Blood Orange Night
A Memoir of Insomnia, Motherhood, and Benzos
Brain on Fire meets High Achiever in this "page-turner memoir chronicling a woman's accidental descent into prescription benzodiazepine dependence--and the life-threatening impacts of long-term use--that chills to the bone" (Nylon).
As Melissa Bond raises her infant daughter and a special-needs one-year-old son, she suffers from unbearable insomnia, sleeping an hour or less each night. She loses her job as a journalist (a casualty of the 2008 recession), and her relationship with her husband grows distant. Her doctor casually prescribes benzodiazepines--a family of drugs that includes Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, Ativan--and increases her dosage regularly.
Following her doctor's orders, Melissa takes the pills night after night until her body begins to shut down. Only when she collapses while holding her daughter does Melissa learn that her doctor--like so many others--has over-prescribed the medication and quitting cold turkey could lead to psychosis or fatal seizures. Benzodiazepine addiction is not well studied, and few experts know how to help Melissa as she begins the months-long process of tapering off the pills without suffering debilitating, potentially deadly consequences.
Each page thrums with the heartbeat of Melissa's struggle--how many hours has she slept? How many weeks old are her babies? How many milligrams has she taken? Her propulsive writing crescendos to a fever pitch as she fights for her health and her ability to care for her children. "Propulsive, poetic" (Shelf Awareness), and immersive, this "vivid chronicle of suffering" (Kirkus Reviews) and redemption shines a light on the prescription benzodiazepine epidemic as it reaches a crisis point in this country.
About this Author
Melissa Bond is a narrative journalist and poet. During her years of dependence on benzodiazepines, Melissa blogged and became a regular contributor for Mad in America. ABC World News Tonight interviewed her for a piece in January 2014. She is a respected writer on the perils of overprescribing benzodiazepines and has been featured on the podcasts RadioWest and Moms Don't Have Time to Read Books. Her memoir Blood Orange Night was selected as one of the best audiobooks of 2022 by The New York Times and Moms Don't Have Time to Read Books. Learn more at MelissaABond.com.
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