It’s 5:37 in the morning. No, I’m not up early. It’s my old friend that has come to visit me. The darkness that makes for long winter nights. Something that I dread. And something that I’ve battled with since I was a teen.
Hello, insomnia. My old friend. I wish I could say it’s nice to see you – but it really isn’t.
I’m tired. My body is tired. I just want to sleep. But I can’t.
My insomnia got so bad about a decade ago, that I went to a sleep clinic. I learned a few things. Like, if you toss and turn for more than hour, you should just get out of bed and go do some light activities until you’re tired enough to fall asleep.
Sometimes I’ll hop on my bike and cycle for a while. More often than not I make the mistake of turning on the computer and surfing Reddit. Then I start reading stories of how others deal with insomnia. And that usually leads me to groups like No Sleep and Paranormal threads.
Insomnia is what led me to start this very blog and helped me finish a few short stories.
I’m addicted to paranormal stuff and have been since I was a kid. Maybe it’s because I saw too many horror movies as a child. By age thirteen, I had read most of Stephen King’s books for that time. I read anything I could get my hands on and had quite the over-active imagination.
Our family home could get creepy at night time. Especially if you had a rare night alone in the house. There were sounds of footsteps at coming from the bedrooms. Lights would flicker. Don’t even get me started on the crawl space. Crawl spaces are creepy in general.
I remember my younger sister and I were home alone debating on what movie to watch while my parents were at a party. She was old enough to know what ghosts were. We both looked up towards the ceiling when we heard footsteps from above.
“Do you wanna to go check it out?” she said to me.
“Nope, do you?” I said back.
She shook her head. And we both nearly lost our shit when we heard the footsteps move across the floor to our parent’s bedroom.
Old houses are funky like that. They mess with your mind. But I know I’ve had experiences I can’t explain. In the house. And in my condo here.
One of the reasons I stopped recording music years ago was that every time I picked up a handheld recorder, I would pick up “voices” – otherwise known as electronic voice phenomenon. It was after hearing an EVP from a studio session recorded in Vancouver, that I said. Nope. That’s enough of that. I invested in a DAW and started using my computer for recording music.
I’m on the fence with what I believe about the afterlife as I’ve mentioned before. My mum believed in ghosts. She used to tell me about her house in Calgary and it used to scare her. She also loved scary movies – we’d stay up all night and watch horror (not gore) movies together. One of the last movies we watched was The Rite, with Anthony Hopkins who played a priest that performed exorcists.
When I stayed with my dad at the house in 2017-2018, I asked him what he believed in. He said he wasn’t sure. But with Parkinsons, and hallucinations, now he says maybe there is more to it.
I’ve had a few terrifying experiences with hallucinations myself brought on by extreme insomnia and what I would later learn was sleep paralysis.
It’s too long of a story to write at the moment. But one day, I promise. I’ll share it with you.
But what I can tell you is this.
Sometimes… just sometimes. When I’m standing very still in my kitchen. The energy in the room changes. The air becomes thicker. The hairs on my neck stand up. I can feel goosebumps on my arms. Even writing this now. It’s almost like there’s someone or something standing directly behind me. It feels ancient. Old. I don’t know how to describe it.
But at the same time – it feels — familiar. Comforting even. Like maybe it’s a guardian angel. Or relative checking in on me.
Not that long ago, while visiting with old friends over coffee at the church – we were chatting about our mothers who we had lost. We talked about how hard it was – they both had the same illness. And as my friend Hanne, stood up to grab her purse, we watched as a white feather fell to the table.
“How on earth did that get there?” she said.
“I have no idea, that’s funny,” I said with a frown.
“It wasn’t in my purse, and I haven’t seen any birds today,” she said.
I picked up the feather and handed it to her.
“According to some legends, finding a feather is good luck. It means that you have angel watching over you,” I said.
She smiled, gave me a hug and said, “then, I guess I better take it.”
But sometimes. Just sometimes. That feeling is over powering. It’s an intense feeling. The energy around you changes. The room itself sort of morphs into this large energy field.
And even though you can’t see anything, that feeling. It stays with you.
I used to feel threatened or scared when this happened. But one day, I just embraced it. I had done some research into physics and thought – what if whatever this is – isn’t an evil spirit? What if it’s something else?
What if it’s just left over energy from those who have passed on from this realm?
We are all connected by one thing – energy. Everything in this universe is connected. I believe that when we pass on from this life, this realm, some of that energy gets left behind. I think some of the energy gets transferred back to the earth – especially for those who choose to be buried in the ground. Or cremated.
But I think that part that makes us – us. That makes us unique. Our spirit. Our soul. Our – essence.
I think some of that essence gets left behind.
And every now and then. When you stand very still – and you listen carefully.
You can feel when that essence is near. Some might call it intuition. Others might call it being an empath or having empathy. But for me – well, I guess I have open ended beliefs.
What is essence you ask?
Essence is defined as the individual, real, or ultimate nature of a thing especially as opposed to its existence. Or the permanent as contrasted with the accidental element of being.Webster
And so, you may ask what the point of this post is. If naught for mad ramblings of a chronic insomniac who has had one too many late nights as of late? What should you take away from this post?
Next time you hear a creak on the floorboards. Or you hear a window rattle when there’s no wind. Or you smell a familiar odour, like a perfume that your mother used to wear. Or you feel a sudden and overwhelming energy near by.
Or you find a white feather when there were no birds.
Stand very still. Close your eyes. Relax every muscle in your body. Breath in deeply. Let it out. Calm yourself. And just… let yourself feel.
The energy of the mind, is the essence of life – Aristotle