THE YEAR OF THE SLEEPING PILLS

Dear Readers: This is the 13th episode of the series: Help, I Want To Get Out Of The Kitchen. If you are new to this series, you may want to start with Chapter One–If They’d Had Hamburger Helper Back Then. Thanks for reading.
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Not long after Shirley and I started back to school, insomnia became my persistent nighttime visitor.

Some nights I’d fall asleep right way, but then wake up at 3 a.m. Other nights I had trouble falling asleep. After I few weeks, I became obsessed with getting enough sleep.

One afternoon in late winter 1970 stands out. I was holding our youngest—Kathy—then two years old—warm and sleepy after her nap. She snuggled in my arms as I rummaged through the medicine cabinet looking for sleeping pills.

“As soon as Kathy wakes up from her nap, I’ll bundle her up and drive to Westlake Pharmacy.”

As eager as I was to get the sleeping pills, I dreaded running into someone I knew while shopping for the pills.

In today’s world, sleeping pills are advertised on TV.

Sleep problems are openly discussed between doctors and patients, between spouses and between friends.

But in 1970, I didn’t know a single soul needing help to sleep at night.

I felt alone and afraid.

What was wrong with me?

 

 

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