The Passed Note Issue 6 February 2018 - Page 27

I hid my pills whenever friends slept over. I tossed them into my bedside table drawer and carefully surveyed my room to make sure I didn’t leave anything in plain sight that might give me away: pill bottles, my journal, homework assignments from various eating disorder therapists, self-help books my mom bought me. I went through this ritual quietly, so I wouldn’t spark any concern from my family.

Once my friends arrived, I waited until they were using the bathroom, getting a snack, or simply out of my bedroom to sneak my pills. Or I darted upstairs while they watched a movie downstairs, saying I was going to the bathroom.

Hurry up, I pressured myself as I fumbled to open the bottles. If you take too long, people will ask what you’re doing.

When I spent the night at other people’s houses, I struggled to formulate a plan to be alone with my medication. Outwardly, I appeared to be watching The Parent Trap and eating Twizzlers, but I was really thinking about whether I could slip out and return undetected. I worried something as simple as taking a toiletry bag to the bathroom and locking the door would seem odd. Why wouldn’t I brush my teeth with the door open, at the same time as my friends? And if I needed to shut the door to go to the bathroom, why would I bring a toiletry bag with me? I usually managed to take my pills in a timely manner, but not without the fear of being exposed.

It also didn’t hurt that I was somewhat skilled at thinking on my feet.

“What took you so long?” a group of friends asked one night when I emerged from the bathroom.

I couldn’t decide what was worse. Depression pills? Period? Constipation? Why hadn’t I put on some makeup while I was in there, or taken a shower?