In my previous post, I told you about my ongoing issues with sleeplessness and how a doctor prescribed the sleep aid Ambien in an effort to help me get some rest.
When we last left off, I was telling you about how I tried dyeing my eyelashes in my sleep, as a result of taking the drug.
I would love to tell you that that episode marked the end my relationship with Ambien, but sadly, I continued to take it.
To recap, I knew I was taking more and more Ambien to get the same effects at night. And now I realized that I was getting up during the night and doing crazy stuff in my sleep that I couldn’t recall the next day.
In fact, when my daughter saw me covered with black eyelash dye, she told me that she had noticed me doing wild things too, but she figured I was awake.
One night, she said, she had watched me rub Tiger Balm all over my feet and then over the rest of my body. If you’ve ever used this stuff, then you know how astonishing this is. Tiger Balm is very potent--just a dab on your temple when you have a headache will give you a real sensation of warmth. And here I was, spreading the stuff like frosting on my skin. And that wasn’t even enough to wake me up or make me remember it.
But in spite of all of this, I continued to take Ambien. In fact, I couldn’t wait until my next dose. Looking back, I was obviously hooked on it, but at the time, I didn’t want to believe that I was addicted to a prescription drug. Other people had that problem, not me. I talked myself into believing that it was a harmless medicine that was helping me sleep. That thinking, which I now realize was completely wrong, is what kept me able to justify taking Ambien everyday.
Another issue that I was dealing with while taking the drug was what I called “tanking and hitting the wall.” Every day, right around 4 p.m., I would completely bottom out both physically and mentally. If a friend or co-worker asked me a question I felt like it took every ounce of mental energy I had to answer. The simplest tasks took me forever to do. I could no longer think. It was as if someone pulled the plug on my brain. I could no longer function. Period.