Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Blame it on the A-a-a-a-a-ambien.

There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call The Ambien Zone.

So that psychiatrist that I see for like 5 minutes about once every three weeks thought Ambien would be a good idea for my long sleepless nights. I voiced some concerns that I had heard some "weird" things about the drug, but he poo-pooed me mid-sentence and said it was all media hype and that the side effects were very rare, blah blah etc. He likes to cut me off and make me feel like some gripey old man when I start to complain about one of his precious drugs.

Anyway, because I have little to no willpower and I DID want something to help me sleep, I decided to give it a try. And truth be told, those little fuckers work. My head hits the pillow and what normally would have been about a three hour process of shutting down the ol' thinker is now like 4 minutes of mumbling to Jeff followed by the sawing of many logs. And it's kinda nice not to have to lay there thinking about all the crappy stuff that happened that day and how I could have done things differently if I weren't such a screw-up and all that negative business that usually keeps people like me up at night, you know?

But then the weird shit started happening...

Suffice it to say that you do not want to suddenly be awoken from a deep Ambien sleep because you will be FUCKED up. Nothing seems real...or everything seems HYPER-real...I'm really not sure. Alls I know is that it makes me really stupid. The first time it happened was purely Jeff's fault.

He got up in the middle of the night to go pee and left the door to the bedroom open. Of course no late-nite pee would be complete without a monster bong hit before returning to bed. And like any real pothead knows, you have to like cough, man, and like, open up the airways, man and like, let it get all in your lungs and shit like that, you know, man? So it's nearly 3 in the morning and I hear coughing. My eyes open and I smell smoke and see this white haze and this glaring light coming from the other room. Smoke, light, coughing, OH SHIT, FIRE! I jump outta bed, start putting on pants, throw on a tshirt, run my big ass down the hallway and happen to see from the side of my eye Jeff standing in front of the toilet taking a pee and still coughing.

"Wha? Why are you up?"

Suddenly I realize, there's no fire. Just pee and bong smoke. What in the hell just happened? One second I'm making a valient effort to remember the cat on my way out the apartment door and the next second I'm standing in the hallways staring at Jeff's balls with a puzzled yet clearly disturbed look on my face. Not cool, man. I just couldn't understand how it was so easy to convince myself the place was on fire while still being in such a sleepy haze. It's like having sound and reason, but only to make the most assenine conclusions of all time. "hmm, it's cold in here, I MUST BE STRANDED ON ANTARCTICA. LOOK AT THAT PENGUIN CAT!" Shit makes no sense. Goddamn Ambien.

The next time it happened, I forreal thought I was dead. I was home alone so I can't even blame Jeff this time. I don't know what made me suddenly wake up, but when I did, I was just surrounded by beaming white light, everywhere. This is it, I thought, heaven. No one was more shocked than me. Surely it must be my reward for never having any filthy dirty raunchy sex...the bright white beacon of light leading me home. So I got out of bed and started to walk around. Heaven was SO BRIGHT and FULL OF HOPE and FILLED WITH WONDER and ...strangely had the same layout as my apartment.

Hey, what the fuck, this IS my apartment. My apartment is heaven?? What a shitty shitty terrible heaven...no one even bothered to clean it. It was somewhere between the kitchen and the living room that the light started to fade and I realized it was just my awful dirty apartment with no cool lighting and nothing different at all except for a fat naked Tricia walking around the living room like some lost confused cherub.

Turns out opening your eyes mid-Ambien makes everything all white and bright and crazy. Things that would have been good to know before my freak-outs and before I booked that full-page obituary talking about how awesome I am/was. Oh well, the world still needs to know.

Truth be told, waking up thinking you're dead a few times a month is worth all the good sleepin' I been getting lately. Maybe the dosage could use some tinkering so I'm not taking like six hour naps every Sunday afternoon, but for now I'm grateful for the zzzz's. Hopefully I don't wake up and walk off a cliff or like sleepily drive into a 7-11 one night, but in the meantime, I guess I'll start putting some clothes on when I go to sleep...just in case.


Fat Daddy said...

I'm a bit of an ambien fan myself. Although I must say it fogs my ass in for at least the first 2 hours after the alarm goes off.

But I have not had any of the side effects. Some of which sounded freaky and others fun.

Katy said...

