Transfer addiction... I threw out my sleeping pills...

on 7/16/12 2:08 am - NC
I  was having trouble sleeping, laying there in bed for hours after I retired just tossing and I went to the Dr and got a script for Ambien....that was 8 months ago...I am embarrassed to say that the effect it had on me was something that I looked forward to at night, so I started taking it earlier and not always getting to bed right away.  Now I'm not sure everyone gets affected the same way I do but it made me feel drunk and happy, it also hit me pretty hard and fast.  I have come to realize that I have a problem and I refuse to trade my food addiction for another one.  I will not be weighted down by this too.  I have admitted this to only myself and you here, my guilt keeps me quiet in my shame filled corner.  Today I took a proactive approach and threw them out, down the drain they went.  If I'm up all night then so be it, I will just look at it as my quiet time when the kids are asleep and I can just "be" with myself.  I have to admit that I haven't done a lot of internal soul searching on this journey, maybe because I was afraid of what I would find.  I "knew " the fat me, how would the skinny me be?  I still find it hard to look in the mirror and see "me". There are times I feel like I've lost too much weight and others not enough, times that my size 6 feels huge but compared to the 22 I was I know it's not.  I feel that for the last few months I've just been checked out of life.  I've given up so much for this and fear gaining it all back like I've done so many times before.  It scared the crap out of me and I fell into self medicating again to avoid a closer look at myself.  I can't keep doing the same behavior...Thanks for hearing me out.

on 7/16/12 2:23 am - NC
Praying for you!


HW 225, SW 219, GW 140, CW 124

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!  

on 7/16/12 2:24 am - PA
A word of caution - you can NOT stop Ambien cold turkey. Please call your pharmacist and have them tell you how to wean yourself off of the medication safely.
on 7/16/12 3:05 am - Lithonia, GA
First of all congrats on your amazing progress and weight loss!

Second, I have always been a "early bird and not a late duck" meaning I could get up at 3 a.m. to go to work early and catch the downtown train for Chicago, but when it came to clubbing and staying up late, I never saw the 10 p.m. news...............

I was the one at the club with her head on the bar with my friends and peole thinking I was drunk but I was really all danced out and sleep

ONLY, AND I MEAN ONLY, after having RNY in October, 2008, I developed severe acne and insomnia" AT THE SAME DAMN TIME", thanks "2Chainz"

This happened in April 2010 and to this vary day, I cannot sleep without Ambien 10mg nightly.  My anxiety came back and for the first time in life I am required to take 2mg of Xanax 1-3 day for severe anxiety attacks.  My acne I have not seen since over 25 years ago and my skin looks worser than my 10 kids...........and I have body acne on my back......I have bought every damn product on the shelf, for all skin, for my skin, still breakouts.

I have had thyroid checked, labs done, hormones checked, OB/GYN labs checked, adrenals checked, cortisol levels checked,  b-12 levels checked, sleep study done again post-op, and they all say normal, above normal.

I believe that the insomnia is a side effect related to the new matabolic composition of our new digestive system that has not yet been linked or discovered because some people have had insomnia before surgery but many after surgery and many people here worse after surgery.   I am one of those in the category that has never had insomnia, EVER!

I agree with the previous poster, you cannot stop Ambien cold turkey.  I tried melatonin supplements and I get hangover and ill feeling the next morning, Lunesta same thing, Trazodone, same thing.  I have tried a sleep doctors recommendation to just stay up all night past bedtime and thee next day my internal clock will reset itself. Nope!  All I got was a headache and a catch up on all my shows on my  I can take Ambien late in the night and I have just enough time to pee and pray literally.  The next morning whether I got 5 hours or 7-8 hours of sleep, I wake up refreshed and ready to go

Now, if only you could have mailed me those pills you washed down the drain.....................I also am more anemic since surgery and my zinc levels are low.  I take supplements but still insomnia, but if you google Zinc deficiency, sleep problems are a side effect so have those levels tested, otherwise girl...........


