Horrified I wake up, my heart beating out of control, my eyes wandering in the dark and I see them. By them I mean the shadow people and they were there to kill me. I reach under my bed and grabbed my baseball bat that I used for home defense. I started swinging like a mad man, and screaming at those shadows. Truth is I was swinging at ethereal beings, and they laughed at me maniacally. I couldn’t get their damn laughs out of my head, they never spoke, they only laughed at me. Sometimes I woke up in a sleep paralysis and thought I was going to die. I could feel my chest tightening, my throat slowly being crushed by the shadows, and all of this while I was unable to fight back. This went on for months and it drove me to the point of insanity. I would sit awake in the middle of the night afraid to even sleep knowing what awaited me. The darkness brought the shadows and they never missed a chance to show up. They had large demonic smiles, mouths with razor sharp teeth, and cursed eyes. Always watching, and always waiting for me in the dark.
I had become paranoid beyond belief, and was heavily sleep-deprived. I did the only thing I knew how and that was to drink to sleep. However, the more I drank the worse the shadows got. I would wake up in a frenzied sweat and my mind knew they were here. It was the same damn cycle night after night. Chasing ghosts in the dark and driving myself insane. Every night they came, they stood in my doorway staring into my soul. Laughing at me like it was some kind of joke, and when I came to my senses every night, I realized I was alone. I was alone and swinging my bat at nothing, and I was screaming come and get me you bastards. I had lost my damn mind. I was on edge, paranoid, and watching my back for months.
Until one day they finally spoke to me. They told me they were my guilt and shame and they were here to force me to acknowledge my wrong doings. To face my past, to face the people I had hurt, cheated on, and left behind. I told them they were full of shit, and the tormenting continued. I was damn near at my limits though and knew I wouldn’t survive another week of this. Drinking heavily no longer kept the shadows at bay, and they kept growing stronger in my life. I had to escape that apartment or I would die there. So, I left, and returned home begrudgingly. Little did I know the shadows were a part of me that would chase me wherever I went. My mind was becoming unhinged, and I was losing the will to fight back in the darkness. Those shadows were winning and one day they would take over me. They spoke to me on another night and said what we ask is simple, all you must do is oblige.
Having exhausted all other possibly methods of fighting these demons in the shadows I gave in. I turned to face my past and I was terrified. Truth be told I was more terrified of facing the people I had wronged than I was of those shadows. I reached out, and apologized. I held myself accountable for my mistakes, my past wrongs and my choices. Shortly after the shadows disappeared. In an instant their torment stopped and I was alone to realize their purpose. Those shadows didn’t show up to kill me, and they certainly didn’t show up from the darkness. I manifested them into being through my own shame, guilt and pain. I was tormenting myself and could not find forgiveness. The shadows of my paranoia were of my own making and I let them grow powerful.
Months later one of them returned to me in the night. I no longer saw the demonic face that was there before. They had become human, a calm and recognizable face. He was my shadow, and he was there to guide and to teach me from here on out. I've learned to make friends with my shadows from that day forward. The masks they wore were a creation in my mind, and it was a creation designed to torture me. I knew what I had done and in the end these things weren't the end of the world. I thought I had ruined other people's lives but it turns out I didn’t. I just fucked up and found myself reaching oblivion in numerous ways. I no longer have to be haunted by those shadows and they no longer laugh at me when they appear. I reached a point where I can finally find peace at night in the darkness.