Sandy meets her psychiatrist over an hour later than her appointed time. It was a long wait in a room full of people that were hurting and trying to pretend that they weren't.
Her pill doctor, because that's what she is, confuses her. She asks personal questions with a friendly tilt of her head, but her body is visibly turned away. She's closed off, busy and therefore unconcerned. Sandy likes her despite that. She's here to get medication, not make a friend. She answers the questions in short honesty.
The one that sticks out the most is this one, asked with unabashed bluntness and a small head tilt, "Have you ever tried to commit suicide or intentionally harmed yourself?"
Sandy's reply is this, "No, but that doesn't mean that I particularly want to be here either."
Her pill doctor only nods her head and jots down a quick note. Sandy's quite convinced that there is nothing that she could say that would surprise this woman. That's fine too.
They talk about the different types of medication. Sandy listens, then asks for the one that she wants.
Her cousin, who is more like her sister, has been giving her anti-anxiety pills over the years. She thinks that Sandy has a problem. Sandy thinks that she’s not the only one with a problem.
Case in point, one day her cousin, who is more like her sister, came over with coffee. She laced it. Within an hour of drinking it, Sandy had the immense urge to drag out her box of paints in order to create a collage on her bedroom ceiling. She didn’t, but the fact remains. Her cousin, who is more like her sister, had drugged her.
It was awesome.
And her doctor doesn't object, even when she asks why Sandy wants that particular brand and Sandy tells her. Taking unprescribed medication is a no-no after all. Sandy isn't concerned about it, and neither is her pill doctor.
She's prescribed the medication and politely, always politely, thanks her doctor. Sandy is finished with her appointment in under fifteen minutes. The waiting room is full and quiet like before.
Sandy takes her medication. She packs an overnight bag and drives the one-hour drive to see her cousin, who is more like her sister. Sandy knows the medication is working for now. There's a possibility that her body will gain a tolerance to it later.
Sandy's body is a bitch like that.
She revels in her sudden ability to drive to Santa Monica. It may as well have been the moon before Sandy was medicated.
The two of them go out to dinner, and it is pleasant and easy like Sandy has known it should be. They talk about Sandy’s upcoming 26th birthday. Sandy is ready to be 26. She is ready to put 25 behind her.
She stays the weekend and tries very hard not to split her face in half with the sheer force of her joy.
She goes home and feels victorious.
Sandy's medication has a long half-life. This means that Sandy can take a pill and feel good for days. Sandy takes them at night and wakes up happy in the morning. Sandy is so grateful that she cries.
She doesn't want to build a tolerance to it too quickly though. These pills are very rarely a long-term fix. There will always be side-effects and changes.
Sandy keeps this in mind, but mostly basks in the quiet utopia that she has found herself in.
Her mind is at rest. Sandy has always imagined that her inner psyche is an endless body of water. It is too deep to ever reach the bottom.
Choppy when agitated.
Murky marsh when depressed.
Sandy’s mind has been making waves, and she is not a strong swimmer. The pills have stilled the waters, and Sandy feels like she can lean back and breathe again.
Sandy is talking with her therapist, and there is a certain amount of detached clarity that was never there before. Sandy is taking her medication.
She is having trouble reconciling the person she was inside this room before, with the person she is now. They are two separate people.
This isn't the first time this has happened. Sandy has taken this medication before. She has spent long hours contemplating the differences. She always wishes that this medicated person will stay.
She never does.
That's the problem with pills. Her body eats them up, greedy and starving. But the pills will never be enough.
Sandy takes this for what it is; an opportunity.
Her therapist talks like this could be a beginning. Sandy is medicated and feels hopeful. She also feels invincible, and is both intrigued and scared shitless because of it.
Sandy feels like she could do anything and knows that it's a dangerous lie.
Sandy has also known people who think that something so small can't make a difference. They think that a pill can't be the difference between happy and unhappy. Sandy thinks that they just don't want to believe that it's that simple.
Life is hard. Pills are easy. But her pills will never be enough. Sandy has to find a way to be enough without them.
Her therapist spends long minutes talking about progress. There is a lot of optimism in the room that wasn't there before. Sandy understands the change. She would have wanted to spit in her therapist's eye if she talked like this before. The pills make it easier to listen.
Sandy can feel the difference in her behavior and in her body. It isn't quite as painful to sit on that stupid couch right now. Her therapist can see the difference too. Her therapist smiles for the first time that Sandy can remember.
And she doesn’t like it.
Sandy doesn’t even like her therapist.
Sandy is medicated and has a revelation. Talking to this woman isn’t what Sandy needs anymore.
She wonders if she ever needed to in the first place. It has been months of talking about hurtful things that have never been talked about before. Sandy doesn’t even feel better about it.
Sandy forces herself to think of it another way. She had to at least try therapy so that she wouldn’t always wonder if it was the magic door she hoped it would be.
Sandy had wanted therapy to save her.
Sandy has to get up and save herself. She has to believe that she is worth it. No one can do this for her. That is power, and she wields it. It is as freeing as it is terrifying, that power to destroy or love herself. That choice.
Sandy has some months’ worth of pills. They will temper back the worst of her. She has some time to relearn herself. And she’s going to do it right. Sandy is going to start at the very foundation and build herself up from that. To do that she is going to have to tear herself apart. It will be painful. It is necessary.
Sandy wants to be better than she is right now. She realizes that she has the time.
So fuck you, 25.