To the Couple in Line at CVS Who Saved My Life Without Knowing It


You didn’t know me, and I highly doubt you even remember me at this point, but I will remember you for a long time.

I suffer from, among other things Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. It stems from events I’ve experienced while living on the streets homeless as well as events that happened in my childhood. A symptom of my PTSD is anxiety, very bad anxiety, especially in unstable family situations. For the past five days before meeting you in line, I was a patient in a psychiatric unit. I’d been experiencing flashbacks and extreme anxiety and wanted to hurt myself. To guarantee my own safety, I had myself admitted.

I completed my treatment at the hospital, and I figured I would just go home until my already scheduled intake at the county mental health center. My plans didn’t quite go as expected. My living circumstances suddenly changed, I had no resources, and no one could help me other then to direct me to an anxiety-inducing shelter. I was ready to give everything up. I started making my way to the CVS to fill my scripts and take them all.

A friend offered me a room at in her house in Wisconsin, but I had to figure out how to get 13 miles across the bridge from New Jersey to Philadelphia to catch the bus the next day.

Wait. Next day? What am I supposed to do tonight?

How was I supposed to get to Philadelphia? I felt done. I had the perfect chance to make things right in a new state, but it was just out of reach. “That’s it,” I said to myself. Of course, you didn’t know all this from standing in from of me at the pharmacy counter.

You dropped off your prescriptions and sat down to wait, then I did the same. My friend called while I was sitting there to tell me she could get me a bus ticket tonight; I just had to find a way to Philadelphia.

Normally I would object to people listening in on my phone conversations, but this time I’ll make an exception. I don’t know what inspired you to offer me, a complete stranger, a ride to the bus station, but you did.

I’ve been through pitfalls and black holes and haven’t found a lot of people who would be able to help me, but you, a person who didn’t know me, offered a space in your car to get across the bridge.

I just want to say thank you. You saved my life that day.

If you or someone you know needs help, please visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

The Crisis Text Line is looking for volunteers! If you’re interesting in becoming a Crisis Counselor, you can learn more information here.


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