Since I'm writing out here again....I realized I never brought this thread to a close.


After finally getting off Mirtazapine this summer, which involved six weeks of SUCK, the one true benefit of it unsurprisingly went away, the Holy Grail of my adult life: instant, predictable sleep.

Which at the time seemed kind of dealable, because I was so happy to be unzombified, and because the occasional Ambien I'd taken now and then throughout 2013-2014 seemed to really work like a champ in terms of predictable unconsciousness. The one downside was the occasional mystery kitchen landscapes that would greet me in the morning, or missing leftovers that were supposed to be "for something". But really, all of this was a small price to pay for "predictable unconsciousness".

Welllllllll.....if I started taking Ambien regularly in September, let's say that by October my memory was starting to act a little weird. Like not just not remembering things that happened after I took my Ambien in the evenings, but not remembering things from the entire evening, especially if there'd been even one beer involved (which, OK, there never was, this mythical "one beer"...more like the normal VDuck two-drink minimum).

And then by November, this memory weirdness became very consistent. Not forgetting everything, but definitely regularly saying things to people and getting responses like "Really? You don't remember us talking about that?". Especially if there'd been "even one beer" involved.

Which was especially disturbing because I really don't like it when people do this to me, tell me the same shit they've already told me. Also my middle of the night behavior was becoming a bit stranger, not just food but remnants of other things laying around that didn't make any sense and that I had no recollection of doing.

And then....in December and January I had a few pretty mortifying, borderline horrifying middle-of-the-night experiences which made it really clear that a) my odd Ambien behavior was continuing to escalate and b) it could very easily have life-threatening consequences, because I was making some realllllly bad decisions without having any idea I was doing it.

So I stopped Ambien completely in January. Which means that I'm now kind of back to 2012-era sleeping, maybe a little better because I have very very few morning obligations. But yes, going to bed after midnight, waking up at 4 or 5, staying up for a bit, sleeping again til 10 or 11. I still do weird things in the middle of the night but I generally remember them in the morning.

There's one other difference: I'm still taking 14 Oxazepam per month, and they work very nicely. But I'm only allowing myself this many per month because apparently benzo addiction ain't nuthin ta fuck wit, and experience has shown that I can't be trusted to do the right thing in the middle of the night when it comes to making medication decisions. So I try to save these Oxazepams for strategically wise sleeping nights: before gigs, dates, meetings, etc. The rest of the time it's melatonin, 5-HTP, and the occasional 1/2 Unisom, which is just a shitty drug but tends to put me to sleep.


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