If anyone hasn’t heard of the life-giving infant liquid pain relief product ‘Calpol’, then I don’t really need to explain it, because I just did. Sat right between Sunny D and Turkey Twizzlers, Calpol was a staple in the diet of every 90s child between the ages 5 and 10. Growing up I learned that it was in fact a medicine, but during childhood I just thought it was a gift from the gods as recompense for being sick.
This spoon fed syrupy sugary goodness was a reason to be sick. It was the silver lining. I looked forward to getting sick, not because I’d have a couple of days of school, but because I’d have Calpol in my life once more. And so what if it has rather dubious amounts of E numbers, which have been banned in many countries around the world, and so what if it was laced with so much sugar your flu was replaced with diabetes, and so what if it has gone through numerous product recalls. I loved it.
The major task as a kid was to try to get more than 2 teaspoons of Calpol. As it was a medicine it was therefore bound by strict regulations on consumption, and 2 teaspoons per 4 hours seemed to be the maximum dosage allowed. It wasn’t enough, I was only sick once, maybe, twice per year, 2 teaspoons wasn’t enough to do me for a year, I needed a hit, just one more hit. Please!
I had my first dose of Calpol on Thursday and Friday; flying over to the UK to spend time with my Mum and Dad. Then today, the rarest of rare events occurred, the bonus Calpol dose that I’d been longing for arrived in the form of a family
friend* member. He came down from Scotland and we all hung out together, you could say it was a Calpolian equinox. It was the second dose and the final blow to a flagging mental illness. These are the times that the illness wishes it chose someone else.
The bonus upon the bonus was the ease in which everyone was talking about their mental health, just as they would their physical health. It wasn’t a big and scary elephant in the room that everyone hides and avoids. It was no more than; a fever, a cold, or the flu, it was nothing that a bit of Calpol couldn’t sort out anyway.
*Technically not blood related but ‘friend’ doesn’t do it justice.