This summer I would lie awake every night till 4 AM, revisiting all the awkward things I said throughout my day. I wracked my brain to come up with more bits of my personality to dissect and examine. I would exhale deeply, check Instagram, flip my pillow, then repeat. Then, at 7 AM, when my alarm would emit its merciless cry like a falcon caught in a garbage disposal, I would rise from bed. Then, I would brush my teeth, throw on my least wrinkled button-up, and go into my receptionist job in finance.
To say I looked like the personification of death would be a callous mischaracterization of those who have died. I have been to open casket funerals where the body looks far readier to take on the day than I did when my face would show up at the office to pass around the Wall Street Journal.
When I looked at myself in my bedroom mirror after these sleep-deprived nights, I looked presentable enough for an 8-hour shift. When I go into the bathroom at my office to look at my reflection in the fluorescent light, you would swear the haggard face of President Lincoln was staring back, exhausted from the insanity of his wife and, you know, the Civil War.
Eventually, I started showing up late to my job. Then not at all. Then I was fired. My mind became a place of horror. I was Tom Sawyer if he died in that cave. I was Tom Selleck if he died in that car. My spirit was dead. I needed medical treatment.
I needed Ambien.
I found a doctor who was happy to take my money in exchange for pills in Midtown, Manhattan. He was a slight man, with bushy, grey eyebrows and thick-framed glasses. He ordered Chinese food for delivery before asking me what was wrong. I told him I was depressed and not getting enough sleep. He took another call from his landscaper before telling me that I “did not seem depressed.” I told him I was. We settled on Prozac and Ambien. The Lo Mein arrived as I left.
My experience on Ambien has been nothing less than stellar. I have been taking it for a month now and it has helped me go to sleep easier. Along with the sleep I am getting, Ambien is revealing hidden parts of myself that I never knew existed. For instance, I have always been a bit of a slob. I leave coffee cups in my bedroom and throw clothes on the ground. Ambien, though, has unlocked my penchant for organization. Just last week I awoke to discover that I had organized all the meats and cheeses in my house in the underwear drawer and had organized my underwear, by color, in the freezer. My roommates laugh now but wait till they try a pair of cold underwear on come summertime.
Another great benefit of taking Ambien is the honest things I tell my girlfriend when I’m on it. I am pretty walled off from my emotions in general, often letting resentments simmer below the surface until, one day, they manifest as a yelling match over paint swatches in Home Depot. Ambien does not allow for this. Ambien makes me say things in the middle of the night that would take years of therapy to uncover. “I’m not as attractive as my brother!” is something I have yelled. “I wish I could cook paella!” is another thing I have yelled.
Ambien is a godsend. Taking it has enabled me to be more productive and restful than ever before. It helps me multi-task. Just last night I woke up driving my car to the supermarket. I have been meaning to cook more at home. Clearly, this wonder drug was pushing me to do just that. Ambien has enabled me to improve my personal life while still letting me get a full eight hours. There is nothing like waking up to the smell of bacon, especially when you are the one over the stove cooking it.
I would recommend Ambien to anyone with even the slightest sleeping problem. It won’t just improve your sleep. It will improve your life, while you sleep.