“Shopping” with anxiety

I pull my car into a parking spot, clear in the back row. Isolated. I grip the steering wheel tight and take a deep breath. You can do this, I whisper to myself. I slide my keys out of the ignition very, very slowly. Click. I clutch my purse and open my car door. The brisk winter air rushes against my stiff body. I shuffle towards the store entrance, grabbing a raggedy old buggy that squeaked every time the wheels rotated. Great, I mutter to myself. I advanced towards the entrance. I took another deep breath and rushed through the automatic doors, almost clipping one. I made awkward eye contact with the Wal-Mart greeter. Welcome to Wal-Mart! he yelled. I mustered up a half-assed grin and kept moving. People were pushing and shoving, making their way through the crowded aisles. I can feel my heart start to pound harder. Thump, thump, thump. I cut through a side aisle to avoid the crowd. Except I had the same idea as about fifty other people. Shit! I thought to myself. As more and more people started swarming around me, I could feel my stomach getting heavier. I can’t do this! My mind screamed to me. I ditched my buggy and ran for the exit. Have a nice da– the greeter tried to stammer out as I brushed passed him. Once in my car, I slammed my hands against the steering wheel, frustrated with myself. I’ll try again tomorrow, I guess.

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