Growing up, I always refused painkillers. I don’t know why – maybe I thought they were a sign of weakness. I don’t know. I just know that I routinely turned them down, even when I was in a lot of pain.
But somehow, when I was fifteen, I came home from one more shitty day of high school – part of being a teenager, right? – and declared to my mother, “I have a headache.”
“Tylenol’s in the cabinet,” she responded absentmindedly. I hesitated, but went and grabbed the bottle, read the directions and popped two for my nonexistent headache.
The next day, I arrived home and noticed that the bottle was still in my room. “What the hell,” I thought, and took two more. It wasn’t a big deal. Really.
Over the course of the next few weeks, this became part of my routine. I worked my way up from two pills to four, six, eight, sixteen – always in increments of two, because I’m anal retentive like that. My parents had purchased a bottle of 500 at the local wholesale club and never noticed a thing.
Then one day, I downed 36 in one shot and took a nap.
I didn’t wake up for two days.
After that, I stopped taking Tylenol. I don’t believe I even looked at another one for five years, and only because I thought my uterus was going to fall out from how bad it hurt.
I can’t even explain to you why I did it. It’s not like I felt good from it. I never thought “time to get high!” I just did it and it seemed normal to me.
I didn’t even recognize I’d had a problem until over ten years later…
Aimee S. says
So it turns out that Tylenol is THE gateway drug!
I did this in high school, too, except substitute Tylenol with Nyquil caps. What foolish girls we were.
Feisty Foodie says
Hi Liz! Thanks for sharing your own experience, but please note, this is a work of fiction. I’m sorry to hear about your experience – I hope nothing more serious came of it.