Thursday, January 29, 2009

You are getting sleepy

I need to check in with my shrink - something I ought to do at least every other month. He invested a good deal of time in me when I was one of his acute cases. I tend to cancel scheduled appts because of bad weather. The best day to see the shrink as a "walk in" is Thursday. But I've been breaking an Ambien dependency & I'd rather not discuss it with him when he's the guy who prescribes it. I used to use it judiciously, & my regular dose was usually a half tablet combined with a Tylenol PM. Then I got to relying on it every night, to sleep when I wasn't sleepy, & to put me asleep quickly when I was sleepy. It wears off after a couple hours, but I wasn't interested in the time release version acting on my system for 8 hours. I really don't mind when fire engines passing by wake me up. I don't want Ambien on my shelf just yet. My sleeping hours are still discombobulated - have been for a month - last night I snoozed off around 9, lights on, radio on, window open too wide, woke up tired & cold at 5 am, shut off the lights, radio & PC, closed the window, put on jammies & went back to bed until 7.

A dependency isn't an addiction. There's no withdrawal, the body doesn't cry out for a fix. You don't panic, you just get annoyed that you have to stay away from something & wait until some kind of balance is restored. If you habitually eat Oreos before bed every night for a few months, you'll be dependent on those, & the solution is stop buying Oreos, maybe initially switch to tasteless house brand oatmeals.

I'll have Ambien back next to the aspirin & Tylenol PM. But I need to be able to look at it say, "Don't want you tonight." Which is how I originally dealt with it.

I took myself off Zoloft without consulting with the shrink. It hadn't kept me out of the hospital. Those drugs can make it difficult to keep track of one's mental states, the ups & downs, which is what my therapist had been trying to teach me for several years. I became dangerously depressed without fully feeling how depressed I really was. So I cut down the daily Zoloft dosages & slowly cleaned it outta my system. When the shrink asked why, I said, "I wanted back what remains of my libido, & not for sex." That seemed to make sense to him. I'd like Zoloft if it was like Ambien, an as-needed drug; it keeps little things from rattling you, makes shy people more sociable. But it doesn't make you more yourself; rather it changes emphasis in your personality, & that emphasis is toward agreeableness. After awhile I became disagreeable trying to resist the pacifying effect Zoloft had on me. It takes a month to get on it & a month to get off it, & I didn't like that at all.


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