Dreams are terrifying and fascinating. One vile character, one wrong turn, and your life is ruined.

I still get awakened by dreams, panting and horrified at the ordeal I just went through. The vividness lingers in the minutes I lay semi-awake. The images follow me as I go about my morning, my brain foggy from the unraveled mind.

A few months ago, I started to remember my dreams. Before bed, I would give myself a pep talk: type my dreams down on my phone as soon as I awoke. I knew that I just needed a few rambling sentences to insert the dream into my long-term memory. It has kind of worked.

There are instances where I wake up at 3am and I realize that I haven’t finished the dream. I lay down again and will myself back to it, as if softly hypnotizing myself. I haven’t been able to fly nor create my happy ending yet, but I’m keeping an eye on the reality check tips that lucid dreamers offer.

Perhaps the worst thing is when you’re caught in sleep paralysis: that in-between stage where your mind is still awake, but your body frozen. You’re paralyzed from top to bottom, and someone at the corner of your room is going to get you. The same thing every time, it’s ridiculous. But on the plus side, this has become my reality check: Can’t move? Check. Feeling paranoid? Check. Dark human shadow in the room? Don’t look, you idiot.