I’m officially taking a controlled substance

I did the drive-thru drop-off service at my local CVS pharmacy to refill Wellbutrin and Celexa and while I was there I dropped off a new script for Klonopin.

Hold it right there, Madam. Do you have a driver’s license we can see? I obligingly offered my license, feeling like I have nothing to hide. She checked my record to make sure I wasn’t an abuser of controlled substances and once I was cleared, I drove away. I was advised to come back in 15 minutes.

When I went back, I went into the store to pick up my prescriptions and I was told I only had 2 rx’s.

You are mistaken, I dropped off 3 today.

The pharmacy assistant goes over to her computer and checks to see what the problem is.

“That prescription is on hold,” she says.

Which one is that? I ask genuinely.

I move 10 side steps to the left to get to where she and her computer are so everyone in line doesn’t hear my conversation involving what medications I take for depression and anxiety.

The cashier whispers, “The Klonopin. It can’t be refilled yet.”

Okay, I want privacy but is this like a clandestine drug deal going down at my local pharmacy?

I now feel like a freaking drug-addict and the pharmacist is making sure I don’t get my medication ahead of time and overdose.

To make myself look better in the eyes of this person whom I really shouldn’t give two-shits about I say, I still have some of that drug I was just trying to refill them all at the same time to save a trip back to the store.

She doesn’t respond but gives me a look like, “Yeah, right lady. That’s what they all say.”

I ask, When can I get it refilled? Again, I feel guilty of a crime I haven’t committed.

She says, “You filled the prescription on March 3rd so you can refill it around April 4th.”

Just to make sure, since she didn’t return the written prescription, I ask the question, I gave you a new prescription for the Klonopin, do you have it in my files?

She assures me it is there on hold.

I feel guilty of something that I haven’t done wrong. I want to tell the lady Fuck off. I’m not the drug addict down the street who hits every pharmacy trying to feed their addiction. I’m your typical depressed/anxious mom.

Instead I fake normality and act comfortable and like there’s nothing unusual going on.  I sign on the lines for the 2 drugs I’m allowed to pay for today.  Then, I drive away with the Celexa and Wellbutrin.

Not soon after getting in my house I go look at my Klonopin prescription bottle and count how many pills are left. I’ve got 12 pills left. I look on the calendar and 12 days from now is 4/3. That’s when I was told I could refill the medication. I’m relieved but also I feel anxious and worried that I’m being regulated so tightly on this medication. What’s up with that? Why am I taking something that allows someone else to have such control over me and my treatment? I don’t like how this feels. It makes me want to wean off the medication.

That is not a healthy thought because I’ve been proud of myself for accepting help and taking the prescribed medication for anxiety and depression. I’ve denied my problems for too long and treating myself properly is a good thing and a step in the right direction. Wanting to stop treatment because of how the pharmacy assistant made me feel would not be smart or in my best interest.

It all boils down to the fucking stigma attached to mental health disorders. I hate to feel judged and to personally observe the preconceived notion society has about mental illness. Shame on top of shame. It’s one reason I’ve hidden my illness for so many years prior to accepting antidepressants. Perception is everything and I’ve kept up a pretty good illusion of someone without a mental illness.

Please, friends, with depression, anxiety, bipolar, DID, eating disorders, borderline personality and self-harm issues – don’t feel I judge you. I do not. I just recognize in my own life I have avoided the judgment of others. We all need to lose the shame and self-blame in order to love all parts of us – ultimately that is when the real healing begins.

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