Night Terrors

I was reading my Instagram feed this morning and came across an article from @factsweird. This article brought up something I had never really thought about. So I decided to look into it and so I began to dig into what is a sleep paralysis demon. I’ve never had a sleep paralysis demon myself. However, I do know people who have problems with sleep paralysis and, yes, some even are unfortunate enough to have experienced much more.

What is it?

Sleep paralysis demons aren’t something new to us, though. Tales of these occurrences go all the way back into history. It seems cultures all over the world have an explanation for this strange occurrence, but so does medicine. In every country there are stories or legends associated with this experience. For Italy, it can be an old hag or humanoid cat while the Inuit believe it to be a shamanistic attack.

Sleep paralysis is a disorder where you will wake up, but find yourself unable to move. You’re lying there in this paralytic state and there’s something coming towards you. This statement is the crux of all sleep paralysis victims. This explains why for so many centuries, people believed them to be demonic episodes or possessions. Some have said that it was like a UFO abduction, whilst others said it was an old hag or dead loved one that they saw over them. Whatever you see, it is nothing more than what psychiatrists call a “hypnagogic/hypnopompic hallucination” and is a symptom of sleep paralysis. As scary it may seem, it is by no means dangerous to you. It is something that you will simply need to brave out. It can be annoying or scary, but always keep in mind the creature glaring at you is not real.

This sleep paralysis is part of the normal cycle and can take place either before or after REM (Rapid Eye Movement). It is an abnormality in the sleep cycle. Think of hiccups–they are nothing more than an abnormality in the breathing cycle and are over soon. Sleep paralysis is the same. People who have narcolepsy, are also very prone to sleep paralysis. People who have anxiety, stress, sleep deprivation, jetlag, PTSD, heartburn or consume large amounts of alcohol also have a better chance of getting sleep paralysis. Another odd habit that increases your chances of getting sleep paralysis is sleeping on your back.

How do I treat it?

There are many ways to treat sleep paralysis. Sometimes it’s just something as simple as changing sleeping habits. Research has found that nappers are more likely to have sleep paralysis than non-nappers. Improving your sleeping habits to ensure you get 7 – 8 hours of sleep a night can also prevent you from having sleep paralysis. Lucid dreaming. Watch out for that. That can also contribute to sleep paralysis.

Also ensuring you don’t sleep on a full stomach or drink coffee or alcohol before you go to bed as this can decrease your chances of getting sleep paralysis. I mentioned above that sleeping on your back can increase your chances of getting sleep paralysis, so it stands to reason that if you don’t it will decrease your chances.

Should you find you have disorders such as anxiety disorder or panic disorder, PTSD or any of the others mentioned above, you will need to seek treatment as this can also increase your chances of getting sleep paralysis and getting it treated is a must. Exercising regularly goes hand-in-hand with this. As any psychologist or psychiatrist will tell you, exercise reduces stress and anxiety as it releases endorphins that combat the stress and anxiety. Be careful not to do this too close to bedtime as it will over-stimulate you and you won’t be able to sleep.

One last thing, relax. It should be obvious to anyone that sleeping requires relaxation, but knowing something and having the ability to do it are two separate things. I, myself, make use of the breathing exercises in yoga to help me relax in the afternoons after a hard work day. It really works and it’s great to strengthen your body! Do this before bed or maybe play some calming music (I recommend Leisure Society or Weightless by Marconi Union) to help you sleep.

So….now you sleep

As you close your eyes tonight, count yourself lucky that you can sleep, when there may be avidReaders among us who suffer from this terrible condition. If you are one of them, I hope this helps.

God bless and happy dreams all my darling Avids.

Poetry Reading by Charles Bukowski

poetry readings have to be some of the saddest
damned things ever,
the gathering of the clansmen and clanladies,
week after week, month after month, year

after year,
getting old together,
reading on to tiny gatherings,
still hoping their genius will be
discovered,
making tapes together, discs together,
sweating for applause
they read basically to and for
each other,
they can’t find a New York publisher
or one
within miles,
but they read on and on
in the poetry holes of America,
never daunted,
never considering the possibility that
their talent might be
thin, almost invisible,
they read on and on
before their mothers, their sisters, their husbands,
their wives, their friends, the other poets
and the handful of idiots who have wandered
in
from nowhere.

I am ashamed for them,
I am ashamed that they have to bolster each other,
I am ashamed for their lisping egos,
their lack of guts.

if these are our creators,
please, please give me something else:

a drunken plumber at a bowling alley,
a prelim boy in a four rounder,
a jock guiding his horse through along the
rail,
a bartender on last call,
a waitress pouring me a coffee,
a drunk sleeping in a deserted doorway,
a dog munching a dry bone,
an elephant’s fart in a circus tent,
a 6 p.m. freeway crush,
the mailman telling a dirty joke

anything
anything
but
these.

THE WALL

I had to share this story. It’s beautiful.

