I do our weekly shop on a Sunday morning, ready for the week ahead.
I generally meal plan and write my list on Saturday and then head out for when the shop opens on Sunday to get it over and done with.
This week, we were out on Saturday (having an excellent afternoon at Oulton Park watching cars race in the rain) so I hadn’t done my plan and list properly.
So I cobbled a list together first thing on Sunday instead – I tried to meal plan, but my head wasn’t really in it, so it was all a bit vague and I figured I would embellish as I went along which I have done many times before.
It turns out I should have taken this as a warning that I wasn’t feeling quite right, and maybe taken a bit more time to get prepared before heading to the supermarket.
But off I went, mask on, trolley sanitised, list in hand.
It was busy.
People weren’t distancing, or wearing masks properly.
There were kids running around all over the place, one of which was eating a pot of jelly with his hands and touching everything in sight.
I should have just left again and come back later.
But I took a deep breath and barrelled on, trying to focus on my list, and on breathing slowly and calmly.
I remember the first three and a bit aisles.
I remember feeling steadily more and more like I needed to run away or hide, and that I couldn’t breathe, and that my heart suddenly felt three sizes too big, beating three times too fast in my chest.
I remember stopping, closing my eyes, and telling myself to get a grip, buy the shopping and go home. Just get it over with.
My ears were ringing, I felt sick, and it was hard to breathe.
Then it is just a total blur.
It’s like my mind completely switched off and hit some sort of autopilot.
I do not remember the rest of the shop, choosing items, looking at my list, or planning meals as I went along. I don’t remember anything.
It’s like I walked round with my eyes shut until I was walking out of the store exit.
It’s just not there.
I don’t think I was there. In my head.
I got home and unpacked the shopping, finding things I have no memory at all of picking up.
It is all very weird.
I haven’t had a massive panic attack in ages, and I have certainly not missed them.
I felt utterly exhausted for the rest of the day. Like I used up all my strength, both mental and physical, just getting around that shop in one piece.
Hopefully, next week will be better. Because I can’t do that again.