This is a decidedly unfunny post, but I have something I need to say. I’m leaving names out, because in the end of the day, it’s not about whom it happened to but that it happen.

A ex-coworker of mine died this weekend. She was in her 30s. I didn’t know her very well. It wasn’t like we were friends. She used to drive me up the wall because she was one of those sweet people who APOLOGIZED. FOR. EVERYTHING. It’s a habit I’m trying to break myself, and it puts my teeth on edge whenever I come across someone even more apologetic than I. She also gained my utter respect, however, by being the only person to hand in a one-day notice and then explain why this was a terrible work environment, saying everything pretty much everyone else thinking, but SHE—this quiet, sweet, hardworking woman--was the only one with the balls to say it out loud to the CEO’s face. She was a woman who worked long, thankless hours, and who would light up at the mere mention of her husband or 3 year old son. In the end she quit because she wanted to have a life with them, and not with some organization that worked her from 9am to 9pm.

I am angry. She died a quiet, stupid death; a combination of Ambien, alcohol and a midnight dip in a pool while everyone else slept. Suicide was ruled out.

A few people have already wondered about that. ‘Why would she mix the two, and then go for a swim?’ ‘What was she thinking?’ ‘Why would she DO that?’ It comes with a sad shake of the head, but what’s really being asked is ‘how could she be so STUPID?’

If you’re asking that, then you’ve been lucky enough to never do something “so stupid”. Or, maybe you have, and you got away with it without harm so you didn’t THINK it was stupid. Maybe you laughed it off and joked about what a rock star you were. Maybe you thought nothing of it and got over it, because nothing happened.

She was probably just trying to relax. She was probably just trying to get One Good Night’s Sleep, that ever elusive taunting foe. She was probably looking for a quiet moment by herself.

I write this as someone who drinks too damn much (though, not as much as I once did; PROGRESS!). Just…be careful. Just because it’s sold in a store, just because a doctor hands it out, just because people say it’s safe, just because it’s never caused you any issue before, just because you can kick them back and hardly feel a thing doesn’t make it any less a drug.

Take care of yourself. You’re only human. You’re only mortal. And there are always people left behind wondering: “Why?”
sarianna: (triple nerd score)

From: [personal profile] sarianna

That, and Ambien is creepy stuff. I know at least two people who take it who have done things while on Ambien that they don't remember the next morning--including cooking on the stove, which is a great way to DIAF, literally. The webcomic Toothpaste for Dinner has done a series called the "Ambien Walrus," whose catchphrase is "come with me on an adventure you'll never remember." It's entirely likely your former coworker had no idea what she was doing.

Knowing all this doesn't make it any easier for her friends/family/etc who are still here. Tragedies like this just suck, and there's not a way to make it better, no matter how much we wish.

From: (Anonymous)


I'm going to have to go ahead and say you are wrong. I, being a psychonaut, have taken ambien a total of two times recreationally. I don't mean to be a downer to your hopeful suggestion that she was not a total idiot, but she was. Both times I took ambien I experienced complete memory loss for about a day after the experience.

However, after that one day incubation period, my memory of the day began to come back.
From that, I can tell you with absolute certainty that the Ambien did not impair my judgement in any way at all. I was absolutely in my right mind, constantly observing my state, and at no point did anything which you describe as "not knowing what [your] doing".

And yes, the alcohol could contribute to a state like the one you mentioned... if she was too drunk to even crawl to the swimming pool. Seeing as I took a much higher dose than the prescribed dosage, it is almost 100% likely that she experienced anything different from my own experience.

From: (Anonymous)

Re: Nope

*did not experience anything different from my own experience.
That's what I get for not proof-reading.

From: (Anonymous)

Re: Nope

...I'm slightly confused by your last sentence, but I'm going to go ahead and say that, yeah, it's pretty likely that her experience *was* different from yours. Drugs affect different people differently.

And even if they didn't, saying that someone is a total idiot because they made a mistake they should have been able to avoid? Not classy, and completely missing the point of the post.

From: (Anonymous)

Re: Nope

I don't intend to be classy; I merely intend to put forth facts.
Say for instance I smoke a decent amount of marijuana. I become hungry from said drug use, and decide to cook myself a meal on the gas stove.

In this instance, and in every other instance of drug use I have experienced (including alcohol), I measured my ability to preform a task against my impairment. I decided in the above situation that my marijuana-induced impairment would not affect my ability to cook a meal without setting my place of occupancy on fire. The ability to weigh my impairment against the activity I thought of participating in was present as well in my experience with ambien.

In conclusion, she, in my opinion, decided that her impairment was not a handicap to her ability to avoid drowning, which leads me to believe she lacked the proper judgmental skills to make this assumption. This is the method of deduction that led me to the use of the statement of "idiot".

From: (Anonymous)

Re: Nope

Conclusions derived from taking a drug twice by one person is nowhere near "facts", bro. As the other Anon said, drugs (medical and recreational) do affect people differently, and that my friend is an absolute scientific and medical FACT! (trust me I know my stuff). Not only that (the effect of the drug), but the capacity of the body to excrete a drug differs from a person to another, it is very possible that she could have survived and 'laughed about it with friends amidst lots of OMGs'.

You're just another judgmental person.

From: (Anonymous)

Re: Nope

Keep in mind also that drowning can sometimes be a random and tragic thing that could happen to anyone who just happened to, say, misjudge the depth of the pool and hit their head on the bottom or have a random sneeze attack underwater or maybe slip and fall on a wet patch of concrete or even doze off in the soothing water, and it could have happened even if she wasn't loaded. Sure, that probably made it more likely, but even being alone in a pool can be dangerous for completely random stupid reasons. The point is, she might have "judged that her ability to keep from drowning" was fine, just like you have in the past, and a completely unrelated accident might have happened. What if you drowned while you were totally sober, would you want people to go around calling you a total idiot just because you drowned?

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From: (Anonymous)

Made me blink back tears a bit

I do this- Ambien feels good. It puts you in a haze- it's like being drunk and fearless with no hangover, and alcohol makes it rock even more. I used to be a counselor- I know all about the dangers of mixing drugs and alcohol. I tell people no, they don't think it'll happen to them, but they never know, and I used to do it all the time.

I'm going to be married and thinking about how this would hurt my fiance and family kind of just hurt my heart. I don't do this nearly as much as I used to, but every once in awhile it feels like a great idea.

I didn't expect this to effect me.

From: (Anonymous)


Sometimes Ambien is good for taking the pain away. I realize a 15 year old should not be taking so much.

From: [identity profile]

Well said

I am very sad to hear about your ex-coworker. She reminds me a bit of myself, as I am also an apologizing person. But i am trying to learn to say thank you instead of always apologizing.

I have to say that what you wrote here have opened my eyes a bit. The fact that I can go around calling some people stupid because of their mistake, when I myself have been in the same situation. Almost doing that same mistake.

Your ex-coworker seemed like a kind and strong person and I am sad to hear of her fate. I hope yourself will heed your own words and take care of you and good luck with your progress.

I'm not that good of a writer so I'm may not make much sense, if so I'm so...

Thank you for telling me your story.
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