My Journal
January 25, 1994

Today in English class I fell asleep. I just conked out, cold. We were watching an old 1951 version of "The Red Badge of Courage." The lights were off, so the room was pretty dark. I've been going to bed late for the past while, and I think continual sleep-deprivation has a really weird effect on my brain. It's usually then that I have my hallucinations.

It happened today for the first time in a long time. I was looking through my bag for a paper, when -- bam -- it hit. Well, actually, I teased my brain into the hallucination because I forgot the negative, disorienting side of it. I stimulated my trigger, which is impossible to verbalize... A knowing feeling. I focus on the voice in my head that says, "He (who?) knows you know it." Then, boom, I'm in the dream-like state, under the influence. I thought when I was first pulling the trigger, stepping into it, that I could maintain control. It's in my brain, after all. Nope. It's too powerful.

I lost all contact with reality for what felt like about 45 seconds (although I don't really know). During the actual spell, I couldn't remember where the room was: what floor, what building, what town, etc. Everything around me looked so new and unfamiliar. I always have trouble breathing, maybe because the first little while (15 seconds?) I think I forget to inhale and exhale. No oxygen gets to my brain, and my eyesight goes funny. Today when I felt that way, I took big gulps of air in an attempt to get out of the hallucination, but that only exacerbated the effects... I have gotten to the point where I can shorten the hallucination by shaking it off, but it still lingers. Nothing was quite the same after it was over.

I then put my head in my arms on the desk and zonked out, completely asleep within seconds. It was the first time I'd ever done that in class. It felt good to sleep, and it was really deep. I woke up about 40 minutes later, right when the movie was ending. We were then supposed to take our final, an essay about "Red Badge," which scared me since my mind still wasn't functioning completely. I guess the fear or adrenaline chased the remnants of fog out of my brain, or maybe the sleep refreshed me, because I then wrote a 4-page essay that I think was okay.

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