Sunday, October 01, 2006

My Drugs Hell

Hedgie is an exceptionally clean-living boy. No, really. I’m Saffie from Absolutely Fabulous (except for the gay part), which is not to say my parents were interesting 60’s bohemians, more like uptight 50’s soaks, single-handedly puffing their way through the output of a medium-sized cigarette factory every year. The end result is that my siblings and I avoid tobacco entirely and are very moderate drinkers.

My only real vices are sugar and caffeine.

I do enjoy the occasional drink. I am allergic to beer. Truth be told, I enjoy the mythology, ritual and snobbery of wine more than the actual stuff. I do like vodka and gin – especially in fruity cocktails. I once had a martini – in New York (I decided it was a good place to start). I was late at the bar, and my order came long after the others’. Seconds after I absorbed the shock of the goldfish bowl sized glass containing at least a pint of martini placed before me by the waiter my boss told me to ‘drink up’. A pint+ of martini chugged down on top of jetlag and an empty stomach and before a night out in New York with a party-animal boss is not a good idea.

But I digress. My mother unfortunately was a child of the 50s also in her battle with prescription drugs. This has left me wary of chemicals.

I occasionally (2-3 times a year) may take an aspirin or a paracetemol – that’s it. Ivan’s Catholic mother says that ‘pain is good for the soul’ and I generally go along with that.

But I have not been sleeping for months now: my first ever bout of sustained insomnia. I eventually went to the doctor last week and he prescribed sleeping pills.

I sliced the tablets in two and decided to take only one half each night. I’ve finished two pills so far: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights. Apart from Tuesday I’ve tried not to take them and have only done so after the church bell struck 2am.

They work like a charm. The trouble is my mood has been wildly affected during the day - I feel really strangely down. Today I was irrationally tearful and found myself contemplating a midnight stroll on Hungerford Bridge. This mood did clear up after I had a ham and tomato sandwich. But it doesn’t make sense as my career situation has improved – I’m starting next week on a freelance project which will net me a fist full of grands for 8 day’s work, so not bad. So why so depressed? I blame the pills. Looks like my choice is no sleep, exhaustion but a relatively clear head or sleep and feel like topping myself the next day.

Maybe I should chop the pills into quarters.

I won’t throw them away, but clearly they can’t be used every night. I’ll avoid them for the weekend, even if I don’t sleep, and see how things pan out.

[Update] – managed without last night; passed a restless night but at least chemical-free.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

have you tried taking a simple antihistimine (like Benedryl (US brand)? it knocks some people right out, esp. people who don't take a lot of medications....