This is a Public Service Announcement: Do not take sleeping pills, ever. Especially if you have an addictive / dependent personality. Because you will never be able to go off them again.
About 4 or 5 years ago when I started a new AD, the doctor offered to give me a prescription for some sleeping pills. The ADs could cause a spike in anxiety in the beginning and might make it difficult for me to sleep at first. "If you like, I could give you a prescription for some sleeping pills to tide you over for the first two weeks?"
As he asked, the voice inside my head was saying "NO TERTIA, DON'T DO IT! You know yourself, this is not a good idea, do NOT take the sleeping pills". But of course, I never listen to the sensible voice in my head and out came "yes please, that sounds like a good idea". That was 4 or 5 years ago and I can't sleep without a sleeping pill. Can't/Wont. Not sure which it is, but all I know is that I take half or quarter sleeping pill every night. If Rose does a night for me, I take a half. If I have Max at night, I take a quarter.
It sounds like a little. If I am only taking a quarter, why not just take nothing? Because I've become so conditioned (mentally and physically) to use the sleeping pill as the way I fall asleep, that I don't know how to fall asleep on my own. I have completely forgotten how to.
I've tried falling asleep without my crutch, but the insomnia becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. I lie there getting more and more anxious that I am not sleeping until I eventually get up and take a half/quarter pill. I know that my problem is that I have extremely bad bedtime habits. I work on my email right up until bedtime. Which is usually when I am too tired to see the screen anymore. Then I pop a half/quarter pill, brush my teeth etc, get into bed and go straight on to my Blackberry and catch up with Facebook / Twitter etc. I wait until the screen goes blurry which is when I know the sleeping pill is kicking in. I then close my eyes and wait for sleep to take over. Sooo bad. But I just can't see that hot milk toddy and a lavender bath doing it for me. Unless I could use my laptop in the bath.
Unlike my ADs (which I am not sure I ever intend going off as I MUCH prefer myself on them), the sleeping pill thing I am not mad about. I miss being able to drift off to sleep by myself and a sleeping pill sleep is not as refreshing as a natural sleep.
What is interesting to me, is how many people do take sleeping pills. I thought it was only me, but I've since discovered that many people do. For those who do, how do you feel about it? Are you able to do it only occasionally? And for those of you who have successfully managed to come off them - how??