Last night I had the most intense dream of nothing but malevolent abstraction, for the most part at least. I'm sure there was some context to the dream, but I forget now and that's not the point.
Sometime toward the end of my sleep, my brain seemed to “awaken” to the dream in process, but I couldn't break out of the dream. Suddenly, this became a frightening situation, because I could not distinguish reality from the dream state. Every time I thought I had broken out and was awake, I realized I HAD to be asleep still. The hallucinations of reality kept plaguing me until finally my mind was running rampant in circles with an impending sense of doom for the entire function of a human brain. It was like suddenly knowing you're retarded, but still being unable to express anything remotely coherent to prove your awareness of the handicap. Or, like motoring to the finish line on your electric wheelchair during the 800M at the Special Olympics, and then suddenly running out of battery, only to sit inches away from victory wondering why in the fuck your joystick stopped working because you had no idea your wheelchair even USED a battery. You don't even know what a battery IS. So, for negative or for positive, you just take a shit right there in your chair, expecting that to somehow propel you the rest of the way. But nothing happens, so your brain goes into a frenzy over a loss of self-control and intelligence. Previously, the only experience I could compare to this would be say, pledging a fraternity.
So then time seemed to go really REALLY slow, as my mind struggled to grasp onto anything real. I tried to speak aloud one of the sentences I was already saying in my dream, but my body was paralyzed, and my mouth would not move. My eyes might have even been open somehow, because I could “see” my room around me. Then I started having audible hallucinations that I WAS speaking aloud, and I suddenly got the overwhelming feeling that help could possibly be on the way, but almost in the guilty sense. Kind of like if you've ever dialed 911 and then questioned whether or not that was really necessary.
Eventually, I guess the trauma came to an overwhelming climax and I suddenly broke free into total awareness. I don't know whether to call it a “rude awakening” or a “polite awakening.”
I told my friend about it on AIM, and she mentioned something about lucid dreaming. I went to my now-co-dependent internet reference Wikipedia to learn more. Turns out what I experienced was almost the EXACT definition of sleep paralysis.
And I swear to god Freud, if you invented this shit, I'm going to kick your ass in Hell. Thanks to you, I have no choice but to return Saw II to Netflix without even watching it.
Update: I was reading the Wikipedia section about “Possible causes” for sleep paralysis, and I have identified 4 of 7 of those listed to apply to me directly before going to sleep.
1. Sleeping in a supine position (facing upwards) – That was how I woke up.
2. Irregular sleeping schedules; naps, sleeping in, sleep deprivation – Incredibly, my sleep was a combination of ALL 3 OF THESE. I had only 3 hours of sleep the night before, so I went to sleep at 6pm Tuesday to “take a nap” and ended up “sleeping in” until 1am. Very irregular indeed.
3. Sudden environmental/lifestyle changes – I moved to a new place today.
4. Low levels of melatonin may stop the depolarisation current in the nerves, which prevents the stimulation of the muscles – Melatonin apparently plays a strong role in regulating sleep-wake cycles (circadian rhythms). It's production is inhibited by light and permitted by darkness. I've been on a daytime sleeping schedule lately, but I spent almost all of Tuesday walking around outside in midday sunlight. I even commented to a number of friends that the amount of sunlight I was in contact with felt unnaturally strong, almost like I was on vacation at the beach.