Good luck and get you some rest, I guess we traded in the fat and co-morbidities for new issues, but I would rather be dependent on sleep meds than morbid obesity that's just me
on 7/16/12 3:27 am - NC
I appreciate all of the info but I personally will not trade one addiction for another.  There were times when I didn't remember things that happened after I took the Ambien,that was concerning to my DH and when you can't remember something you've done it's time to take action to fix that.  I believe I can make a life for myself in which I have control of my issues, not where they have control of me. 
on 7/16/12 4:14 am - Lithonia, GA
On July 16, 2012 at 10:27 AM Pacific Time, ColleenA wrote:
I appreciate all of the info but I personally will not trade one addiction for another.  There were times when I didn't remember things that happened after I took the Ambien,that was concerning to my DH and when you can't remember something you've done it's time to take action to fix that.  I believe I can make a life for myself in which I have control of my issues, not where they have control of me. 
I wish you much success in whatever you choose to do to handle your insomnia.

I am married as well and my DH has expressed the same concerns to me.  He even had to videotape me several times because I could not believe the actions I was doing in my sleep, like walking downstairs with my eyes closed, 15-steps down to the kitchen, and grazing in the refrigerator!

I have awaken to spilled food in the bed with me, multiple pairs of pajamas on and other things.  My DH hasn't slept in 2 years trying to make sure I do not get in the car and drive away.   I am not trying to be humorous but it is funny some things that have happened to ME on my "Ambien nights"

But on a serious note though, just like you persevered to fix your weight issues, you will find a solution for this problem that fits your lifestyle as well.  Good luck!
on 7/16/12 3:51 am - Canyon, TX
RNY on 05/11/12
 Please call your Dr to wean off the Ambien. There could be side effects from weaning off this medicine. I agree about getting off of it, but know you need to do it the SAFE way. Good luck. I have a friend who had RNY and is now an alcoholic. Really scary, being easy to become addicted to meds or drink
on 7/16/12 4:18 am
Please contact your doctor, I agree with the other comments.  Going cold turkey off of Ambiem is not a good combo you need to do this with the help of a professional.

I have five (YES 5) WLS that are or have been addicted to Ambien.  Some of them have admitted a problem and went for help the others are in denial that there is a problem. 

Kudos for realizing you need to take action, again though please don't try to do this alone.  I don't want to scare you but the side affects can kill you.

Proximal RNY Lap - 02/21/05

 9 years committed ~  100% EWL and Maintaining


on 7/16/12 4:25 am - NC
I thank you all for the kinds words and advice.  The pills are gone so it will be what it is, the only thing I can do is call my pharmacist and see what side effects can happen.  I will inform my DH about my actions so he can keep an eye out on me. I am not doing this alone.
on 7/16/12 4:58 am - Germantown, MD
 Oh, I hear ya! I just stopped my rx for Ambien after a time of decrease (6 months of taking 1/2, then 2 weeks of taking 1/4 before my sleep dr said I could stop entirely) and I'd been on it for 1.5 years. Like the other posters said, the concern is stopping after being on it so long - so call your dr & the pharmacy, as they may or may not want you to titer down slowly instead of stopping cold turkey - and your dr can always give you a small supply to get you thru stopping or may just give you the all-clear if you hadn't been taking it daily for the whole 8 months.
On the insomnia front, it's really important to look at what the CAUSE of the insomnia is - because the pills can help with the symptoms but to really eliminate it you need to look at the origin. Me, for example, it's a mixture of mild (subclinical) sleep apnea and stress. I deal with the stress the best way I can - thru head work, exercise, etc. The apnea could be treated with a CPAP but since it's so mild, my sleep dr said I really don't need it. 
It's really scary when you toe the line of dependency, and it's a scarier thing to face the addiction and tell it to bugger off, so you are brave!!! Be proud of yourself for recognizing this! Like some other posters said, the "semi-conscious" or amnesiatic behaviors alone can be scary; I apparently ate, put on self-tanner, did laundry, lifted weights, had whole conversations, and other random stuff without any recollection. To have a substance hurt you and still take it night after night is something that I'll readily face insomnia over!

First ultra: Stone Mill 50 miler 11/15/14 13:44:38, First Full Marathon: Marine Corps 10/27/13 4:57:11Half Marathon PR 2:04:43 at Shamrock VA Beach Half-Marathon, 12/2/12 First Half-Marathon 2:32:47, 5K PR  Run Under the Lights 5K 27:23 on 11/23/13, 10K PR 52:53 Pike's Peek 10K 4/21/13(1st timed run) Accumen 8K 51:09 10/14/12.