posted by April 28 at 13:04 PMon
I was having trouble sleeping.
That’s not unusual for me. I’ve always been a light/only occasional sleeper. And conditions were perfect for a sleepless night—I was sleeping on a couch in my aunt’s living room in Tucson, I had to get up early for a flight the next morning, And, um, I had just watched my mother die. So when I was offered an Ambien I decided to take it.
I’d been offered Ambien in the past, mostly by a friend that swears by the drug. Ambien also inspires my boyfriend to swear—mostly at me, since he has to deal with me when I haven’t slept for a few days. He’s long wanted me to get a prescription but I’ve always refused. Isn’t Ambien that drug that makes people sleep walk, eat, fuck, drive, etc.? Did I really want to start taking that drug?
But… I made an exception that night and took the pill. When I woke up and it was still dark I figured that, shit, Ambien isn’t that great. It was groggy, but I wasn’t asleep. So the drug didn’t work—not for me, anyhow. But when I looked at the clock in the kitchen it wasn’t 2 AM, my usual wake-up time, but 6:30 AM. I’d been asleep for nine hours. Nine hours in a row.
I got a prescription. I took the drug every night for three weeks. I slept and slept and slept and slept. But one night I couldn’t take the pill—I was home alone with the kid and I needed to be capable of waking up in the middle of the night and snapping to attention if there was a late-night emergency, a nightmare, a zombie attack, etc. So I didn’t take the pill—and I didn’t sleep. Not at all, not a wink.
The next day I got online and looked up Ambien’s less spectacular side effects—the side-effects that hadn’t made headlines—and guess what I found? One of the side effects was insomnia. Insomnia! But you’ll only get insomnia, I read, or get insomnia back, if you stop taking the drug. They call it “rebound insomnia.”
I stopped taking Ambien—and I didn’t sleep for three days.
Nice drug they’ve got there. Glad I’m not addicted to it. Anymore.