So if you follow me on Instagranny, you’ll have seen me having a huge rant/meltdown after doing my shopping yesterday.
Not because of anyone else.
Not because of anything negative.
Not because of the shop.
Just about me.
And the realisation that something as simple and “normal” as doing the “big shop” had reduced me to a nervous wreck.
The very weirdo who doesn’t mind being in a bar or crowded place alone, who can happily spend a full day wandering around London on my own, and often, whose very joy DEPENDS on wandering around Dunnays ON MY OWN, got into the car after doing the shopping yesterday and freaked the feck out.
My heart was racing.
I was out of breath.
I had the fizzy fingers that I used to get when my anxiety was being a bitch, and I needed to decompress before I could even think about driving.
It was like a tidal wave of relief CRASHED over me once I closed the door.
What used to be one of my favourite things to do, has become something that I dread.
I hate it.
I hate the silence.
I hate the lack of eye contact.
I hate the absence of small talk and polite hellos.
I hate the heightened awareness of EVERY move made by everyone.
I hate the fear of stepping too close to someone by accident.
I hate the apocalyptic soft voice over the intercom reminding me to stay safe… it reminds me of ‘Children of Men’…a movie which I once taught as futuristic dystopian escapism, but which rings far too true these days.
I hate the whole thing.
But mostly, I hate my own weakness and how something so normal can freeze me to my core.
I hate feeling so weak.
I hate wearing the mask.
I hate the fact that so many of my friends and family are working on various frontlines every day, wearing these masks, and I can’t help.
I hate the fact that I melt down after wearing it for 30 feckin minutes.
I felt weak that I was complaining about doing the shopping. I mean Jesus wept, seriously Maria. Aren’t you lucky you having little else to be stressing about? Poor you my arse.
Yip. Absolutely. And I hate feeling so pathetically weak and I hate that I allowed something trivial to upset me so much.
But then, I read the hundreds, and I mean HUNDREDS, of messages from followers last night and this morning.
From women (and men) just as usually confident and capable as me, for whom the big shop has also become a terrible gauntlet run that frightens and stresses them.
And I don’t hate my weakness anymore.
I’m certainly not alone.
And yes, I’ll get on with it, and I’ll continue to do it for as long as it’s deemed essential by the people who are working to keep us all safe.
And I’ll pull up my big girl knickers and keep doing it, (in turns with Himself mind!), because, kids need food and all that jazz.
And I’ll remember that were all in this together, even though we have to stay 2 metres apart.
And I look forward to the day when this is all over, because then, I can promise you, I shall be skipping through the aisles, singing and smiling and hugging EVERYONE.
And there’ll be nothing they can do to stop me!