July 17, 2019; 11:33 PM

Oh no. It’s here. And it’s close this time. Really close. Right above me. Bent over and looking at me like it’s a coroner during an autopsy. And I’m just as useful as the corpse right now. It gets closer and closer to me. And the more it does, the more its form seems to break down. The edges of its shadow form seem frayed like some old blanket. Edges just waving off into nothingness. 

I don’t want it here, but I can’t so much as shrink away as it reaches down with something that resembles a hand. No fingers. Just a black slab. It creeps along, not in any rush; it knows that I’m not going anywhere. I do nothing but stare ahead, taking it all in. My eyes rest on my bedside table where the picture lays face side down. Just the way it’s been for months now. I don’t know why I haven’t just gotten rid of it by now. 

The slab is right above me. Less than an inch away and closing the gap. What’s going to happen? Is it just going to pass right through me? It can’t hurt me. It’s just a hallucination. A waking dream or something. Not any more real than sheep that people dream of.

And it’s on me. And...I feel something. Like the static that you feel from touching the screen of an old TV. It keeps going. And I can feel it getting harder, becoming solid, feeling like cold steel. It begins to squeeze.

July 18, 2019; 7:01 AM

I sit upright in my bed. Able to move but not wanting to. I felt it. It touched me. Squeezed my skull until I thought it would pop. Whatever it is, it’s not supposed to be real. Except what I felt was real. I know it.

July 27, 2019; 12:17 PM

“You haven’t been sleeping," he says. It’s not a question. Just a statement of fact.

“Why do you say that?" I say trying not to look at him.

“You look like you’re ready to fall asleep on that couch. And those are some heavy bags under your eyes.”

“Yea well…" It kept coming back every few nights now. I didn’t want to sleep. Didn’t want to give it a chance.

“Still experiencing the sleep paralysis?"

“Little bit." I didn’t want to tell him all of it. He’d think I needed to be locked up or something.

“You thought about going back to school?"

“What does that have to do with anything?"

“If you’re experiencing this every few nights, and it’s affecting your sleep like this, then your anxiety is worse than I thought. And we need to get you active.”

I let out a sound somewhere between a scoff and a chuckle.

“What’s the matter?"

“I left school because I had a breakdown. Now you want me to go back?"

“You’ve made growth since then. Since…" he gestures towards my arms 

I grab each arm in either hand, running my fingers along the fabric of my long sleeves. All I wear these days.

“What do you think?" he asks, looking away from my arms. 

“I don’t know," I reply with a shrug of my shoulders.

“You’re going to need to start taking active steps if you have any hope of moving on."

I don’t say anything this time.