Individual 10

"Most of the time when it happens I'm lying on my stomach, I feel awake but totally unable to move, no matter how hard I try. I panic and try to move and to breathe, but I can't move anything and can only breathe small shallow breaths. Panic rises and eventually, I gasp and jerk as movement is suddenly restored and I can breathe properly. However there was one time when I was on my back, and I felt paralysed and my eyes were closed, but I felt like I could open them. But I felt this insanely vivid feeling that something was watching me right over my bed.

It felt strangely crowded, and I didn't want to open my eyes until I could move again because I was sure I would see something. I'm always alone in bed when it happens, and as I'm usually on my back, I can't see much. But what I do see is completely unchanged, as far as I can remember.

I feel a deep panic, like a primal fear of something. I'm not sure what, I just get this feeling of wrongness that sticks in my gut, something that's so unmoving no matter what rational thoughts I have as if it's something beyond my normal consciousness like it's completely instinctual. The feeling disappears immediately when the episode ends. One time I did feel a very strong feeling of being watched, but that's not happened again yet.

There was also a sort of out of body experience which might be interesting. I had a nap for a bit and woke up thinking I was having a sleep paralysis episode at the time. I always try to wiggle my fingers when sleep paralysis happens, but when I wiggled my fingers this time it felt like they weren't meeting any resistance, from the bed or my other fingers. I open my eyes and I see stars all around me, with a purple haze like those photoshopped screensavers.

To this day it was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. I was just surrounded by cosmos, and it was so bright and it felt so real. But I looked down and I could see myself in my bed, extremely vividly. I panicked then because I genuinely felt as though I was dying and leaving my body. In my panic I reached down, all the while feeling like I was floating in water, and managed to grab myself.

I pulled myself down to my body and as soon as I touched my chest I shot up, sitting up in bed with a loud gasp, not like the regular sleep paralysis experiences where I struggle to breathe but out of sheer shock. I didn't know what to do with what happened, because as I said it felt freakishly real. But ultimately it left me feeling pretty positive. The experience - until I thought I had died and left my body - was total wonder and excitement and peace. It's only ever happened the once but I wish it would happen again because I'm just so curious about it."

Responsive image