shopping

Feeling crowded and overwhelmed

It’s been a while since I felt like this. Heart rate picking up, sweat starting to appear on my face and a rush inside me that just tells me to get out and away from everyone. But I felt like that today.

I was out. Since getting home from the hospital, my energy has been very low and actually I wasn’t quite up for going out today, but I had a package waiting to be picked up that could not wait any longer so there was a big reason to go. So I did. And it was good. However, while my energy kept up – it might even have spiked from the fresh air and walk, I got worn out in a way I hadn’t expected, even if I maybe should have.

I was in line for the cash register in a store, and ahead of me was guy who had both a wife and two children who ran past me in the small isle, and he was busy speaking to the employee in a different language that I didn’t understand. So busy in fact that when it was my turn he didn’t move and I had to literally go stand right between the two men as I paid – while at the same time, suddenly there was another man behind me, who they also knew and he joined the conversation.

I’m not against having different people in my country. I’m not against them speaking their own language – but it made me so uncomfortable to be caught in the middle, with none of them even taking notice of me or making room. It wasn’t considerate of them. It just wasn’t.

I’m so happy I only had two items to pay for, and then quickly I was able to move past the first man (who by the way still hadn’t moved!) and get out of there and find a space for me to breathe and get my body to calm down again.

Being crowded triggers my anxiety. Not being able to get away easily, being surrounded by people. Strangers. It’s not a good feeling for me, and somehow among all the worrying if I would even be physically able to handle the trip I forgot to include the fact that I might meet other obstacles.

The good thing about it all though, is that I made it. I got myself to calm down and stayed another half hour in the shopping center before I left. I felt with a good feeling. I’d done what I came for, I’d gotten what I needed and I was in a good place going home.

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5 hours of shopping can tire out anyone

Even someone who likes shopping as much as I do. (Yeah I know, could I be more like a typical woman?)
If it’s not clear yet, I did go shopping today. My sister and I had some stuff to buy and we also just wanted some sister-time.

Shopping used to be hard for me with my anxiety, but I’ve gotten more used to the city now – and I’ve improved a bit. And then of course, having my sister with me helps me too. Some days it’s still hard, but it was good. It was all great in fact.
Burgers for lunch (which was actually a new café for me and it was great!), buying a birthday present for mum, exchanging a present my sister had gotten last weekend – and bra shopping and clothes shopping in general.

Yeah, it was great. Except the fact that I had hoped to go out for a meeting tonight. Actually a meeting about anxiety and religion, how to handle it together and stuff. But once I got home I was just worn out. Both mentally and physically. And all the energy it would have taken to go out tonight was gone. Really gone.

So I stayed home. Is that a failure?
On one hand it does feel like I’ve failed. But on the other hand, I had a really nice time and forgot about a lot of bad things while being out.

I can’t let myself feel bad about this. I did what I wanted to. I can’t change anything now, and even if I had the chance I wouldn’t.