I was gone for a while, huh? I apologize! I got pretty sick and was bedridden for a week. Not my usual health problems, but instead Inexplicably Potent Throat Funk (Side of Massive Ear Infection, with Pus), which I contracted from my little sister’s wife when they came to visit us. My mother caught it, too. We’re both still recovering (I can barely hear out of my right ear and it won’t pop, she’s still coughing all hours of the night), but I’m feeling well enough to do something besides sleep and play Pokemon.
The night before last, though, a spooky thing happened. I’ve been on a cocktail of antibiotics, cough syrups, decongestants and narcotic pain killers (it was a BAD infection), so I had to stop taking my anti-depressants. The sheer amount of pills was making my stomach hurt anyway, and the risk of a severe interaction was pretty high.
One of my anti-depressants is Wellbutrin. It’s well-liked because it can be picked up and put down without withdrawal symptoms in most cases. It’s good for people like me, who are super forgetful (probably as a result of the hilarious cornucopia of mental health issues) and easily misplace things.
The other is Cymbalta. You can have withdrawals off of it.
I tell you this because it’s very likely that the Hell Night I experienced was a result of Cymbalta withdrawals. My friends: DON’T SUDDENLY STOP TAKING YOUR MEDICATIONS. The doctors that assigned me all the pills (there were two) were urgent care clinic doctors, not my primary care doctor, which is probably why they advised what they did. TAKE YOUR FUCKING MEDICATION, GUYS.
So, what happened during Hell Night? What was so bad it deserved its own post?
Terror. Unrelenting, directionless terror.
I was quite certain that if I went to sleep, I would die. Not of anything, just a general ‘yup death will come for ya’ sort of feeling. At the same time, I also knew that if I tried to drift off, for any amount of time, I would open my eyes and there would be a man/man-shaped fiend, looming above me. This is quite a silly fear but let me tell you what, I felt that shit in my bones.
I wasn’t sure what this fiend was going to do, or even the exact nature of the fiend. Would he be normal but have a spooky jumpscare face? Would he be some sort of shadow entity? A hideous wretch here to choke the life from me? Here just to stand over me and stare wordlessly, which, while less threatening, is a thousand times more ominous?
I heard voices late into the night, out in the living room, but on one of my circuits to paranoidly check all the locks (I considered going outside to check the fence lock. After I regained my ability to stand up without leaning on something, I decided that this was far too foolhardy) nobody was there. My roommate who works a night shift had long since come home. An ear on her door confirmed that she had her white noise maker on and was probably asleep.
Logically, I know it was probably other roommates, but that night, I was convinced that it was fiends. Or, if it wasn’t fiends, my roommates were talking some mad shit about their undying hatred of me. Of the two options, fiends seemed more palatable.
Every movement seemed huge and malignantly fast, so I turned off my ceiling fan and cleaned up all the papers I had. Just as well, as I couldn’t sleep anyway, what with the looming threat of death. Still, flashes of movement out of the corner of my eye were invested with consciousness and a deep longing to harm me and my dog.
Ah, yes, I almost forgot my adventures with the boy Salem.
I brought him into the room with me, and he slept up on the bed next to me. I consistently checked up on him, obsessed by the thought that he was going to die. A few times, I tried to call his name while he was sleeping, and his delay in answering (what with, y’know, being asleep) was interpreted in the sleep-deprived, drugless frenzy of my mind as a sure sign of his death. What caused his death? Who knows. I alternated between my poor care of him, poisoning from all the garbage he eats, and fiends.
You may be wondering: what the fuck is a fiend? Well, calling my various paranoid fears and imagined creatures ‘demons’ got a literal Catholic priest called to my house. It has a decidedly religious bent, an idea that the very forces of Hell are after you, purposefully targeting you for wickedness.
I don’t think that at all. I think I have a lifelong mental illness and an overactive imagination. So I decided to call these things, easily explainable but equally easily interpretable as supernatural, something with a less religious connotation. ‘Fiends.’ Also, ‘fiend’ as a word has a connotation of cheesiness and melodrama. “Get back, you fiend!” “Alas, the fiend has wounded me!” “You are the greatest fiend I have ever known.”
See? Belongs in a Hammer horror film. It helps remind me that for all the fear the events cause in the present, it’s really just an overreaction, a symptom of imbalanced chemistry rather than any sort of supernatural evil. It’s something silly, really. An affection.
Yo, but if all of it was real, would that be fucked or what????