The Ducene dulled the anxiety, so I felt back in control – at least for a little while. When they ran out, I went to see Dr Persakis, told him what had happened, showed him the box, and asked him to prescribe me more of the same.
Dr Persakis wasn’t impressed, like a nineteen-year-old living at home with no real problems or responsibilities had anything to be anxious about. Or maybe I just imagined that, just as maybe I imagined Dr Persakis begrudgingly filled the prescription.
When I got my Ducene, they came in a different box, this one with lime trimming. They were two milligrams. The box – the one I threw away – had been plain white, and I had it in my head (but wasn’t sure) they’d been five milligrams. Was the packaging different because they’d come from different places (one the hospital pharmacy, the other the local pharmacy), or because they were different dosages?
Had Dr Persakis taken it upon himself to lessen my dosage? Maybe he thought I was making something out of nothing and didn’t need sedatives, that if I went down that route I might end up relying on them, like my mum.
She’d been taking meds for as long as I could remember. When I was about four or five, I stole one – a capsule that was black on one half, cyan on the other half – and smuggled it into the backyard. Hidden away, I examined it, wondering what it was and what it did. It wasn’t candy. Maybe the candy was inside. I toyed with the capsule until I pulled it apart, powder spilling out. That was it? Disappointed, I threw away the shells of the capsule, and that was the end of that great adventure.
That was also about as close as I ever got to questioning my mum’s medication. We never talked about it. It was just something that was. I knew her medication wasn’t for a physical condition. She was robust – took care of the household, ordered everybody around, argued with my dad, let everybody know when she was unhappy. Now, though, I also saw times she was stressed, and when that occurred she reached for medication. Sometimes, she’d even direct me to grab one, describing which I should get by colour (there was a choice of two). Otherwise, she took them at night, just before bed.
Of course, I didn’t know for sure that Dr Persakis had changed the prescription – it was just an uneasy feeling, although under the new prescription the anxiety started to peek out. Was that because I was getting used to the medication (as I’d done with the Euhypnos) or because the medication wasn’t as strong? I didn’t know. And it didn’t really matter.
The truth was I was just biding my time until I could see the psychiatrist.