: Many years ago, in a village on the border between Germany and Denmark, lived a man named Karl Schmidt, together with his wife, Mona, and his grandmother, Bertha.

One winter’s night, a cry of warning rang through the quiet village. “The enemy is coming! Flee! Flee for your lives!” People burst out of their cottage doors to see refugees pouring into the village. These poor people had fled from the village a distance away. “They’re burning and killing. If you don’t flee, you’ll also be destroyed!”

Karl looked at the frightened children and women, and at the silent men as they hurried past. He knew it was no use to flee. It was so cold that he was sure they would freeze to death before the night was over. Karl turned to his family.

“We will stay here and see what happens to us.”

Bertha looked at her grandson, “Karl, we won’t die. God will be our protection.” Frau Schmidt reached for her well-worn Bible and turned to the Psalms. Then she read: “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them…The righteous cry, and the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles…Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers them out of them all.”

Karl was amazed at his grandmother’s faith. How could she believe these ancient words when death was staring her in the face? Mona sobbed silently, but the old grandmother grew more and more confident with every passing hour. Outside, a storm whistled and raged. Then, the wind stilled somewhat. At midnight, they heard tramping and shouting in the distance. Bertha prayed softly, “Oh, Lord, build a wall around us!”

Suddenly horrible shrieks pierced the night, and there was the sound of crackling flames. Destruction surrounded them, but in the cottage all was still. Eventually, the noise drifted away. Karl did not allow his wife and mother to move. Quietly, they waited in their cold room, till at last, it was morning. He couldn’t understand why the enemy had not touched them. Karl put one eye to the slit. Then he threw the windows wide open.

“Praise God, Grandmother! Here indeed is your wall!” Outside all they could see was snow. During the storm, the snow had been driven completely over the tiny cottage, hiding it from the eyes of the army.

Frau Schmidt looked at the glistening wall and declared:

“Faithful is He who has promised: He also has done it!”

—Footprints of Providence, J. McR

God bless, all my precious avids.

The Dark Silence

It’s cold, the breeze beats against my chest. Is this what death is like? Am I dead? I want to scream, but someone already is. A dark, twisted scream. Like that of a demon. Why is a demon screaming? What is happening? That sick sound makes me shake with fear.

At last, the screams stop. Terror. Dread. Fear. So much violence in the silence. Then I hear something. Something to break the terrible silence. A whisper. Gentle, yet it pierces through me.

“Open.” It says. A shrill voice cries out and I hear the horde as their screams pierce the air. They open the portal and I shrivel back into my hiding place. Dark beasts rush out and fill the air. I want to run, but my legs have gone numb. I can’t breathe. What is happening?

The shrill screaming has gotten louder now mixed with an ungodly scream. Organic screams, like that of a hideous beast and more terrible than anything I’d ever heard or ever seen. What evil lurks here? And why can’t I run?

Keep safe, my precious avidReaders.

My Warm Cup of Dreams; avidWriter


O how beautiful you are!
You beautiful brew!
Your smell brings me peace,
Your taste makes me whole.
 

How I long for your warm embrace!
O glorious cup of dreams!
You are my beginning,
Each night my end.
 

How I love you!
How I need you!
O beautiful brew!
O how you fill my dreams!

 
What I wouldn’t do for you!
What I couldn’t without you!
I doubt my life will be the same without you,
I cannot live without you.
 
How I miss you when I am without you!
O my loving cup of dreams!
When all else is void,
You will fill me, O cup of dreams!
 
My beautiful brew!

My steaming cup of dreams!

How Long Is This Call?

I’m sure you’ve all had that day where you’ve had to sit on the phone for ages waiting for someone to answer on the other side or perhaps you’re the kind that loves to check their social media daily every minute. I’m not confessing to anything here. I can neither confirm nor deny the time I spend daily on my phone. I’m on a call centre and our call lines most days are bezerk. It makes the day fly by, though, so there’s that to be grateful for. Now, honestly how long does the average person sit on a phone call? Whether we use Whatsapp or phone normally, researchers in Tennessee noted that we check our phones every 10 minutes, that works out to about 96 times daily–scary right? I don’t often make phone calls, but when I do they are often very long. Friends, family or purely business that’s still a lot of calls. Shocked? Maybe you didn’t realize that your “quick” call was such a big deal. Although this was a survey conducted on Americans, it’s still scary. Don’t think because you live somewhere else this doesn’t apply to you–IT DOES. We all spend too much time on our phones. As I mentioned above, for some it’s business, for others pleasure. We have allowed these devices to control us.

I remember at my previous work place our boss said that we all (us millennials at least) have what is called “screen addiction”. The more I look at children my age and much, much younger, the more I realize that we, as a people, have become addicts to this phone screen. We live on social media. Now, look, it’s not necessarily wrong to use phones. What’s wrong is our dependence on them. We use them for music, play, communication. Communication–this is where social media comes into play.

