I need to make a trip to Asda… There! I said it. Phew! It feels like such a weight off my mind.
Life can be such hard work when you suffer from panic attacks and the like. When you have that and something neurological like dyspraxia to deal with, everything becomes a trade off.
There is this thing called spoon theory. It’s used to explain the problems of having invisible illnesses to anyone lucky enough not to have one. It originated with a lady by the name of Christine Miserandino in 2003 who, whilst trying to explain her illness to a friend in a cafe, picked up a handful of plastic spoons.
Imagine you have ten spoons to last you a day….
One spoon summons you the strength to crawl out of bed. Another to make breakfast. And another to get dressed. So that’s three gone before you have even left the house. A stressful phone call can be three on its own, an argument five or more. Some days you can get to midday and all ten have all gone and it’s back under the duvet and start again. It can be possible to use more than ten but you will pay for it in the future. When I was in hospital last year for a week I think it cost a few thousand and I wasn’t anywhere near right for months.
A solo visit to a large supermarket is around a six spoon event so it bloody well has to be worth the bother. You can survive off quick trips to local little shops and the small supermarket that does the basics for about six weeks or so but eventually you hit a tipping point , weirdly this time it was microwave popcorn that sent me over the edge. There is always something, a little luxury or a desperate necessity that outways the strain of the trip.
It’s hard finding an explanation as to how it feels, deep sea diving, a decent into hell. The further you get from the entrance, the deeper you get in the building, the more the pressure builds up. Every shopper blocking an aisle with a trolley, every item moved since your last visit, every tannoy, every flickering fluorescent light is another spoon gone and then at the end of it all the person on the checkout will insisted on asking you about your day. What I want to say is “Well, I’ve mostly been going barking mad thanks for asking.” But I just reply with something vague and chatty and there goes another spoon.
The modern world is making us sick, the noise, the crowds, the lights, the inhuman scaled architecture, the computers, the constant barrage of information and white noise, the impinged privacy. Then again, without all this crap we wouldn’t have microwave popcorn, quorn or whatever drew me there in the first place.
I like to hope that we are in the middle of something, that there will be a tipping point to a world of friendly flying drones and where money is some quaint notion from a bygone age. Until that day comes though, I will count my spoons and guard them carefully and get through another shopping trip in one piece .