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