If you haven’t had to sit on the phone lines for a long time count yourself lucky. Most people have to wait and wait and wait…AND wait. Trust me nothing kills you more on the inside like hearing the same tune over and over and still having poor service. It’s not all bad news though, the service of some companies make it all the worthwhile. They make that ringtone less painful.

In my job nothing kills me more than if I can’t help someone. I can imagine for myself the frustration I would feel as that person on the other end of the line. On that note, I best get moving. I have work to do.

God bless all of you, my precious avids.

My Intel i3; avidWriter; 25/1/2021

I’m slow and annoying—I know you’ve said it.

I’m frustrating and maddening—I’ve heard you say it.

Useless and mind-numbing—Yes, I’ve heard that one, too.

But have you ever thought about how I must feel, too?

I was once hard-working and fast as lightening,

Now I’m old and unwanted—something that is hated.

If you only saw inside me,

All the machinations inside,

All the sweet memories I have stored,

All the pain I’ve endured.

I give the best that I have,

But I’m sick and suffering—every day there is pain.

I’m crying out for help!

I’m scared and alone.

Why don’t you love me?

Why do you despise me?

I’m sorry! Please help me!

I’ve tried my best and now I’m alone.

All you do is curse and deride.

Please help me! All I want is help.

I’m just a laptop.

Treat your tech with love and it’ll love you back. It was the only way I got my Blackberry to last so long. I still love that phone despite upgrading many times since.

God bless you all, my precious avidReaders.

Poems for a Rainy Day

The Rainy Day; Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

Spring Storm; William Carlos Williams

The sky has given over
its bitterness.
Out of the dark change
all day long
rain falls and falls
as if it would never end.
Still the snow keeps
its hold on the ground.
But water, water
from a thousand runnels!
It collects swiftly,
dappled with black
cuts a way for itself
through green ice in the gutters.
Drop after drop it falls
from the withered grass-stems
of the overhanging embankment.

By the Rivers of Babylon We Sat Down and Wept; Lord Byron.

We sat down and wept by the waters
Of Babel, and thought of the day
When our foe, in the hue of his slaughters,
Made Salem’s high places his prey;
And ye, oh her desolate daughters!
Were scattered all weeping away.

While sadly we gazed on the river
Which rolled on in freedom below,
They demanded the song; but, oh never
That triumph the stranger shall know!
May this right hand be withered for ever,
Ere it string our high harp for the foe!

On the willow that harp is suspended,
Oh Salem! Its sound should be free;
And the hour when thy glories were
ended
But left me that token of thee:
And ne’er shall its soft tones be blended
With the voice of the spoiler by me!

What’s That Rumbling?

So what is that rumbling? We’ve all at some point felt a tremble. In America they have the San Andreas fault and in Japan they have tsunamis which are set off by underground earthquakes and here in South Africa we have our mines that give us the odd tremor. Whether big or small these are a violent force that uproot 10,000 people per year. The average earthquake measures 8.0 on the Richter Scale. That’s really nothing to be taken lightly. It’s even been asked what are the chances of 10.0 earthquake on the Richter Scale. I don’t think I want the answer to that question.

So what does cause an earthquake? Well, this term is used to describe any kind of seismic activity. It’s very simply the scraping of two tectonic plates against each other. You see the world resembles a baseball the way it is torn apart. These tears are what we call tectonic plates. These plates are rubbing against each other all the time and when the one plate gets stuck, it creates friction. Once the plate slips and overcomes that friction, energy is released giving us an earthquake. The same process creates tsunamis. Tsunamis are created by underwater earthquakes.

Volcanoes have a similar effect. As heat and energy are created by the flowing of volcanic ash, hot lava and gases in the magma chambers, they build up pressure and then are released through fissures in the Earth’s crust. These fissures are mostly found on top of where tectonic plates (seeing a pattern here) diverge and converge as well as where the rust is thin. Seems our baseball scars that are all over the world are what causes all these devastating acts of violence. Volcanic eruptions can actually cause earthquakes. Earthquakes can also be caused by mine blasting, landslides and nuclear testing.

There are two main points in an earthquakes–its epicenter and hypocenter. The epicenter is where we can actually see the earthquake. The hypocenter is where the all the action actually happens. The epicenter is the product of what happens underground in the hypocenter. Think of the roots of a tree, you don’t see the growth or the spread of the roots, at least not until it breaches the surface. All you can see is the tree and the size it reaches as well as the fruit it may produce. This is very much the symbiotic relationship between the hypocenter and epicenter of an earthquake.

I know this is a very basic explanation of what an earthquake is, but, in the words of Shakespeare, “brevity is the mother of wit”.

God bless all of you, my precious avidReaders. I’m sorry for being so quiet lately. Work has been insane. Thank you for your ongoing support, we have crossed the 3k subscriber mark. You’ve all been great. Keep reading 😉