Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Replacing Ativan with Eckhart Tolle?

I've had the worst, most heinous insomnia since about November. It became totally impossible to sleep through the night. I'd wake up repeatedly from just horrible anxiety dreams then lay awake, tossing and turning over whatever list of worry was running incessantly through my mind. It was crazy. I actually dreaded going to bed at night, since it was just such utter torture.

I can break down the reasons for all this anxiety, but won't bore you with the litany here.

A couple of months ago I finally saw my doctor, just feeling at wit's end from not sleeping, and she prescribed Ativan for what she clearly saw as anxiety. I am delighted that that shit really works for me. A tab at bedtime and it's like I'm awake, then I'm dead, then I'm awake again. It might sound bad, but it is nothing but good, believe me. Deep, deathlike sleep kicks the ass of insomnia any day of the week.

But of course, I don't like the idea of swallowing pills and do admit that there's a nasty voice in my head constantly accusing me of weakness for needing to resort to prescription drugs to get through this rough patch (f*k that voice, seriously...). So I went without the Ativan last Saturday night, just to see what would happen.

And guess what: the anxiety is still there. Hasn't gone anywhere or resolved itself magically. So it was a rough night. I am fully cognizant that the pills are not a solution.

Then listening to Eckhart Tolle in the car on the way home tonight ("Practicing the Power of Now," and boy, do I really need reinforcement in that area), it struck me how freaking upside down my life has gotten lately: when I am conscious/awake, basically I'm moving through the day unconscious -- fast, on task, plowing through an endless To Do list, zigging from one thing to another without pause. When I am trying to be unconscious/asleep, I am actually conscious, replaying an endless awful tape of mental misery. How screwed up is that?

According to Tolle, becoming aware that you're not present in the present moment is the beginning of presence. I'm hoping that staying conscious in my waking hours will allow me to let go of the crap that keeps me awake at night, so that I can slowly wean myself off the meds and get a decent, normal night's sleep. I'll keep you posted.


Anonymous said...

Keep us posted! I'm going through the same incessant obsessive thought cycles when trying to sleep too. And listening to Eckhart Tolle's CD makes a lot of sense, I totally agree!! But thoughts thoughts make their way back with a bang!

Jeff46 said...

I've been taking Ativan for over a year and a half. It's a wonderful quick cure for anxiety. I recently have been going through some rough times and my anxiety has been through the roof. But thanks to my wonderful doctoring staff, I have been handling it very well.