mental health, Uncategorized

Holiday Shopping and Anxiety


Yesterday, my lovely boyfriend got off of work early. Thank God because I was bored out of my mind. We’ve become kind of attached at the hip this past week, even willingly sitting on the same side of the booth at dinner. This was his doing, I’m not usually that girl! But with him, I secretly love it. 

After I picked him up we headed to the best mall in Arizona. This was a mistake as we learned when we realized it was the Thursday before Christmas and not everyone was in school or working. About 70% of people shopping were men buying last minute gifts. Or, maybe it just seemed like it because the only store I went into was Victoria Secret. What a nice gift, for yourself, guys. Just kidding, we enjoy it too!


Parking was an absolute nightmare! They had entire parking garages reserved for valet parking ONLY. Gotta make those few extra bucks, I guess. We finally found a parking spot in the bottom of a garage I’d never even been in before. I was quite turned around. As you can imagine, my anxiety should have been through the roof with all the traffic, stupid people, and not knowing where I was. But, I was able to breathe because I had my man next to me. A true sign that he’s a man I trust. I let him lead the way to find how the hell to get out of that damn garage. 

Once we got inside the mall, I continued to let him lead. And then, I realized he had no clue where he was, either. I know this mall like the back of my hand by now. It’s my favorite. So, arms around each other, I guided him up stairs, to the left, through sephora (with only one stop to check the price of foundation), and out the door on the other side of makeup hell to Starbucks. I was quite relieved walking into a nearly empty coffee shop as the inside of that mall was my description of hell, just fewer clowns and cirque de solé performers. 


I ordered my coffee, paid for it myself like the independent woman I am. Okay, it was my parent’s money, but I don’t have a job right now! And then stepped aside and waited for him to order his ridiculous venti quad hot white chocolate mocha. Man needs four shots of espresso, he’s crazy. That’s a $7 fucking cup of coffee! Anyway, he’s the best. He lets me take selfies of us. He doesn’t mind the photos!

We sat outside and smoked our cigarettes in the nonsmoking section like the badass rebels we are. A couple women began to “cough” and left. Oops. My bad. We stared into each other’s eyes, awkwardly stumbled into a conversation regarding a wedding. Not ours, but like, our friends’ and then I mentioned something about how I want mine to be classier, and then we awkwardly smiled and changed the subject.

With our cigarettes done and our coffee in our hands, we braced makeup hell yet again and made it to the center of my personal hell, back inside the middle of the mall. So many people. So many. I guided him to the directory, which apparently didn’t help him much, and went on my way to hot topic. Where I then got distracted by Victoria Secret. I mean, come on, all bras just $35? Hell yes, please! Suddenly, I forgot I was miserable. 

After my lovely time shopping for myself while my boyfriend also shopped for me, I’m not spoiled. I left the crowded lingerie store with the employee who was just dying to tell me about her Black Friday experience working there, and walked out the store. On my way, I ran into a small group of dancing children in front of the PC store. Yes, this truly is my hell. Then, I found myself in front of a little bit of heaven, Tiffany’s. 

As I paused like I always do in front of heaven, I dreamt about having a croissant in the other hand and just staring at the sparkling jewelry on the other side of the glass. One day, whether I buy it or my future husband does, I will have something from Tiffany’s. Seriously, though. If a man buys me something from Tiffany’s there’s an 80% chance he’s my future husband, or already my husband. 


I took a right at Tiffany’s and managed to escape the noise. I found a spot to smoke in a parking garage. I sat back and relaxed. Finally, able to breathe for a moment. As soon as I sat down, that’s when my boyfriend finally found the store he’d been looking for. Bless his heart. 

I smoked a cigarette, called my parents, smoked another cigarette. There were construction or maintenance type employees doing something by me. A teenager walked up to ask me how to get out of here, they told him how. As he walked off, they joked about how they’d see him on the news later about shooting the place up and they’d become his accomplices. This set off my anxiety, bad. I suddenly wanted to get the hell out of there, find my boyfriend, and hold onto him for dear life. My mind created images of explosions and pain. People dying right before Christmas, me dying. Thankfully, before the Anxiety officially set in, my boyfriend was walking toward me. I felt relief, it brought me out of my mind and back to the present moment. All was well, no one died. 

I finished my cigarette and we headed back into the mall. Walked to where we came in at, and found ourselves walking through the parking garage with car alarms going off. We past by a man fixing his shoe lace, or something in between cars. This had me instantly curious as my anxiety was still somewhat high. My mind created more images. He was breaking into cars, we’d seen him, he was going to kill us. I was so nervous, but I kept my mouth shut. Who knows? He was probably honestly just fixing his shoe standing by his car. I reminded myself there was a cop driving around, we’d be fine. 

At 6pm we were finally in the car and on the way to pick up some dinner. We grabbed Chipotle and headed back to my place. I felt relief when I said, “I assumed I was waking up to take you home at 5am” and he said, “good.” Well, I don’t remember what he said but “good” works for me. 

We are our dinner, took my dog for a walk, and cuddled. We were asleep by 8:30pm. Like the old couple we are. 

Anxiety can make things a living hell, but once you start being able to control it, it becomes less of a hell and more of a tolerable place. I mean, there’s still stupid people. 

-Liz

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