For this blog post I wanted to tell a true story rather than a fiction one. Heading home from work, I needed to pick up the next month’s worth of my anti-depressant medication. I’m happy to reveal that because I don’t think there should be a stigma. Mental health awareness is important and valid and a common factor in many people’s lives.
It was to be my third prescription since I had first agreed to take them and I felt that it was working. It stabilized something inside me. Before the daily pill I would question my existence every night; after, not so often. Perhaps once a month I would fall into that pitch mire instead.
Anyway, I drove to the pharmacy on the day that my last batch ran out and went to the desk. There was no queue but I had to wait about a minute for somebody to be ready to see me. Eventually a beautiful young woman with her hair in a messy bun asked how she could help. She looked a bit like Hange from Attack on Titan, I think, and there was a lovely energy about her.
“Hi, I have a prescription here.”
“What was the name, lovely?” She asked. I appear young in real life and I’m used to people occasionally being extra nice sometimes because of it. Far from feeling demeaning, it felt friendly and caring.
I gave my name and my address when asked for identity confirmation. She asked if it was my first time. I said it was my third. Then, oddly, the woman asked if I had a prescription. I was confused; of course I did or she wouldn’t have found it in the files to give me anything this time. But what she meant was a repeat prescription. No, I did not have one of those. My doctor had called and prescribed each month’s worth separately. For the last prescription he recommended considering reducing or coming off of the medication next month because I seemed to be doing well.
I said so to her.
And this lovely young woman; beautiful and intelligent enough to work in a pharmacy, said “Oh wow! Congratulations! I’ve been on those for about 2 years. I hope to come off them… one day.”
She was so genuine. She congratulated me on my good fortune while the universe dealt her another shard of broken glass. Life is cruel and difficult. But her interaction with me was honest and vulnerable and casual all at once. I’d never have guessed what her struggles were if she didn’t choose to reveal them. It was a very human interaction. Very real.
It certainly wasn’t the most crazy or dramatic event in my life. But when I sat back in the car I felt emotional. I took my pill and ate a pasta pot from LIDL to prevent any nausea from the Fluoxetine.