I watched this documentary about this platoon of soldiers in Iraq who were all on Ambien because none of them could sleep. They said some crazy shit happened (dream stuff) like you. I'd be full on admitted to the looney bin if I was on Ambien. I wake up already at least 5-7 times a month TOTALLY conviced there are spiders over the bed, across the room, on my night stand, dangling from webs over my face. This happens ALL THE TIME. But the best one so far happened last week when I woke up 100% convinced that there was a floating towel bar with spinning towels in the middle of the room. Shit scared me to death. Note to self: NEVER TAKE AMBIEN! Loved this story, especially how heaven had your exact apartment layout. hahaha

TJ said...

whoa....was John Mayer in any of those Ambien comas? I hear he likes that shit.

TJ said...

I also think instead of talking to the 5 min therapist on your next visit, that you should just print out this post and let him read it- classic.

Anonymous said...

Your writing is pure genious. I effing laughed my head off. You should be writing a humor column for Rolling Stone. "...penguin cat." lol You made my day.

love ya, for reals,

Dina said...

Jeff is gonna catch on that you're out of it and you're gonna have some non consensual Ambien sexin goin on

Janell said...

I like Ambien but my insurance won't pay for it. Go figure. Plus I heard people were "night-time eating" which I'm sure is one of the things your rude psychiatrist pointed out that was all hype. I figured I'd be too asleep to eat. I never woke up on it when I first took it prior to my insurance deciding it would not pay for it. They pay instead of anti-anxiety pills that will surely send me to Betty Ford.
It's worth it to turn off the monkey mind.

Janell said...

His balls? Ugh.

Camevil said...

Wait, these are BAD side effects?

Oh, and I'm glad Ambien wasn't invented in the 80's. Otherwise, we'd never have that classic Men At Work song, "Overkill," to help put the nighttime anxiety into perspective.

Shelley said...

Tears, I am in TEARS reading this...Tricia, you are hysterically funny. Penguin cat? Heaven having the same layout as your apartment? Oh.my.

Glad you are getting some good sleep, though. Did you ever read Jen Lancaster's description of Ambien shopping? Apparently multiple Barbie heads were purchased...too funny, but your story topped hers.

Katie J said...

I agree with Robin Tricia! You are a brilliant writer!

Big Clyde said...

Maybe Jeff should bogart one of your tic-tacs and stay off the bong. Do you really need more shit to deal with?

arielcircleofnine said...

Maybe Jeff would ditch the bong and start hoarding your Ambien if he knew the kinds of trippy happenings it aparently induces!! I think he should ditch the bong anyway, and put his balls away. LOL
Glad you're getting some good sleep and I agree- pure genious humor here. I got so essssited when I saw you'd posted!!! :-D
Love, Areola

bbubblyb said...

I can't stop laughing, it's great reading your stories again. You just crack me up.

I have an ambien story for ya though about my mom. We called it "sleep baking" lol. I live 2 hours from my mom but she's always calling me with something crazy to tell. So she calls me one day says:

"I don't know what happened Dawn but I woke up and when I went to the kitchen it looks like I must have made a cake." I was like "what are you talking about mom?" She says "well there's all this stuff out, box cake mix, milk, eggs, everything is on the table but I don't know where the cake is."

Now my mom says some crazy sounding stuff and at this point she's not making any sense to me.

So then she says "oh here it is" "I put it in the microwave but it's not cooked".

At this point I'm like mom what have you been taking and she tells me about ambien so I tell her I think it's best she doesn't take it anymore.

About a week after that she calls and says "dawn I almost burnt the house down". She goes on to tell me she woke up to a bad smell and when she went to heat up the dogs food she found a pile of ash in the microwave. She also found the bottom piece of the microwave (the piece under the glass plate) all melted. She figured out she had put a frozen tv dinner in there in her sleep for who knows how long. Long enough to burn it into a pile of unrecognizable ash anyway. She also said she had been finding the cereal out and other food items on the table in the morning so had been getting up and eating too. Anyway, finally she quit taking the ambien.

So please be careful or you might really be running around naked yelling fire!!!!!

Amanda said...

My boss is now looking at me all weird because I'm giggling at my desk (I guess paying the bills shouldn't be this funny). Thanks for sharing. Penguin cat... hee!!!

Linda Pressman said...

