to only my own resources, and night was twice as hard, even though sometime later on Misha had mercy on me and came to me. It was nightmare and I had a feeling I’m just going crazy and things won’t be as they were before anymore, that I’ll just always live with such high level of anxiety. Needless to say I didn’t even try to fall asleep, quite the opposite.
The next day it was slightly better though. And you know what turned out then? My brilliant Mum, when she slept in my room, she messed up with the router somehow while she was switching things off. And it only needed to be rebooted. It was funny but also frustrating because I really needed some distraction that day and Mum told me there is probably some more general damage like at our Internet provider or something, so I just accepted it and didn’t even try to fix it myself. 😀
I was still very anxious, but since I had many more productive things to do then, and some time has passed, it was much more manageable.
And so it is now. I still haven’t recovered fuly from that nasty episode, I feel. But I am a bit more stable and don’t freak out without Misha.
I wonder what was actually going on with those dreams. Was it just an accident it was so long and so rough, just a random thing, or is something changing and it is going to get worse? If so, I think I’ll really need to try hitting it with antidepressants, I once saw a neurologist for that and she said it sometimes works for people, but then I decided I will try to handle it with some better sleep hygiene and stuff. But if you have messed up sleep cycle by nature, regular sleeping and waking up and maintaining sleep hygiene isn’t always that easy, so I guess the time for antidepressants will finaly come sooner or later, even though I haven’t heard about people for whom it would be helpful. But it shouldn’t be harmful, so I guess I’ll try if it’s going to stay this way.
If we were having coffee I’d tel you today is my friend’s 1st death anniversary. Man I still can’t believe he’s dead. I never told you about that, I feel weird talking about his death still, not like I can’t accept it but like it’s just so weird to talk about him that he’s dead. I am talking about Jacek, that Jacek who was writing the novel about vikings. He was such a lively, energetic person, always full of ideas and so bubbly. But he got osteosarcoma and then there were some nasty metastases, it just progressed very quickly. I couldn’t get it for weeks that he was dead, and still my brain doesn’t fully get it I guess. I will maybe do some longer post in memory of him, because he was such a remarkable man, I need to think about this. He was only 25 when he died. And he told me he’s going to Valhalla. 🙂
And quite in the same topic, if we were having coffee I’d tell you that yesterday my friend wrote to me, with whom I haven’t have any contact since before Jacek has passed away. She is our mutual friend Jacek’s and mine. She is Swedish – Jacek had lots of friends in Sweden and Finland and I’ve met some interesting people via him – and this particular girl I met when we were all three collaborating on Jacek’s online radiostation, I was volunteeering as a sound engineer there and has learned a lot during that short episode, about broadcasting, vikings, not to mention sound engineering, and many other things. And that girl, Annika, she was one of the presenters and that’s how we met online. She is a Slavic languages freak and has been learning Polish and other Slavic languages since early childhood just as it’s been with my Swedish. ANyway. We were never very close because we just knew each other through Jacek, but I’ve always liked her, she’s really sweet and down to earth. We haven’t talked almost at all since Jacek’s death though, there just weren’t any occasion. And I was greatly surprised seeing a message from her. She wrote to me to say she’ll be getting married soon. With a Pole, haha. And I am very happy she shared it with me and that I could catch up on her, and that she seems to be in a happy and already quite long lasting relationship. And because it was so close to Jacek’s death anniversary we also talked about this in length. And seems like we both feel the same way about this, that we don’t quite believe it yet. I was really glad to be able to write with her for a while. And it’s so cool she’ll be living in Poland for good now.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you we went to the beach today. My parents, Zofijka, me, and uncle and aunt, from Dad’s side. But, turns out, we’re incredibly lucky. We’ve been having an incredibly hot week, but due to various things happening we couldn’t go to the beach earlier, so we just waited for Sunday to come. and, as soon as we came to the beach, the rain started falling. We were all wet and me and Zofijka were feeling very cold and now we both have sore throat, I hope we won’t be sick. 😀 Moreover, when we came home, got rid of all the mud we’ve brought in, showered and stuff, the clouds disappeared and it’s hot again, only more humid. Isn’t that a pure luck? 😀 Mum has some sort of ear infection, I actually was telling her not to go to the beach with it as it could only get worse, and it looks like it did get worse, she’s barely hearing on that ear. She tried using geranium for it and other home remedies, but looks like our lifestyle guru will have to see a laryngologist, probably tomorrow.
And if we were having coffee I’d tell you that Mum went to a coeliac disease specialist last Wednesday, but it looks like her referral didn’t get through to them. So now she’ll go to another one that can see her much quicker, on Tuesday, and without a referral. So she’ll have a real health week. But I hope the news she’ll get will be good.
What would you tell me if we were having coffee? 🙂