Vixen (vampedvixen) wrote,

What is the longest you've gone without sleep and what happened to you?

Back in my 20s, I used to be a bit of a groupie and follow this one band around from NJ, New York City, Boston.. wherever they ended up playing that weekend. This particular time, they had a show in NJ and the following night they were playing in Boston. I ended up at the after party the night after NJ, not sleeping, heading directly to the show in Boston, trying to get sleep at the hotel that I was staying at that second night but it wasn't happening. There was also a blizzard coming in across the coast that morning, so after two hours of not being able to sleep on the second night of sleeplessness, I decided to do the stupid thing and just drive home and try to beat the storm home.

About an hour into my trip, I realized that I hadn't fucking slept in two nights and maybe this was a bad idea. But I didn't want to turn around because I had already driven an hour home to NY. So I continued on.

And then the hallucinations started.

The first ones were people dressed up in colonial clothes and they were hanging from every bridge I passed under. I think this was because I had a small stopover in Salem before I had gone to that show in Boston that night. I was getting so creeped out by it and I just prayed each time I went under the bridge that their feet wouldn't hit the roof of my car.

I continued on. By now, I was starting to wonder if I was okay. The snow had started falling though, so my thoughts went to that instead of maybe turning off the road because I didn't want to get stuck anywhere.

I stopped for waffles at a small diner. The boy working there asked if I was okay to drive. I said I didn't know but I didn't have a choice with the storm coming.

I hit the road once more. Lots of driving. At one point, I was in Connecticut and I swerved to avoid hitting a moose. Then I laughed to myself, realized it must be a hallucination and said, "There's no moose in Connecticut." And just swerved back into my lane and continued driving, not for one second thinking that I should stop. I was just happy that I was able to be so rational about my hallucinations and understand them for what they were.

At another point, I totally lost track of the time. I was driving in pit black night sky, looked down at the gas to see if I had enough and when I looked back up the sky was bright blue and morning had already come. I hadn't crashed or anything, so I figured I was okay.

I stopped at a hotel in Connecticut after that because the missing time was worrying me, as was the several inches of snow that covered the ground by this point. I begged the hotel for a place to stay so I could get a nap but they said they were completely booked and turned me away. An elderly couple said I could stay on the floor of their room because they didn't want me driving in the storm which was turning into a blizzard now, but I didn't want to impose.

Back on the road again, only as time went on I began to realize I was the only person on the road other than emergency crews. The toll booths were even shut down and there were police officers telling me to "Just go! Just go!" I couldn't see anything, pretty much total whiteout on the bridges and getting onto Long Island.

About 20 minutes from home, I decided that I was in a Jeep and I had survived driving in most of the blizzard, so I was going to have some fun and NOT follow the tracks other drivers had made in the inches deep snow that had not yet been plowed on the highway. This was a REALLY bad idea. I was making my own designs in the snow, when my Jeep lost control, spun around on the highway (thankfully, I was the only car for miles around) went up on two wheels, bounced on the metal guardrail and bounced back onto all four tires. And I freaked, put my hands at 10 and 2 and just kept driving and ignoring my panic attack. It wasn't until I managed to park in front of my parent's house that I completely broke down from everything. I walked through the feet deep snow, crying, scrambling for the front door when my mother opened it. She had been crying too and told me that she told me not to drive home and she had been picking out the dress I was going to be buried in that whole afternoon. I told my father I hit his Jeep on the highway and he called me a "selfish asshole" which was his way of saying I had scared the bejesus out of him. He screamed at me that he had told me he would pay for an extra day at the hotel if I had simply listened to everyone and stayed there.

Yeah, moral of the story: just stay at the hotel and get some sleep if a blizzard is coming.
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