Why has no one ever warned me of the dangers of shopping under the influence? Okay, I’m coming clean here. I took Ambien for over two years. I had a perfectly good reason—I couldn’t sleep without it. Actually I wasn’t always sleeping normally even with the Ambien. Case in point. See this typeset sign about love and trusting God and being kind? It’s mine now, just arrived yesterday, all sturdily packed with my name on it. It seems I bought it under the influence.
Sometimes when I took an Ambien and still couldn’t sleep I’d get up and have a cup of warm milk and a piece of toast. At least once I got up and had a beer and a whole bag of tortilla chips. I only knew about the late-night eating because I found the evidence in the morning. Kath’s friend Edie took an Ambien, got up in the night and fell down the stairs. She crawled to the sofa and didn’t know she had broken her shoulder until morning.
A few weeks ago my doctor said enough, that Ambien can be dangerous, that no one knows the effects of long-term use, and she took me off of it. Cold turkey.
I was sitting at the hospital with my mother yesterday and we saw a slew of Dr. Phil shows. In every single show he was talking to addicts and their families about the horrible damage that addiction causes. (I know—I did my graduate internship in addiction treatment when I got my master’s degree in Counseling Psychology.) Technically Ambien is not addictive. Not a single one of the addicts on the Dr. Phil show was on Ambien—they all used cocaine and heroin and prescription pain killers. But I swear if one of them had said they used Ambien and loved how they could sleep with it, it would have started the craving for me. I could have stolen my mother’s purse and walked behind the hospital dumpster looking for someone selling black market Ambien.
So last week I got an e-mail message saying my order was being shipped. What order? It seems I ordered this typeset framed poster in an altered state. Hmmm . . . I remember seeing it at some point and I do like it but I didn’t know I had ordered it. It’s a final sale item. AMBIEN!!! Damn you, you satanic drug. I can’t sleep without you and apparently I shop online under the influence. I’m surprised I didn’t order a $400 pair of shoes or a huge chunk of turquoise and silver Indian bracelet. At least it was just shopping. I heard about a woman who got a tattoo under the influence of Ambien and reportedly some people make telephone calls and have sex without knowing about it. Can you imagine?
I want to stick another line to this poster: Don’t use Ambien and shop.