So I thought my first blog could be a little a bit about my history and why I think I am the way I am. But then I changed my mind and thought I’d start with a story instead, so here it goes.
Shopping. Most women love a good shopping day; the clothes, the make-up, the Starbucks. But for me it can be a living nightmare, going around to every shop, the dressing rooms, the people, the horror!!!!! Sometimes even a trip to my local shop for milk can cause me to have anxiety sweats and a headache.
So the story starts with me needing to go the shop for milk and bacon as I wanted tea and a bacon sandwich. So I geared myself up;
• phone fully charged with headphones
• hoodie on / baggy clothes (my armor against the world)
• purse so I can pay, double-check have the bank card
• talk out loud to one’s self for 5 minutes “you can do this” “you will be 5 minutes tops” “no one will look at you”
So luckily for me, my local is opposite where I live, literally a stone throw away (never understood that saying some people can throw further than others). Anyway, off I trot head down, earphones in listening to something that drowns out the world I shall say it was some Ed Sheeran, I love me some Ed! I get to the shop, don’t need a basket as I only need 2 items. I get my milk no problem all good so far, I go to the aisle where the bacon is which is luckily next to the checkout, and we have self-checkout now – the bonus for people like me.
So as I pick up the bacon I glance over to the self-checkout and my worst nightmare has happened.
I am literally screaming in my head even the soft tones of Ed can’t calm me down. I feel the colour drain from my face, ‘what the fuck am I going to do’ I think, ‘why me’?! Well, I guess for people who don’t understand and may be thinking ‘so what? omg what a drama queen’, well yes I am but I have social anxiety, I don’t do well with people.
Back to the story, ok after a tiny inside meltdown I am like ‘right ok, I can do this, no big deal. I’ll just go to the counter, I only have 2 items, it won’t take me long, I’m ok, it’s all ok’. I start heading over to the check-out counter and yep, just my luck, there is no one behind the counter. That is it, I can feel the anxiety set in like I have been struck by lightning, my body starts to tingle, what am I going to do? Now, this can be solved so simply, just go find someone who works there and asks them to serve me. Oh if only it was that simple for me. So my plan starts forming, ‘ok I’m just going to browse around the shop until someone goes behind the counter or someone else goes to the counter waiting to be served’. Why do I think like this? Why do I have to really complicate the simplest things, I just can’t help myself.
So there I am, in my sweats, browsing around the shop. One eye on the counter pleading to myself that someone goes there and I can get out the shop, go home, have my cup of tea and bacon sandwich and all is right with the world again. Then panic sets in again, damn my brain! ‘Oh no I look weird just walking around pretending to look at items and not picking them up. I bet they think I’m a shoplifter or homeless or both! Ok, I need to start picking things up just to look normal’. So I pick up some kitchen cleaner, I guess I need that when mine runs out.
*10 minutes later*
So the anxiety sweats have kicked in, my head is killing me from over thinking, and oh yes my arms are full of things I don’t need! I have my milk, bacon, kitchen cleaner, plasters, apples, ham, tomatoes (I don’t even like them) and chocolate (I’m going to need this after experience). My arms are heavy and still, no one is at the till. I have even walked past people who worked there numerous times trying to tell them telepathically “go behind the counter”, obviously it didn’t work. When I feel all hope is lost and I am not going to get my bacon sandwich, I am going to have to end up living in the shop, finally, another customer must have heard my prayers and went to the till. I could hear the choir sing in my head “hallelujah”. I have me out! I can go stand behind them and someone will see us both and serve us if my arms weren’t full I would of air pumped. So I go stand behind my fellow shopper and yep, within 1 minute a shop worker comes to the counter.
‘Victory is mine’ I think, I get served, I get out the shop and get home. It then sets in I have spent over 15 minutes at the shop instead of 5, spent more money by buying more things I don’t even need and paid more money than I was planning on something so stupid. So instead of making my tea and bacon sandwich when I got home, I sat on the floor and cried eating my chocolate thinking ‘what is wrong with me? Why did I do that? I bet that person who was served before didn’t do that. I bet they just came in, picked what they needed, got served and went home with a smile on their face, not like me sitting there on the kitchen floor not even using the items I originally went for!’
I chose this story as my first blog because at the time it sent me into a deep depression for a few days but now I can laugh about it, and sometimes you have to get to that point and see the funny side. I hope you enjoyed it.