Freedom from addiction to sleep medication
At one point in my life, I had been addicted to a prescribed sleeping pill for over 12 years. As a longtime student of Christian Science, I yearned to be free and to rely solely on spiritual means for health and happiness.
I had a dear friend who was a Christian Science practitioner, and I asked her to pray for me at various times. She encouraged me, expressing confidence that I could feel so divinely inspired and embraced by God’s love that taking a pill would never enter my thought.
One Monday morning, I went for a walk as I contemplated this Bible verse: “Now it is high time to awake out of sleep” (Romans 13:11).
The spiritual significance of that message proved to be the turning point in this experience. As I walked and prayed, I considered how nice it would be not to feel the need for coffee in the morning. But then I thought, “Remember that horrific headache you had when you quit last time?” Following this came the familiar longing also to be free of the sleeping pills. Then another discouraging thought crept in: “Remember when you tried to quit, but didn’t sleep for a month?”
I immediately saw what was happening. These negative thoughts weren’t my thoughts at all! They were simply aggressive suggestions—materially-oriented thinking that the Bible describes as “enmity against God” (Romans 8:7)—masquerading as my thought. And I had been believing them! In reality, these limited, fearful claims are never ours, because God, the one infinite Mind, is the source of all true thought. And the divine Mind’s thoughts inspire not fear but love, as well as confidence in God. When we awaken to this fact, we experience healing. At that moment, I heard a loud, clear voice saying “Wake up, Bonnie, wake up!” And I realized that God had been with me all along. He even knew my name! The joy that filled me cannot be described in words. All the dark, self-deprecating thinking vanished, and I felt enveloped in God’s love.
I continued on my walk, knowing that I had been healed. I couldn’t stop smiling. When I returned home, I read that week’s Bible Lesson from the Christian Science Quarterly, titled “Adam and Fallen Man.” The Lesson included the story of Adam and Eve from the Bible (see Genesis 2 and 3) and a reference to the serpent “bit[ing] the heel of the woman” from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (p. 534). This spoke to me of the aggressive suggestion, represented by the serpent, that women of a certain age have trouble sleeping. But this is the untrue, material narrative of creation and has nothing to do with God’s creation—God’s spiritual, perfect expression as described in the first chapter of Genesis. Proverbs 26:2 states, “The curse causeless shall not come.” What a wonderful assurance this was to me that God’s children are not under any curse of sleeplessness or mortality, but are blessed by divine Love.
For the first time in many years, I felt innocent and loved. That night I was so filled with this truth that I didn’t take a sleeping pill. I never took one again, and never again had trouble sleeping. I stopped drinking coffee, too, and never again experienced a headache.
Later, I became a member of my local branch Church of Christ, Scientist. Shortly afterward, I was elected to the position of Second Reader. Serving my church in this way ushered me into a whole new life experience filled with spiritual growth and blessings, for which I am profoundly grateful. I am thankful, too, for all of the dedicated Christian Science practitioners who stand ready to help 24/7, and for the Christian Science periodicals, which support and inspire us.
Delray Beach, Florida, US