About a month ago I went to an allergist. This appointment was in hopes to find out, for certain, what I’m allergic to. It’s a long story but I have pretty severe allergies and have been having a hard time pinpointing what they are. As a result, I’ve been through a lot of elimination diets to try and narrow it down.
The doctor was unable to pinpoint any specific food allergies that I have, based on the foods he tested me for at the appointment. (There’s a standard 64 foods their office tests for, and aside from two products I never eat, I’m apparently clear allergy free, at least on what I was tested for)
The doctor did agree that I have allergies, though. And because of that, he gave me a prescription for allergy medication that he said was better than over-the-counter and could quite possibly provide benefit for me in coping with the allergies I have.
I couldn’t afford the prescription.
It might have been my lowest point of my whole year. I’m not working so I don’t have insurance to cover prescriptions. And drugs are fucking expensive. This was also right about the time when my credit card information was compromised, so I couldn’t even just put it on my credit card.
I wanted to cry. I wanted to break down in tears in the pharmacy when they told me the price of the drugs I was prescribed. It was awful. I was sad, I felt helpless and I was baffled that an allergy medication could cost so damn much. I felt like a loser. I felt like I wasn’t capable of the basic functions of looking after myself. And that made me feel the lowest of lows that I think I’ve been through all year.
I didn’t end up getting the prescription. And, when I think back on that day, all I do is tear up/cry. I don’t ever want to feel like that again. The way I felt, so powerless, so pathetic. I was trying not to look upset with the person I was with but I think he saw right through it. I think he knew how upset I was.
I just couldn’t afford it.
It was just allergy medication, and I live in Canada. That shouldn’t be happening to me. But somehow this is the situation I am in. And I have been seeing a lot of news reports lately about people in the USA struggling to choose between taking their insulin or halving it to make it last longer because it costs so damn much.
While I’m aware that my allergies are just simple issues in comparison to theirs, I can’t help but feel a small fraction the pain they must feel. The dire need to want to take care of one’s self and the having to ask yourself if you can afford to do so.
That was a very low day for me. It was only allergy medication, and it’s something that I can do without. I’m not suffering without the drug. It was a very low day for my self-esteem, though.
Fast forward to last week. I went pick up my parents who had flown back from Denmark. Prior to picking up my parents I stopped at a mall to meet with a friend of mine for a cup of coffee.
This mall that we were meeting at, there were two options for parking. You could park on the roof, or, you could park underground. I have a rule against parking in underground lots when I am alone. It’s just a safety precaution that I choose to take. So I parked on the roof.
When I left my friend, I was walking towards my vehicle. A man held the mall door open for me to the outside, and then proceeded to follow me as I was walking to my vehicle.
The man persisted that he needed a ride and that he was going wherever I was going. He proclaimed that his friend left him there and that he needed a ride and that I was gong to give it to him. He was about a foot taller than I was, so I was nervous about this strange man following me, telling me that I was going to give him a ride.
When I made it to my vehicle, I opened the driver-door and told him that he needed to leave me alone. He put his hands on the driver door, in an attempt to intimidate me, and told me ‘Just reason with me, I just need a fucking ride’.
I looked him square in the face, in a calm tone and said ‘You have about 2.5 seconds before I slam your fingers in the door and kick you square in the balls so I can watch you keeled over in pain as I drive off’.
‘You think you can hurt me?’ He laughed.
‘Are you looking to test me?’ I replied, staring him dead in the face.
‘Fine, I don’t need a ride you stupid bitch’, he said as he walked away from my vehicle.
In that moment I felt so damn proud of myself. I was just so… empowered. I’m the type of person who’s always felt as though I’d cower in a situation of high stress. I’m the type of person who’s doubted my ability to stand up for myself a lot of my life. And honestly, I probably shouldn’t have continued walking toward my vehicle when I realized he was following me, but this wave of a ‘Don’t fuck with me’attitude came over me, and I just kept going.
I stood up to him. I stood up for myself. I made him back down and I let him know that his intimidation tactics didn’t work on me. I was so fucking proud of myself.
I don’t think I could have been more proud in that moment.
There was such a dichotomy in how I felt about myself in just a matter of a few weeks. Two completely different scenarios reminded me of just how much the world can throw at me. And I think that’s an important point to note – that as human beings, sometimes life gets the better of us, it feels as though our powers have been stripped and there’s nothing we can do about it. But, life also gives us the opportunities to take that back. To stare the creepy giant down and threaten physical harm if he doesn’t get out of your fucking way.
There are days when it’s really not easy being human. There are days when it’s really not easy getting by. And then there are days when you stand up and remind yourself and the world just what you’re capable of.
I’m a fucking lion and ruler of the jungle, this life and whatever the world decides to throw at me.