I’m sorry sweetheart. I don’t feel well today.
You know how I have to take medicine every day to help so I don’t get really sad all the time? Well, I ran out of pills. This is the third day without them, and it makes my brain feel very fuzzy.
Why do they do that?
Well, there are chemicals in our brain that help determine what kind of mood we’re going to be in. One of those chemicals, serotonin, is responsible for feelings of happiness. My brain doesn’t produce enough serotonin, which is why I get really, really sad sometimes. The pills that I take help increase the amount of serotonin in my brain, so I can feel happier. Since I haven’t had the pills in three days, my brain gets confused because it’s missing the amount of serotonin that it’s used to.
Can I make you feel better?
We’re going to the pharmacy today, after I pick you up from school, so I can finally get more pills. It’ll take a few days for the chemicals to even out again, but I promise that I’ll start to feel better. For now, just give me a big hug. Your hugs help me feel better too.
I hate having to be the type of mother who has to have these conversations with my six-year-old. I hate that it’s possible to run out of refills on such an important medication. I hate that my son has to see my tears.
I am glad that I can be honest with my son about what I’m going through. I’m glad that I have decided not to hide, not to lock myself in the bathroom to cry in private. I’m glad that he won’t grow up thinking he has to hide his tears.