That title sounds a bit dramatic, I know, so let me begin by defining “overdose.” An overdose may be defined as simply taking too much of a controlled substance or taking a dangerous amount of a drug. And I did. Inadvertently. Shall I begin the narrative at the beginning?

Just over nine years ago, I briefly dated an ER doctor who I quickly became very much attached to emotionally. He was a real jerk. We shall call him Doc Comis. I have suffered from chronic insomnia all my life, and he convinced me that Ambien would solve my problems, insomnia and other problems. So he prescribed Ambien for me. In retrospect, it seems ethically iffy to prescribe a controlled substance for someone with whom you are having a relationship. What I find to be way worse, however, is that he, as a doctor, prescribed this dangerous drug, knowing full well the risks, and offered no oversight at all, as you shall see, dear reader.

Doc Comis was, to put it politely, a real piece of work. I can now say definitively that he was emotionally abusive. And that is something that needs unpacking another time. But after prescribing me a full month’s worth of Ambien plus refills, Doc Comis just ghosted me. And that sent me into an emotional tailspin, as you might well imagine. My insomnia worsened as I fell off the emotional cliff edge. And one night I accidentally overdosed. I have little memory of the actual event. Here’s what I know.

I got my prescription from good ol’ Doc Comis refilled, so I had a full bottle. And here’s a pertinent piece of information: I live alone. I could feel insomnia chasing me, so I took a single pill before bed. I was unable to sleep, so I took a second, per the instructions on the bottle. When I got up the next morning, having slept much later the usual and especially groggy, I found that the bottle of Ambien which should have been nearly full, as I’d just picked up a new refill, was almost empty. Sitting next to it was a half drunk bottle of vodka.

I was terrified and shocked. I had only a vague, dream-like memory of getting up at night to take more pills and drink vodka. And I wasn’t trying to harm myself in any way. I had this sensation of being unable to relax and rest, so I was just trying to medicate and get to sleep. Although I readily admit that I have suffered from so-called chronic suicidality for years, I truly was just trying to get rest. And my memories of those events are so very vague. I’m certain I was sleepwalking or something akin thereto.

I got rid of both the Ambien and the vodka immediately, and I haven’t taken Ambien since. I should have dropped Doc Comis immediately as well. It took a bit longer to completely get rid of that jackhole. He messed me up way worse than an Ambien overdose ever could.

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