The Passed Note Issue 6 February 2018 - Page 28

“I shaved my legs!” I finally said, sticking a leg in my friend’s face.

It didn’t occur to me to wonder whether any of my friends had their own pills to pop before bedtime. It was my natural tendency—and still is—to assume I’m alone in whatever I’m struggling with.

***

Alex, my closest friend since high school, didn’t know I took medication until we were 25. I’m sure she suspected I had anxiety, as many of our conversations fell under the subject heading, “What If Sam Never Makes Enough Money to Have Things like Central Air and Showtime?” and “How Will Sam Nourish Her Future Children Without Learning to Cook a Dish that Takes Longer than Seven Minutes?” but I never admitted to anything directly.

We told each other almost everything, but not this. She only found out I took medication because we had a fight when I was going through withdrawal while weaning off Lexapro. I was about to let the friendship end over a simple misunderstanding because my head was too clouded and my body too agitated to resolve the argument. My mom had to call Alex to explain that I wasn’t myself and I would talk to her once the medication was fully out of my system.

Our conversation was awkward when we saw each other a few weeks later. We made small talk about her new apartment, my heading to New York for graduate school, my cats, her boyfriend, the weather. Finally, I apologized and gave her a hug. But she still seemed afraid to say the wrong thing, lest I explode and end our friendship again. And I was still uncomfortable with Alex knowing what she now knew about