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Monday, August 7, 2017

To the Pharmacist from the Woman with SPD

What you saw:

Under-slept, over-worked new mom of 6-month-old came to the drugstore to pick up her prescription and forgot her ID, and then strangely and awkwardly cried when you said she couldn't buy her medicine without that piece of identification, before gathering her other bags and heading back out into the haze of August.

What you didn't see:

Adult with Sensory Processing Disorder woke up for the fifth day in a row thinking - do I feel able enough today to make it to and through the drugstore to pick up my medication this morning? Did I sleep well enough last night to help soften the blare of traffic noises and intense fluorescent lighting required to make this trip a success? Can I manage the transition both in and out of the store and through the steps of the transaction without losing my tenuous grasp on the world around me today? 

The debate that lasted through breakfast, caring for infant daughter, sending husband off to first day at new office, starting own work. Do I feel able enough?

The question of need vs. ability: I need the prescription, can I handle the actions necessary to meet the need? What happens if I don't have it? 

The feelings of shame and guilt, of having to pawn an errand off on someone else, albeit a loving and well-meaning someone else who gets the intricacies of living with SPD. The feeling of sudden empowerment, of I can do this silly little thing! Of wanting to rock and own the very thing others take for granted.

The wishing it was fall so I could locate the ends of my body again. The wishing I was neurotypical so I could just run the damn errand like a sane, logical adult who needs something done.

The sense that logic has nothing to do with differences in neurology.

And then: the decision made somewhere between the second and third floors as the elevator descended. I can do this today, I am able enough. The bold, short walk through the thick air that feels ready to burst into rain. The sliding doors and the densely packed aisles. The syrupy music and sharp lighting.

The Pharmacist. The request. The missing ID. The tears of but look how much I went through just to get here, just to pick up this little thing like a capable adult. The tears of but how will I do this all over again if I went to fetch my ID? How will I tell my handler, yet again, that I need his assistance? 

The sense that he'd never understand, even if I explained it in great detail.

The shame. The guilt. The exit from the pharmacy and back out into the summer air, restless.

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