Adventures with Ambien

Last night I had my first ever “bizarre behavior on Ambien” event. I got home from the Runner’s World party at about 10:30. My brain was abuzz with activity. I’m always overstimulated after going to a party of any kind. I knew I wouldn’t be able to switch it off. I also had been drinking club soda all evening (except for one tiny glass of champagne at the entrance). But I hadn’t eaten that much.

So I sat down on the couch with my laptop and shotgunned a full 10mg Zolpidem Tartrate (generic Ambien) and a beer. My Facebook posts from that period were normal.

I got very sleepy, so put down the notebook and went to bed. The next thing I remember is waking up at 4AM and wondering why my iPod was next to the bed and turned on. It was showing “Low Battery.” I switched it off and went back to sleep until 7AM.

As I entered the kitchen to make breakfast, I took note of a few oddities. The freezer door was slightly ajar. There was a destroyed fudgesicle wrapper strewn across the kitchen — bits were on the counter, on the floor and in the trash. Around the base of the trash can was scattered a pile of paper napkins. I did what I always do in such cases: blamed it on Jonathan.

Over breakfast, I did my usual web browsing — Google Reader, blog stats and, of course, the ever-addictive Facebook. But it was with some alarm that I noted that a version of myself had been actively posting around midnight, maybe 90 minutes after I went to sleep.

The original post was done pre-blackout. The follow-up comment, however, shows some cognitive troubles brewing.

There was, in fact, no bling at the RW “shindig.” There was lots of food, which I should have eaten more of.

Was it hiccups that woke me up? Probably. It seems that hiccups are always annoying. Even when you're crocked.

This last one is the best of the three. I don’t even need to highlight it anywhere, as the whole message is highlight-worthy.

At my most mentally disordered.

I like this one the best because it documents my total mental disintegration, punctuated by stream of consciousness thoughts and things I said earlier in the evening, during which the only substances I was high on were club soda and California rolls. There are also hints of things I wrote about as long as a week ago.

“For the record” was something I said when we were leaving. I said that, for the record, I would not take responsibility for Sandra’s knee issue being exacerbated by the fact that she was wearing 3″ Donna Karans and running across the street in them.

“She knows her shit” is a reference to two things: Sandra has a very good knowledge of roadways leading into and out of NYC. I learned about all kinds of shortcuts last night. It’s also a line I used in an email recently, describing Sandra’s coaching to a friend.

“I am driving with Sandra” was not accurate. I was, in fact, sitting somewhere in my home. We don’t know where, since there is evidence that I made my way around several rooms of the house last night. This may have been posted from the guest room. It’s worth pointing out that in order to post these messages, I had to first unearth my iPod from the bowels of my gym bag, which was in the entrance hall. Upon closer examination, it appears all Facebook updates were sent from my laptop (iPod messages are labeled as such). So I went from sitting on the couch thinking, “I feel really sleepy” to instantly being in a state of altered conscious. The brain is an amazing contraption.

“It’s a fun, exhilarating ride. No near deaths. Just thrills.” What I find most amazing about this copy is that I still managed to spell the word “exhilarating” correctly. I must have been marshalling all my mental capacities and working so hard to accomplish that. Sandra’s driving reminds me a little of Diane Keaton’s driving in Annie Hall. Although instead of half a sandwich on the floor, she has water bottles rolling around.

She told me that her daughter says she’s a terrible driver. I told her that I felt she was merely an assertive driver and, further, she drives like she conducts the rest of her life: making decisions with confidence and taking advantage of new opportunities as they present themselves. She’s also not afraid of 18 wheelers.

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