Trish, I'm a big Ambien fan too. Having lifelong insomnia is no picnic and I figure it's better than addictive substances (read: Valium) so I'm fine with it. But here's the deal- I only take 1/3 pf a 10 mg pill. Now I tend to go to bed late and wake up early, like I'm only shooting for 6-7 hours, but still, that's all I can handle. And the great thing is that since I have to pay for it out of pocket, that makes my rx last three times as long! So try a half, you total nut, and maybe that'll stop your otherworldly experiences!

screwdestiny said...

Oh man, Tricia, this post was fucking funny! I'm sorry you're having to take sleeping pills right now. I hope you can eventually get good sleep without them.

BJ said...

I am a new reader to your blog, and I must say you are very funny. I was in a really crappy mood today and a friend of mine who works in my office (Tammy @ From Fat to Fab) was reading your blog and just couldn't stop laughing. So I just had to read. Like you I was losing weight and life got in the way, so I went back to my old habits and gained most of the weight back. I am now back on track (for today) and hope to succeed. Loved reading your blog today, it made me laugh.

Anonymous said...

You really are a brilliant writer. So glad you're back - your posts make my day.


Biz said...

DON'T EVER TAKE TWO! My husband had the bright idea one night to take not just one, but two thinking two is better than one.

OMG, he had the worst nightmares! He thought I was trying to kill him. He had a big meeting the next day for work and wanted to get a good nights sleep.

He woke up groggy, confused, and when he went to take a shower, actually fell completely out of it because he was so dizzy!

I had to laugh when you talked about Jeff's balls! :D

Debbi Does Dinner Healthy said...

I am literally in tears and STILL laughing like crazy. Sorry for your issues but holy crap that is funny!

Keep writing! This is who we want read about! Well, kind of. :-)

Gillion said...

Pei Pa Koa (www.geocities.jp/ninjiom_hong_kong/index_e.htm ) is one of the few Chinese natural cough remedies that have been scientifically studied. it's something like herb plus honey, and it's sweet, thick and black in color. If you have a cough, look for it! It used to be one of my favourite natural cough remedies.

if your cough persists, seek professional help such as traditional Chinese medicine physicians - I have had very good experiences with them.

Anonymous said...

Ambien is good, but I wouldn't recommend taking them for a long time. After a while your body depends on the pills and it could get pretty ugly when even 2 Ambien doesn't do the trick. Then where are you going to be? Treat the anxiety and depression in a non-pill way. I wish you luck.

Anonymous said...

Agree w/ Anonymous above.
That shit feels good now but it's easy to adjust to any narcotic. I have an acquaintance that suffers from insomnia. She'll take 2 ambien each night and that hasn't been "enough" for the past year. She's miserable.
I would think moving more (exercise) would wear you out. I mean, you'd be hard pressed to find an insomniac field or farm hand. When I have trouble sleeping I exercise (low impact walking or swimming, to avoid injury) once in the morning and once after work. I. AM. EXHAUSTED. That's all I need for the very deepest sleep.

Anonymous said...

Hey Tricia
I have been reading your blog for about a year and i always look forward to your updates.. you are a great writer and I love how to-the-point and witty you are.. Hope you are feeling better, just wanted you to know you're not alone... xx D

Cynthia said...

Hey Tricia,

Come back - we are all in this together - I've been dieting for 37 years and am still 235 lbs - I've tried everything but consistancy - As for the sleeping, I get insomnia too - I've been taking a 5mg Melatonin to fall asleep and usually can stay asleep for 4 good hours - Maybe you could try that - also I've been doing a Leslie Sansone walk video at home for 30 minutes (door shut and locked so no one can walk in and witness it)and that really helps too - Remember that you are cared about, thought about and prayed for too.


ambien said...

I've been taking Ambien now for about 8 months; I am also prescribed to benzos (clonazepam). Recently my doctor let me try a 7 day trial of Ambien CR- I did not feel much of a difference. I have read many of the blogs that people have written and they seem to have the same problem as me... sometimes it works and sometimes it does nothing! Actually its been two weeks since I last took it until tonight and it seems to be having no effect. If anyone has a solution I would love to hear about it. Thanks.

dosage ambien said...

Good Stuff Ambien completely knocked me out, but I didn’t feel drowsy the next day. i really liked it.

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