Today I faced two situations, in which my ability to cope, was put to the test.
Back in February, I was given a cheque from my nan for my birthday, and being an adult, I knew I’d have to deal with it myself, as in the past, my mum would do it for me.
Over the next several months, since I got the cheque, I kept going to the bank to try and deposit it through the new machines they installed, mainly to avoid having to talk to someone about it. Every time I tried, it never worked, and I just left it for another day, hoping the machines would eventually work. However, the other day, I tried one last time and again, it didn’t work. So I made myself (and my boyfriend encouraged me to) go to the desk. Though I was terrified, I somehow knew that I would be overwhelmed with happiness after being able to achieve it, as recently, I’ve picked up on how I behave after doing something that wasn’t as bad as I had thought it would be. With this in mind, I pushed myself to do it. So I went to the desk and mentioned that the machine didn’t work with taking my cheque, and the lady took my check and asked for my card, swiped it and it was done. As quick as that. And obviously, I was thrilled I did it. Particularly because it really wasn’t as scary as I had imagined, even though I had already told myself beforehand.
After feeling super excited that I did it, I remembered I had to pick up my prescriptioned anti-anxiety meds from the pharmacy in Asda. This I knew I definitely couldn’t back out of because I had completely run out to the point where I had to take a lower dosage the night before. I’ve only started to collect them myself recently (actually only one time) because I was always too scared to face the people at the desk. But as the first time went well, I was confident enough to do it. So I went to the desk and asked for my meds and the lady went to check the back. She came back and said there was nothing there for me.
This, I wasn’t prepared for.
I took a deep breath and asked if I could at least have an emergency batch until my mum sorts out the prescription properly as my doctor had recently increased my dose. The woman said she’d have to speak to the pharmacist to see if that was okay, and told me that he would be five minutes. So as I walked away from the desk, my first instinct was to call my mum. I panicked, explaining to her what had happened, and it didn’t matter what my mum said to me, I just couldn’t take it in. I asked her multiple times what to say if the situation changed and asked what possible ways it could go. I wanted to be precise in what I said so I didn’t say anything confusing, but every time my mum told me what to say in each situation, I couldn’t remember what it was. Eventually, she asked to speak to my boyfriend so she could explain to him, so he could explain to me (he is also aspergers and in times like these, I need his straightforward explanations). I still asked her if she could text me what to say so I was completely sure of what to do.
Soon after I got off the phone, I went back to the desk and the pharmacist came to see me. Unfortunately, from this point onwards, I can’t say I remember much. I only remember having to explain that my doctor increased my dose and I should definitely have some to pick up, even if I hadn’t increased it. He was just as confused as myself so he resulted in calling my doctor’s surgery.
By this point, I had gone into sensory overload. Something I never actually remember suffering with. I know I found it challenging when I was much younger, but from about the age of eight onwards, it was never a huge issue. All the noises that happened were so loud, as if there was a microphone on whatever it was that made a noise and the speaker was on full blast, in my ear.
Sounds of people talking, walking, dropping things, the music being played in the background, random announcements, the pharmacist on the phone, other people picking up prescriptions and my boyfriend talking to his dad on the phone. I felt trapped in a box with all these noises being played on full blast. It was the most unsettling thing I have experienced, besides my anxiety. It was like everything happened all at once.
As I said, I can’t remember much of what happened, but eventually, I got my emergency batch and was able to leave.
I was very stressed out after it had happened and I just cried. It felt like too much to cope with and I wanted to go home. I was thankful that even though my boyfriend was saying how proud he was of me for managing it, I was in no frame of mind to feel pleased with myself. I only felt distressed and quite probably more scared about going back there. Except I know that I will have to deal with it. It didn’t encourage me either that my mum was blunt and said that it’s life. Of course it’s life, but when you’re stressing out, you want someone to just say that you did it and that you lived. Which is exactly what my boyfriend said. And to be honest, it was different of him to encourage me like that and make me feel a bit better despite how stressed I was feeling.
I’m not sure how next time at the pharmacy is going to be, but I hope it wouldn’t be as bad as that.