Monday, September 24, 2012

Dream Water or Insomnia Water?

Or in my case, drink to panic and then wake up every few hours to make sure I'm not dead. 

I have just not been sleeping through the night. Not one night in...I don't even know how long. I wake up at 4 or 5 am and lie there in a state of mild unease and anxiety. Sometimes I fall back to sleep and sometimes I don't. Sometimes I take melatonin, sometimes I take Advil PM, sometimes I drink sleepytime tea. Nothing seems to consistently work. The lack of sleep makes me a forgetful, confused and weepy girl. I need a hell of a lot of sleep to function on all cylinders.

Last night, in an effort to get more sleep, I drank a little shot of a natural sleep aid called Dream Water*.

Right after I drank it I went to take my daily dose of Zoloft (I'm serotonin-challenged) and stopped suddenly before I could shake the pill out of the bottle into my palm. I realized with a shock that the "natural" sleep aid I took could have unfortunate interactions with Zoloft.

Then I did what I know I shouldn't have done. I googled drug interactions with zoloft.

The active ingredients in Dream Water are melatonin, 5-HTP and GAMA. I have taken melatonin many times before but was completely unfamiliar with the other two.

The google search led me to a list a mile long of drugs to NEVER TAKE ALONG WITH ZOLOFT. There were little red exclamation points next to each drug name. It may as well have been a giant skull and crossbones and a blinking red neon sign that read "IMMINENT DEATH".

In the list was 5-HTP. Before I panicked too much (I vaguely wondered if I should be making myself barf) I noticed some other medications on the list. They included Advil, almost every cough medicine known to man, and a migraine medication I've taken for years. It appeared as though they put every medication available by prescription AND over the counter on the "do not mix with zoloft" list.  So, I relaxed. I did not commence "fingers down the throat" or "head to the ER" mode. I just went to bed. But my brain continued to worry about the possibility of dying in my sleep so I woke up about every two hours, ALL NIGHT LONG. Thanks Dream Water!

What I realized, though, was that as much as I hurt and often wish to be relieved of the pain and work of grief, I don't want to die. I'm not ready to go. Even the thought of being with Dave again isn't enough to give me a real death wish of any kind.

There are times when I see young families and think that maybe my chance for that is over and was taken from me the day Dave breathed his last. There are times when I wish for an end to my pain. But not once have I actually wished to die.

I want to live. I want to feel true joy and happiness again.  I know deep down that I deserve it.

At the very least, I have now recorded these thoughts I'm able to have on a "good day" and can remind myself that I've felt this way, this hopeful, and that I can feel it again. I can access that emotion again. Maybe on a bad day I won't be receptive to this feeling, but it's there. It's filed away for later. The terrible, black days always have a light at the end of them.

Knowing that is sometimes the only way through the days when hauling myself out of bed feels impossible.

*This is not an ad for Dream Water. It would be a pretty crappy ad, if so. 


  1. Interesting research and helpful text. Thank you for your time writing it.

  2. Sleep is sooo important, we learn how much so when there is a lack of it. I, too, have sleep issues, and hence functioning issues the next day. Do you get plenty of physical exercise? I find if I am really tired from walking, biking, swimming or whatever, it helps my sleep.

    You so do deserve joy and happiness again, I search for something joyful everyday, can't wait until it occupies more space in my life than it does now. I keep thinking about it, and maybe someday those thoughts will just transform me into that state again. Hope you have sweet dreams again, without the Dream Water!

  3. Thanks, Anon!
    I do get a lot of exercise, though I could get even more, I suppose. Maybe I'm just not getting tired enough during the day, though.

  4. You know what works for sleep issues? Lorazepam! (Ativan) I keep it for those bad nights, because I too have noticed that sleep deprivation makes EVERYTHING WORSE.
    And we don't need that. (You can take it with Zoloft.)

    You know, I keep thinking that I need to test my survival instinct by going bungee jumping or something. You have found a much less involved way of discovering something really valuable about yourself. It's important to realize that we really, actually do want to live. I haven't achieved that yet. I keep thinking about Romeo and Juliet, and their lovely romantic end. Of course, they were mad at their parents, and they were also self-involved teenagers. Sigh.

  5. I know that I cycle. I could not sleep more than 4 or 5 hours in the first 2 months then slowly I worked up to sleeping 8 hours. Now I am at almost 6 months and I am back to waking up at 4:00 am. It sucks. I agree that the lack of sleep makes us more forgetful and less engaged.

    I have no death wish at all. I know my husband would kick my butt if I chose to leave our grown children. He had no choice(massive heart attack will do that).

  6. I crave a decent nights sleep! Seems no matter what I do, all I can achieve is 3-5 hours! Then toss and turn! Greg counselor says, " sleep when ou can..." that's great if you don't have a job to do!

  7. and, Does the Dream Water help?