What was I thinking?


Well, for reasons I’m not totally clear on myself, I got the urge to go out and check on some of the bargains in yesterday’s paper. So about noon today, I saddled up the Element and headed out. That was a stupid idea.

I stopped at Staples and picked up a digital frame and that went easily enough. The store was busy but not full. Once I finished there, I went to PetSmart. Again, not too bad. Busy and more crowded than Staples, but not packed. Still, I was feeling a little faint. Normally, I don’t go out in big crowds or traffic alone. Budge almost always goes with me and as long as she’s with me, I do fine . . . sort of.

This would be a good time to tell y’all that I suffer from recurring panic attacks and some pretty nasty claustrophobia, to the point that even crowds can trigger an attack. Right now, I was doing okay. I was looking for a new tank for Comet, our five year old painted turtle. Unfortunately, my mind started getting a little “spinny” so I figured it’d be a bad idea to try getting what I needed right then because I’d ended up spending too much. So I headed for the next stop . . . Best Buy.

Now THAT was a real genius move for a claustrophobic panic attack sufferer. I finally found a parking place after a white knuckle drive of one hundred yards. Walking into the store was like wading through a river. The temperature inside had to be over 90 degrees. Budge wanted a new pen drive so I steeled myself and swam back to computers. I couldn’t go three steps without bumping into someone. I felt like a pinball.

Well, I found the pen drive she wanted and tried to find me a case for my iPod and a few DVDs that Budge mentioned wanting for Christmas. I couldn’t. Too many people. Thought my heart would beat out of my chest. Yep. Full blown panic attack city.

I sucked it up and went to the checkout line. That’s where I almost gave up and fled. Everyone was bellybutton to behind for three laps around the checkout stands. I felt nauseated, lightheaded, and really clammy, but I kept on. It was the longest fifteen minutes of the day. The most excruciating part was the final turn where I was backed into a corner, no air, and no windows. Again, I almost broke and ran, but I finally got through and hustled out to the Element.

I’ve never been so happy to get home in my life. I fixed a bowl of soup tonight rather than go out into traffic again. Budge will be home tomorrow evening and we may go get some shopping done. Until then, no way am I venturing out. I’m going to do my shopping online!

3 responses »

  1. Glad you made it through the nightmare of Black Friday. I waited until today to go out – there was hardly anyone out and about today – Best Buy and Wal-Mart in Harbison (Columbia) were practically deserted. Seemed like just a normal Saturday and not the typical Black Friday/holiday rush. Yesterday must have tuckered everyone out.

  2. Congrats on mind over matter! Hopefully Budge will not read this if that is a surprise for Christmas. My sister has p.a.’s and I’ve known her to get atop the OLD Cooper River Bridge and have to call and get someone to come get her.

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