Above, you’ll see an artist’s depiction of me, on day ninety-400 6 thousand and umpteenth of the stay-at-home order in my state. When one gets a bit frustrated, scared, worried, stressed and otherwise BORED, well, this is to be expected. Peeking out through my gratitude, which I still possess strongly, well, there are only so many things I can do in this house, so many meals to cook, so many loads of laundry to fluff and fold. My husband was off work yesterday in a rare respite from the food/goods store he works at and he offered to get gas for my vehicle so I don’t have to touch the pumps.
Then, the…temptation began. Well, if we’re going out, we could go to the food store that has the stuff we can’t get at your work. If I wore a mask and stayed far away and only you touch the items, scan and pay, I could go in! I could see humans! Then I went back and forth with myself. It’s not worth it! He can get the stuff and I can be on a video call. I’m only going to be in there for a few minutes and surely they have plenty of safe things in place! Holding my mask and a container of disinfecting wipes…I went inside.
Oh the freedom I felt! I’m getting out of the car, prepared with my mask. I’m so safe! I’m going to stock up on all the….WHY IS THAT GUY WALKING NEAR ME? Why doesn’t that woman have a mask on? That huge family in here, why? I think my anxiety shot from 0 to 100 in about, oh, TEN seconds. Sure, they had arrows showing that we should only go one direction, but NO ONE WAS DOING IT. There was a sign at the door saying that 171 PEOPLE can be in there at a time. I’m not good at math, but if we’re supposed to stay six feet apart, well, that isn’t going to happen with those numbers. I immediately went back to the chart I see in the morning that shows how many people in my county have it and any one of these people could have it I kept thinking. Why am I risking my life for egg noodles and leeks!!??
We didn’t grab that much, but got some things that I knew my teen was missing since I haven’t been out and some things not sold at his store, so off we went to the register. The mask I had was a painter’s dust mask and well, I truly felt claustrophobic and light-headed in it. I was hot and my sunglasses were on the entire time, so everything was dark. My husband said, “Yes, go!” when I asked if he would ring everything up and he handed me the keys and off I went. Yeah, that was fun…NOT. Then I tried to figure out if I should wipe the container of wipes so I could get a wipe and then wipe down everything I touched, but I don’t think I touched anything. OMGOSH. I was SO GLAD to get back INTO the house again.
I get it. Most people don’t feel like this; some do. My anxiety was on full display like a peacock looking for a date in that store. Regret and fear washed over me, wondering if I’d done myself in going to the store. Somewhere in the recesses of my mind, I was trying to rationalize that I took precautions and I would be just fine. However, anxiety isn’t “rational”. It doesn’t allow you the luxury of logical thought and calming breaths. Maybe if I hadn’t watched Contagion AND Outbreak all in the same week I wouldn’t be freaking out like this? Yeah I would. It’s me! I’m the one who panics when there is a tornado warning or a really bad storm. I’m the one in the basement with packages and mail strewn everywhere with a can of Lysol spraying everything. Yesterday, I sprayed MYSELF with Lysol. Yes, I was that worried. Thankfully I did it inside the house. I don’t want to go viral in what I was wearing anyway.
I know I won’t be going back to the food store (or ANYWHERE else) anytime soon. I’m staying here at home, where I BELONG for now. Yes, I’m scared and yes I’m worrying about it too much. Yes, I know there isn’t anything I can do about it, but I WILL find a way to turn everything OFF and do something for me, for the kids and for my sanity. Yes, I’m giving into the fear today, but I will push through and find something to distract me that is shiny and good. I have to. I will STAY THE HELL AT HOME after that debacle yesterday. It’s not worth it. I guess I’m looking up recipes for leeks and egg noodles.