I woke up to the sound of screaming. It was very noisy and close. I knew I was in danger, but I was awake stunned so I had no idea what was going on. I jumped out of bed, still half asleep. It was as if my body knew I had to run for safety even though my mind didn’t understand why yet. My heart was pounding so hard I felt like I was about to hear it, but the scream drowned it out.
I was physically shocked by the adrenaline, and my heart was racing.
I started getting up a bit and realized… I was screaming. I was standing by the bed screaming.
And that made me scream even more because I immediately thought something bad was going on, I was in danger.
Then I heard someone say, “I just… I just…”
I felt like it took forever to get to know the audio and where I was, but that was probably only 26 seconds. The voice was Ben’s, and I was in his place and wasn’t in danger. [He came back to California for work for in 2020 and he became part of my bubble during the pandemic.]
I was not in danger. I had night terrors for the second time in my adult life (my mom said I had it when I was a kid).
I passed out 1 year ago after watching a scary TV show. I actually Blog about it in this post. [Side note: This is where lifestyle blogging is the best – being able to read a diary entry of a life experience from the past good or bad can be helpful and interesting.]
After that frightening experience it never happened again. I thought it was directly related to watching something scary (I don’t watch scary movies and at the time I thought it was something different).
This second incident occurred sometime last summer. Then it happened again…I’ve probably had about 5 or 6 nights of panic over the past year.
Every time I feel physically and emotionally shaken, it takes a while for me to calm down and breathe normally, get my heart rate up again and feel fine. sucks.
Which is very scary for Ben (he’s the only one who was there when he was with me). I get up to his voice trying to calm me down but I’m standing on the other side of the room because if he comes close I’ll panic even more. sucks.
Fortunately, we were able to laugh about it later because I like to make fun of myself. But when that happens I feel fear for my life, physically shattered by all the adrenaline and emotionally overwhelmed because I want to cry, scream and apologize at the same time.
The most recent one happened last month when I was in Florida with Ben. Each time I assumed it was probably related to stress due to the pandemic, and a sense of displacement and anxiety. But when it happened in Florida, I finally thought I should take notes because I was on vacation and vaccinated, so I should have been less worried?
I wish I could keep track of how many times and how bad it was and what I did that day etc. [See!! This is why you should blog everyday again Monica!] My mind was trying to tell me something – but I didn’t stop listening. I know better than that!
So I decided to write notes if and when I get night terrors (I keep these off the blog to protect the innocent). And I’m sharing this whole situation in case you or someone you know is experiencing night terrors.
I hope it won’t happen again. But if that’s the case, I’d like to document any patterns or triggers…
If it’s about stress – I can do things to help myself feel more calm and secure.
If it’s about Ben – I need more therapy to navigate that.
If it were watermelon – I’d have night terrors forever because I can’t quit.
I’ll link to resources about night terrors below. If you are dealing with this or any other health or mental health issue please speak with a medical professional. Therapy is the best and can help you feel better, get along with the people around you, have better relationships, etc.
Night terrors resources
This last article is a little long and dry but if you suffer from night terrors or know someone who is, it may be worth a read. It made me feel better because a lot of information links adult night terrors to mental health problems. It does not feel useful or informative. But this latest article points out the man’s night terrors, which was caused in part by the stress of his wife’s health problems (anxiety). So yeah, he can’t necessarily fix that but he can fix the way he thinks about it and deal with stress.
remind: If you struggle with your mental or physical health – see a medical professional. Life is full of ups and downs. You deserve appropriate care, support and treatment if you are depressed. Don’t be too proud. (It’s 1,000% understandable to be so proud to post your flaws and embarrassing moments on a blog though!)
Knowledge is power. Be gentle and curious with yourself. Stay positive.
The next post will be about running and eating.
talk soon! xoxo, monica
Note: This blog and associated social media is a story about my own experience and is not intended to be medical advice or treatment.