Wednesday, February 3, 2010

not being so afraid anymore

Last night was the first night I've been scared in a while. But this is good news! This is a good blog! I think it's been since Urbana, I'm not really sure, but at least over a month now I've been sleeping soundly. And I'll tell you what, it's amazing the difference between getting sleep and not. When I don't, I'm afraid I get a little bit crazy and a lotta bit emo. I've always had a hard time being scared of the idea of ghosts and worse things I can't see, but it got really bad for a couple months after seeing Paranormal Activity. Don't see it. Seriously. While I know that I am protected, it's just really hard for me not to still be scared. Images stick with me, words and sounds, all of it.

This is complicated by the fact that I think I've been having some sort of sleep/dream disruptance. I've wikied the heck out of this, and it may be that I'm overthinking, but every so often (more frequently last semester than ever before), usually within the first couple hours of falling asleep, I'll open my eyes suddenly and I can see my room and I can also see something about a foot from my face. It wakes me up fast, and I almost always roll over immediately and throw the covers over my head and pray furiously until I fall asleep again. Sometimes it's something that I can see but also see through. Other times, like last night, it's more solid. Something I want to fling away from me.

Now I've come to the conclusion that I'm having some sort of mixed dreaming-while-awake hallucinations, and while typing that sounds crazy, I am seeing something that is very real to me and scares the heck out of me, even while I've gotten to the point that I'm pretty certain nothing is actually there. It's jolting and terrifying to wake up and see something very vivid floating above your head, especially if you're already scared to begin with. My brother's had night terrors in the past and I wonder if this is related.

Here's the article I'm looking at. While I'm not paralyzed (I'm able to immediately flip over), they have most often happened when I've been lying on my back. And I'm usually having really vivid dreams. This seems to make sense to me. I'm wondering now about my diet, my schedules, and if there's anything I can do about preventing it.

There's this, though, and it's what helped a lot last night:

"But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit. Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate: 'Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble, the man who made the world a desert, who overthrew its cities and would not let his captives go home?'"
--Isaiah 14:15-17

It's incredibly comforting to me. It's like, really? You're the one who's been causing all this trouble? Seriously? "Flesh and blood cannot come to the Mountains [of heaven]. Not because they are too rank, but because they are too weak. What is a Lizard compared with a stallion? Lust is a poor, weak, whimpering whispering thing compared with that richness and energy of desire which will arise when lust has been killed." C. S. Lewis wrote that in The Great Divorce. (I realize he's talking about something different, but it reminds me of this.) What's this tiny, weak, noisy-scurrying thing when compared to the power of God?

I still ended up having some freaky dreams after falling back asleep, but I'd just read those verses a few days ago and as soon as I got scared, there they were. It was the first thing that came to mind when I rolled over. I'm not saying I wasn't still afraid, but the head knowledge is starting to make its way to my heart. How often in Scripture does it say, do not be afraid, the Lord your God is with you! It's true, it's good, and he is.

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