For three years I fought insomnia with a prescribed sleeping pill called
Ambien. On Christmas Day, 1999, my Dad died of a sudden heart attack.
The next year I started abusing the pill to avoid grief. I lost my job
and most of my friends. I
put my family
through hell. My life was unmanageable, my addiction took control. I
took the pills all day, every day, going from doctor to doctor to get
more prescriptions. Ambien has a hypnotic effect with amnesia. It allows
you to function in a complete blackout. The main thing that kept me
alive was that I had a dog and a cat to take care of. They needed me.
September 4th, 2000, I took 8 pills, went for a drive with my dog, fell
asleep at the wheel and drove into a tree at 45mph in the Cary Towne
Center parking lot. I totaled the car. No air bags. Broke my face up
badly. I was unrecognizable for a while. Had a plate drilled into my
orbital socket to hold up my eye. I could easily have died. But none of
that made a difference. What mattered was that the little being that
kept me from drowning during that entire year was in the back seat. What
FINALLY “woke me up”, was that I put my dog’s life in danger. He
actually survived without injury, somehow.
I never took another
sleeping pill after that day. I never drank alcohol again either so my
judgment would not be impaired. September 4th, 2000 is my sobriety date.
Life gets better every year. I’ve never been so happy. TODAY, I am
releasing a music video called My Hurricane that tells this story. Click
the link below to view it. I hope that it leaves you with a feeling of
hope and a sense of triumph over the storms that life can sometimes