I had an interesting revelation the other day. I started getting a cold (inherited from my grandson, who inherited it from daycare) and happened to be going away on a business trip to California. Kind of bad timing I think, but I sought to minimize its effects by purchasing a killer NyQuil, DayQuil combo package. You take the non-drowsy formula during the day and then the sleepy time formula at night. (I suppose you didn’t need that clarification…) Anyway, when you take the NyQuil, you are going to go to sleep and you are going to sleep for a long time. The next morning I woke up groggy and thought back to how many times I had taken a Tylenol PM at night to get to sleep quickly and to help achieve a thorough night’s sleep. For some odd reason, at a certain age sleeping through the night is no longer a given. And, that got me thinking about how easy it is nowadays to choose self-medication over problem solving and how there is a pill for just about everything. I have no problem with medication (obviously) but rather how quickly we turn to the rapid “apparent” solution which really isn’t a solution at all. It’s a temporary fix at best. It reminded of the time I had this persistent neck pain that I allowed to linger for about a year (yes, one year!). I just took one Alleve everyday and voila’, no more neck pain. Well one day I “woke up” and decided to try a chiropractor which didn’t really help. Then I went to a massage therapist who suggested some ergonomic changes at work. I realized I was hunching forward to see my computer and as such was straining my neck all day long. Then, I experienced the relaxing benefits of massage and this time voila’, no more neck pain. Problem solved, issue resolved…
It’s interesting to consider how easy it is to reach for a temporary fix rather than deal with the issues of our lives. On the surface it seems like it is going to be too much work; or possibly a fruitless journey; or overall maybe just too much of a hassle. But in reality, the endless stream of temporary quick fixes not only take longer (because they’re temporary) but never solve the core issues anyway. It’s almost as if we feel that if we can make ourselves numb enough, perhaps the pain doesn’t really exist underneath. This led to another, perhaps more thought-provoking revelation. Compliments of our annual February diet, I have not been gorging myself with the usual food stuffs and more importantly the regular, generous portions of my beloved Cabernet. It’s not like I drank the red stuff to get drunk every night (added to ward off judgment), but rather when and why I drank it. Have you ever stopped to think about that question? Don’t worry, I haven’t gotten religion (praise the Lord), nor have I sworn off the red stuff! What I’m saying is what is the purpose you had in mind when you chose to have a drink? Alcohol is also a medication and often used as a quick fix as well (…it has been known to ward off timidity, shyness, inhibitions and the like). Are you masking some unresolved issues? Are you numbing yourself to some unpleasant reality? Or maybe are you just bored with life and unaware that perhaps you have been talked out of being the person you really wanted to be? I wonder how many folks settle into a life of quiet (desperate) resignation. It seems the larger issue isn’t so much how you choose to live your life, but instead why you are choosing to live the life you are living. Or maybe bluntly stated, are you choosing? If you have problems that you have given up on or perhaps dreams you have pushed aside, you aren’t going to feel fulfilled. All of us have different aspirations for our lives and they don’t have to necessarily change the world to be important and worthy of our pursuit. But because they are ours, they do have value.
So, what should we do about our dilemmas; our difficulties; our boredom? Well, one thing we must stop doing is medicating them away into nothingness! Imagine waking up ten years from today the exact same person you are today; doing the exact same things in the exact same ways. Sounds frightful right? But what else could possibly happen if we stay on the same medication for ten years never stopping to demand a solution or making the effort to find a real cause? Or stated another way, how can the big dreams for our lives ever come to pass if we keep resolving to start tomorrow choosing rather to medicate tonight instead? If you have ever made up your mind to do something or buy something or accomplish something, you know that the largest effort involves not getting started but staying committed until it is done. We can all get excited about stuff and start, but how many folks really finish what they started? Add to that the sleepy lethargia that follows self-medicating and you find a formula for distracted, unfulfilled living.
So, will the local wine store by my house notice a sharp drop in sales of Cabernet? I doubt it… But I can assure you the next time I have a glass it will be in celebration of progress made towards my worthy goals and not because there is nothing good on television that night. Life is short my friends and despite the well-worn cliché it’s not getting any longer. In fact, life without clarity is also just a cliché, aint it?
Just some good thoughts…
2 thoughts on “The NyQuil Night Night Syndrome…”
Thank you. Excellent points you made. Use what is available to use, but seek a solution. Seek healing! I love, “there are also life adjustments, meditating and healing from within with the help of a higher power that keep patients from returning time and again…” Healing from within and for goodness sakes don’t try to do it all alone. Now that is the truth right there! Thanks again!
Nicely put. In our fast paced, on demand, instant streaming, give it to me now society, theses are pertinent words. One reason why my minor is in Holistic Health, as an RN and mother to a very medically ill child, there is no doubt there are medications that keep my patients and my daughter alive, however, there are also life adjustments, meditating and healing from within with the help of a higher power that keep patients from returning time and again, (sometimes just 5 minutes educating a patient on the power of deep breathing and being still) and keep my daughter on her way to her dreams as a world famous chef, ( she was on a liver transplant list before we began herbal therapy and reiki treatment) and ,even though our current world dictates the sick will get sicker, and there are no cures, I believe there is difference between being healed and being cured, and using some of your advice above, healing is possible for all of us. Say a prayer before you call the pharmacy. Peace and Love.