“Remind me not to take my medicine,” I told Elizabeth, as she pulled my shirt over my head. I burped. The taste of vomit filled my mouth. I swallowed it back down.
“Why?” She asked, putting my shirt in the wastebasket. She moved to help me remove my bra, but I batted her hands away. I unclipped it in the back and then covered my breasts with my arms.
“I’m not supposed to drink with it.” Elizabeth picked up the bra with her index finger and thumb, trying to avoid touching any part of it that had the orange-brown vomit on it.
“I’m sure you’ll be fine.” She said, shaking her head and opening the shower curtain for me. I stepped in, one arm still wrapped around my breasts, the other leaned on the wall, making sure I didn’t fall.
“You don’t understand.” I said as I tossed my underwear over the shower curtain. I turned on the water and listened to it hit the bathtub. It pitter-patted as I heard Elizabeth leave the room. I leaned my head up towards the water, letting it wash the vomit from my face.
You weren’t supposed to drink on antidepressants. There was a label on my pill bottle that read in big capital letters “DO NOT CONSUME ALCOHOL WITH THIS MEDICATION.”
I had stared at it plenty of times. I knew every direction on the pill bottle by heart. Take three pills with water once a day. I knew the side effects: the nausea, the drowsiness, the potential increase in suicidal thoughts. I even knew the address of the Walmart the prescription had been issued from. 3475 Parkway Village Court, Winston-Salem, NC 27101.
I’d even recited them once or twice to help me fall asleep.
I knew that you were supposed to take the pills with water, not with alcohol. I also knew that you were also supposed to drink water between shots.
I opened my mouth and let the shower water fall in it. Now I was drinking water, did that count?
I picked up the shampoo bottle Elizabeth had placed on the side of the tub and peered at it. I couldn’t quite read the letters saying its scent. Everything was a little fuzzy. If someone put my pill bottle in front of me, I doubted I would be able to read the warning on the side. That’s why I told her not to let me take the blue and white pills.
I didn’t want to take them too.
Every time I took them, I wanted to take the index and pointer fingers of my right hand and touch the back of my throat. Of course, that was part of the reason why I was taking them anyways. They’d thought I was beginning to lean towards anorexia and/or bulimia, though the therapist had never diagnosed either.
Perhaps she would have if my mother hadn’t been sitting next to me in her office, reminding me what I could and couldn’t talk about.
You just didn’t talk about certain things. Particularly not with a therapist. My mother always made sure I knew what I could and couldn’t say. Before I had my first one-on-one meeting with a therapist, she took me aside on the sidewalk and told me in a loud voice “DO NOT TALK ABOUT SILLY THINGS WITH THE THERAPIST.” She looked me in the eyes till I nodded.
When I lived with my mother for the summer a few years later, she took her Ambien with premium Bud Light every night before bed. That was something you didn’t talk to a therapist about.
I rubbed the shampoo into my scalp, letting the bubbles fall down the sides of my head and drip on to my shoulders. It smelled like coconut. I hated coconut.
Another draft for my CNF class. We’re playing with writing scenes using rules that have shaped your life.