Already deep in denial, I didn’t think “doctor shopping” was illegal (it is) or even a bad idea; I simply thought of myself as stockpiling much-needed supplies.
The insert that came with the pills clearly stated that they could be addictive, but I told myself it was better to have a mild drug in my system and to than to be “sober” and spend my days exhausted and depleted. If I tried to fall asleep naturally, I would have what’s called “rebound insomnia,” meaning I would be up all night as a result of taking the drug the night before. When my doctor wouldn’t renew my prescription before 30 days, I found a second doctor and had him call my prescription in to a different pharmacy.
Once I met a doctor at a party and said, “I think I’m addicted to Ambien.” He laughed and said, “Are you sleeping well? Just try telling an insomniac to resist a commercial that promises to deliver the Holy Grail: sleep.
One potential side effect of Ambien is “sleep eating” — the odd practice of preparing and eating food while asleep. I’d wake up to find in my bed cheese and crackers and a sharp knife on a plate (hey, at least I was classy).
I’d quit at some point in the future: when I didn’t need to get up early for work, when my life became more serene, when I had a husband and kids to take care of.
But those things never materialized, and I never stopped.(the most public of places, so this is real courage), the actress kindly shared the exchange she had with a guy her friend was trying to set her up with.