Aussa’s crazy stories always make me think of my own (less crazy) stories. Everything that has ever happened to me seems mundane until I read stories about poor decision made on drugs (legal drugs here. There’s no law breaking at Chapter TK).
A sane person would probably read a story like that and shake their head. I read that story and think, I remember that one time I was taking sleeping medication and tried to fly. This thought is followed by giggles.
It all started the first semester as a college sophomore. Insomnia held me in its painful grasp. That feeling of being dead tired and not being able to fall asleep is like no other pain. I think I may have gotten about an hour of sleep every night due to my body giving out. Somehow, amid 17 semester hours of classes, working 20 hours a week and attending fencing practice for 2 hours twice a week (sometimes more when we had weekend tournaments), I still passed all my classes with flying colors. Except…. I took NyQuil three times during finals week in a desperate attempt to get some form of sleep.
My doctor was not happy I took cold medicine when I didn’t have a cold. I think the act characterized my desperation after my sleepless semester. I was prescribed sleeping medication and sent on my way.
The sleeping medication was a Godsend to my sleep deprived body. Man, that stuff works. The only catch was that I had to try and sleep as soon as I took it otherwise I would be up all night just as I had before with a little more loopy added.
I think I scared the two women I shared my dorm with. They once told me I laid in bed with a big Cheshire cat grin for no apparent reason. Another night, I accused one of them of putting a demon in a dog plush she had given me. Apparently, I was legitimately angry at her.
I have no memory of either of those events. It’s the one I do have a memory of that makes me laugh.
At the time of this tale, I was well aware of the strange effects the sleeping medication had one me. I was equally aware that I sometimes freaked out my dormmates during those rare occasions when I didn’t fall asleep right away.
I took the pills as prescribed and laid in bed. After tossing and turning in the top bunk bed, I started to feel the loopy effects. I hadn’t fallen asleep yet. Then, I had an epic idea.
I was going to scare the shit out of my dormmates.
It was a brilliant plan, really. I sat up and leaned over the edge of the bed.
“I can fly! I can fly!” I proclaimed, channeling my inner Peter Pan.
I promise, I had no real intention of flying. My dormmates were on their feet and I’m pretty sure one of them said “no!” in a stern voice. With my objective complete, I giggled and went to sleep.
Some time later, I was in the mess hall eating breakfast with my dear dormmates when I remembered the night I convinced them I thought I could fly. So happy was I in my memory, that I had to share.
“Remember that one time a few months ago when I told you guys I could fly. Man, that was funny. You both flipped out.”
I was giggling, but my friends gave me one of their worried glances and said, “uh, TK, that was last night?”
Honestly, though, it freaked me out that an event from the past night seemed like an occurrence from months back. I didn’t like the idea that my memory was being messed with. At this point, I was going on two years with the sleeping medication. While I still look on this event with humor, it is also the day I realized I needed to start looking into other options.
Unfortunately, that journey would take at least a year as I tried to identify the reason behind my insomnia and battle my fear of sleepless nights. I am happy to report that it has been almost two years since I needed drugs to sleep at night.
The fear of sleepless nights will always be a demon I war with. The thought that the insomnia might come back is terrifying, but I’ve learned some techniques to help me sleep and have transitioned into a comfortable life. One thing I never learned is the reason I had insomnia in the first place; I’m just happy I’m past that phase in my life.
Many sleeping drugs have serious and sometimes life threatening side effects. If anyone is trying to find alternatives to deal with insomnia or sleepless nights, I would be more than happy to give advice (based upon my own experiences and not any real medical expertise). Feel free to shoot me a message through the contact form at the bottom of my About Page.