【英語エッセイ】Overcoming My Nemesis(宿敵に打ち勝つ)

    この記事は、Brighture の講師が書いた英語エッセイです。

There it goes again. Everything was blurry and I couldn’t figure out where I was. My whole body seemed paralyzed yet my mind was awake. I was in the middle of nowhere, a place covered with darkness and I was left all alone, frail and helpless. I heard footsteps coming towards me. I never realized there was a hollowed door and as it opened slightly, I saw him coming around slowly and I could take a glimpse of his shadow as it was a bit reflected on the wall. Later I realized, as I fully opened my eyes, he was there, staring at me with his terrifying watchful eyes while standing on the edge of my bed.


At that moment, I could feel every cell in my body quivering with fear. I did not know what else to do. I felt so vulnerable and weak that no matter how hard I tried, I could not even scream. I tried to move, but it seemed that I was glued to my bed. I could clearly sense the presence of this malevolent intruder putting pressure on my chest, squeezing my breath out my lungs.

    その瞬間、全身の細胞が恐怖で震えるのを感じた。どうしたらいいのかわからなかった。 無防備で弱々しく感じ、どんなに頑張っても悲鳴をあげることすらできなかった。動こうとしても、ベッドに釘付けにされたままだった。この悪意ある侵入者が私の胸を圧迫し、肺から息を搾り出しているのをはっきりと感じた。

Then, tears started streaming down my cheeks because I was aware that nobody was there to save me. This had been going on for over a year. When the world was asleep, in the middle of the night or at the breaking of the dawn, he would always come to haunt me and hurt me. Yet, nobody knew what I had been through.


Yes, nobody knows what I have been through and how it affected my life in the worst way possible for over a year.


Some people call it just a nightmare and that it is not happening in real life, but trust me it is not just that. Before experiencing this kind of tormenting illusions, the lucid dreams I usually had were so vivid and they felt so real. I could even take control and manipulate its course the way I wanted it to be. Moreover,I could interact with the creatures in my dreams and traverse into different landscapes and timelines. I can still recall, one time when I was at home, in the midst of my sleep as I was enjoying my dreams, my mother woke me up for breakfast. And yes, my dream was just cut off that way.


As I opened my eyes, I realized that it was unfinished and so I literally took a few minutes nap and got back to sleep to continue it and had it end in the best scenario. What was that dream about? Well, it was just me traveling and teleporting to the parallel universe and meeting my other self in that dimension. How awesome, isn’t it?

    目を開けて、まだ夢の途中だったと気づき、続きを見るために二度寝をして、最高のシナリオを仕上げました。どんな夢だったかって? そうだなぁ、パラレルワールドを旅したり、瞬間移動して、別次元にいるもう1人の自分に会ったんです。すごくないですか?

However, the way my dreams occur has changed, and instead of having desirable ones, I often had night terrors that scared me out of my wits. Yes, this thing is called sleep paralysis.


You might have heard of it or this may be unfamiliar to you but not to me. I had suffered from this disturbing mirage for several consecutive months, almost every single night, two years ago. This reminds me of those times when I was scared of falling asleep and I just sat on the edge of my bed with folded knees on my chest and stayed up late until three in the morning.


It was not just about my fear of having undesirable episodes of nightmares, but it was also about my fear of the horror of the shade – not being able to wake up the next day. Yes, I tell you it was the worst.


I was once asked by a thought provoking question and it went like this: What keeps you awake at night? Well, for me, it is neither the caffeine from the cup of coffee I had nor my sleep paralysis since paradoxically, it actually haunts me in my sleep. Instead, it is the toss and turns of worries that linger on my mind.

    以前、こんな考えさせられる質問をされたことがあります。「夜眠れないのはなぜ?」 私の場合、コーヒーを飲んだときのカフェインのせいでも、睡眠麻痺のせいでもありません。そうじゃなくて、心配事が頭の中をグルグルと回っているせいなのです。

Those times when I always worry about what could go wrong instead of focusing on what could go right and when having a lot of what if’s instead of what is. There goes overthinking that is heightened by negative thoughts and in the fell clutch of circumstances, anxiety actually paralyzes my mindset to its core.


It was that time when a certain thought occurred to me as I tried to put an end to this pain that I am having. I was too exhausted not just physically but also emotionally, and my mental health was jeopardized already. I was actually depressed. I felt like I could not take it anymore and I was too drained over the situation that I was in.


However, that thought was interrupted as my phone rang. A phone call that I would say has saved me and it was from someone who always has my back, and that person is no other than my mom. She called me that time because she missed me and she asked me when I was going to come home, since I was staying in the city for work and I could only go back home around twice a month due to my working schedule.


At that moment, when I heard her voice on the line, I felt like my heart was being stabbed with guilt. How stupid and selfish I was to even dare thinking of taking my own life to end my own suffering, when I personally witnessed how broken my mom was when my father passed away and yet she remained strong for me.


After having a conversation with my dear mother, I came to my senses. Though, she did not have any idea on what was going on with me because I have always shown to everyone that I am fine when actually, deep inside, I am struggling. I could never let my mom worry about me. That is the last thing I want – to be a burden to the ones I love.

    大好きな母と話しているうちに、私は正気を取り戻しました。とはいえ、母は私の身に何が起きているのか、全く知りませんでした。私はいつも、苦しみを心の中にしまって、みんなには元気な姿を見せていたからです。「母に心配をかけるわけにはいかない」 大切な人の負担になることだけはしたくなかったのです。

In order to get myself back on track, I tried to do some research about sleep paralysis and anxiety since these two are linked to each other. Sleep paralysis, which is a false awakening in the midst of one’s sleep associated with vast episodes which are bonded with extreme fear, is said to cause significant levels of distress.


I have acquired loads of information on how to deal with them and at least minimize having them. I started out with changing my sleeping patterns and following a regular bedtime schedule, getting enough rest and proper relaxation. I have also considered and thought about seeking professional help since I had those symptoms of depression but I was too anxious to do it.


Instead of this, I read things about psychology, understanding human behavior and some other sources related to it as I want to help myself in overcoming this personal crisis. Google has told me to stay connected and communicate with others regarding this matter, but considering I have a kind of introverted personality, it was not that easy for me to open up to anybody that time. I always had hesitations to share about the things that bothered me because I felt like nobody would care to understand. Thus, I decided to keep and go through my silent battles by myself, until I felt better.

    その代わり、この危機を乗り越えるために、心理学や人間行動学などに関連する資料を読みあさりました。Google では、他者とコミュニケーションを取るように……という検索結果が出ましたが、内向的な性格の私は、当時誰にも心を開くことができませんでした。誰も理解してくれないと思い、悩みを打ち明けるのをためらっていました。そこで、気持ちが落ち着くまで、一人で黙々と闘うことにしました。

Dealing with this unsettling experience of having sleep paralysis has made me changed my lifestyle. I managed to reduce stress and anxiety by doing some meditations that relaxed my body and mind. On top of that, it made me realize not to take sleep for granted. Nowadays, I always make sure to get sufficient sleep and I was able to overcome the parasomnia that I had.


It is the loneliest feeling in the world, I know. Having to sit in silence, healing from the things you do not speak about. Our loved ones may be there for us when we need them, but they won’t be able to understand every single thing that goes on in our lives and the thoughts that haunt our minds at night. However, whatever we may have been through, giving up is never an option. We have to be strong because at the end of the day, we only have ourselves.