Hello and welcome to my first post on my new domain/blog! In the spirit of continuous self-improvement, I had a realization with my therapist…I always focus on what I could have done better, and what I did that was wrong. To some, this may seem perfectly normal but when you focus simply on how much you screwed up, how dumb you think you are, etc. etc. it becomes a self-deprecating and toxic environment that we make for ourselves. Something has become very clear to me and that’s my inability to focus on the good things in life. This is an exercise to hopefully get better at that.
One of my major accomplishments that I never thought would happen is my break-up with Ambien. I have been on and off (mostly on) Ambien for the better part of at least 7 years. I’ve always had a very difficult time sleeping - probably due to anxiety. I can’t turn my brain off at night. With the seizure-like episodes, I was experiencing along with thoughts of starting my own family soon I knew it was time to cut the cord I’ve been so reliant on. I would do so many WEIRD things on Ambien - I’m surprised Dave didn’t give me my marching papers after the time I woke up just long enough to say “All the TVs in the house are going to kill us!”… and proceeded to go right back to sleep zZzzZzz… So many other stories! I’m so thankful I wasn’t one of those Ambien users who got in a car and drove (yes this can totally happen).
I knew it was going to be a difficult transition. There were times I had run out of my prescription and I had to go a night without. Night terrors, sweats, shaking… NO SLEEP AT ALL. It would be ok though eventually… I hoped. It took about 5 days for the withdrawal symptoms to dissipate. I kept plugging away at work and at home - Ambien wasn’t going to win this time.
Fast forward a couple months to now I am not sleeping a full 8 hours a night like I had but I feel better. When I wake up in the morning I literally jump out of bed and most mornings get a nice workout in before I must head off to work. Prior, I’d be so dazed and almost comatose that it would be extremely difficult to get moving in the morning. When your commute is 90 minutes to work… “ain’t nobody got time for that!” With the transition off of Ambien also came the transition off my anxiety meds at night. Now I only have to take those before I get in front of a crowd or I find myself in a super stressful situation.
So yes, major accomplishment number 1 - Ambien was shown the way out!
For anyone else looking to rid yourself of “sleepy pills” here are a few key takeaways I had:
There were some days I had my 2 Hub Bub Coffees a day. I don’t do that anymore -1 cup a day! If you do caffeinate, try and have your caffeine before lunch. The later you have it in the day the longer it’s going to take to get out of your system. Exercise in the morning! As daunting as it is to roll out of bed and go immediately into a workout you’ll feel better when you’re finished trust me! You don’t even have to do an hour workout or anything over the top. I do 25 minutes of cardio before I get going for the day. I wake up at 4:30 AM to accomplish this and get to work in a timely manner so by the time 10:00 PM rolls around I’m ready for bed. Stop watching TV. At least an hour before bed turn the TV off. Read a book! Do something that’s easy. Enable the night shift on your phone. Whether you’re running Apple, Android, etc. there should be a setting that allows you to warm the colors on your phone. Certain light spectrums have been tied to insomnia. The night shift settings help this issue.
Thanks to Jeff Triplett for proofing this post, allowing my “heatsisms” to fly, and also for teaching me the importance of index.html :) and to Lacey for helping me sort out my HTML in this paragraph. I’m such a newbie and coding can be terrifying but the support of my frandlies helps make it not so bad.