Fridays are shopping days. Ever since my Dad has had trouble with his leg, the Friday runs to Sainsbury’s has been filled by me. First the morning, Mum and the neighbour across the road; home for lunch, then off me and Mum go, to fetch Uncle Jo.
Twice a day would probably be too much for most people, once is enough for me, 00:00hrs, with very little footfall, enough. The mental meltdown bought about an anxiety complex that gets worse around people, a stark contrast that was before, and the flight response is overwhelming.
Psychologists came up with the idea of exposure therapy, thankfully no nakedness involved, and the basics of such therapy explained. Plans were made for controlled, guided, clinical routine to be worked out together with my psychologist. The next meeting got cancelled and then the meeting after that came the announcement of my psychologist being moved to a different department. As I had ‘accepted’ my new found stutter and twitch I was being signed off! There’s the door, thank you very much. Not quite like that but it felt like it.
Back to the supermarket. I have been using this shopping time as best of an exposure therapy as I can manage, me being me, a lot of research on ‘tinternet’ was done first. Researching mental health issues on the internet can at times leave oneself feeling like a neurological STD has just been caught, thankfully undergraduate course material is supplied by universities.
Today was the day I stayed in, on the chairs at the end of the checkout, headphones are obligatory to control the noise, and read last months Writing magazine. It had to be last months as the stress of taking in this months was too much, the security guards keep an eye on me I’m sure, and I expect to be pulled over for a bag check at any time.It’s just not natural to hang around in a supermarket twice a day.
For a brief moment I was engrossed in the magazine, blissfully unaware of my surroundings, my mind focused on only the text of the pages.
A shopping trolley with a wobbly wheel broke the tranquillity,the vibrations felt trough the seating; shortly after an irritating man sat one seat down, there was no chance of going back. Senses overloading once more it was time to leave, Uncle Jo was just leaving the checkout; perfect timing.