Eimear Kelly shares her experience of sleep paralysis.
I can’t move.
 
Why can’t I move?
 
I try to move my legs, my arms, my fingers, my toes. Somehow, all of a sudden, my body just won’t respond.
 
This has never happened before.
 
Why won’t my body respond?
 
I try to twist and squirm my way out of whatever it is that has me trapped. That’s exactly how I feel – trapped. Trapped and panicked. I feel as though my body is completely frozen. Not at all cold, in fact the complete opposite, I feel far too warm and sweaty. However, I am fixed to the spot. It is almost as if my whole body has turned to stone. But how? And why?
 
I am restricted in a way that I have never before experienced and I don’t know how to make it stop.
 
How do I make it stop?
 
I am so afraid.
 
And I am so confused, almost as though I am in a daze.
 
Only moments ago I was running through a huge building that resembled some kind of maze. There were several other people there, even a few children. They acted as though this was a normal place, not at all scary. They wouldn’t help me. I asked them how I can get out. I need to get out.
 
No one will help me.
 
Why won’t anyone help me?
 
I was lost and couldn’t find my way out. I was still terrified and still trapped, but at least I could move.
 
Again, I try to wriggle and squirm. Somehow, even though my body is frozen, my brain isn’t. I can’t move at all but I am completely aware of my thoughts. Perhaps this is making it all the more terrifying. Being unable to feel or move my body would be a whole lot easier if I wasn’t fully aware of it.
 
I should call for help. Maybe then someone will help me. Maybe they will know why my body won’t move even though I am telling it to. So, I try to speak.
 
I can’t speak.
 
Why can’t I speak?
 
I can do nothing except think, and all I think about is what is happening to me and how petrified and confused I am. I can only be aware of the fact that I can do absolutely nothing else. I feel lost. I cannot help myself. So I lay here and wait for this cruel experience to end. I hope it ends soon.
 
I have felt fear many times, but I have never felt a fear like this.
 
I would rather a nightmare over sleep paralysis any time…