August 9th, 2020

Today was very mixed. Mostly bad.

Most of the day was okay. I did the usual Sunday things, like get my car washed and vacuumed out, got a bagel and the really nice Jewish Bakery down the street for breakfast, and got a big Diet Coke to wash my bagel down with. (It’s the one time a week I give up Coke Zero for Diet Coke!)

That all went fine. Really good, even.

Today’s also a special day, because it’s Snowy’s anniversary, and her husband came into town for the day. (Yay, I like to see him, too.) We went together to pick him up from the train station. I was in the middle of a project at the time (I hung some extra lights in the hallway since it’s really dark), and had to leave quickly because his train came in early, but I did okay. I got really amped up on the ride into Seattle to the train station, but it worked out okay.

One of my worse things is “oh no, someone is waiting on me,” and it’s especially true when I don’t control all of the pieces. (Like, say, traffic on I-5.) It’s a variant on the “I’m worried about hurting someone” theme that has been the dominate force in my life for the last few years. Traffic was okay on the way to the train station, but it could have gone bad very quickly. But didn’t. Phew.

On the way back we stopped for lunch at Chipotle, and I had a bit of a nervous breakdown.

Snowy had to go to the restroom, which is totally fine, of course, but it left me without a place to stand that wasn’t known-safe. I was in the line at Chipotle, and there wasn’t a dot to stand on for “waiting on someone to pee.” That set me off. I like the dots on the ground, they make things easier, but they also make things hard when you can’t follow the lines.

We ended up waiting next to the window, which wasn’t 6′ away from the dots, but I reminded myself “uh, we’re the only ones in here. There’s no one to hurt,” and it mostly worked to calm myself down, but I still had a rough time there.

After lunch we went back to the house and went our separate ways. Snowy and husband went off to do grownup things, and I hung around the house and finished up my project.

A normal Sunday afternoon thing is to go grocery shopping. The last two months or so Snowy and I have been in a pretty good routine, but this time, I was on my own. I didn’t complete my whole trip.

As I tweeted about, because I wear glasses all of the time (I don’t have contacts), I fight with it getting fogged up due to a mask. When I get nervous I start to breathe harder, which makes my glasses fog up more, which makes it harder to see, which makes me more worried I’m gonna hurt someone, which makes me breathe harder, which makes the circle complete, and it doesn’t take long until I have a meltdown.

The store was out of some of the things that I needed, so I knew I’d have to go to a second store to get everything. I got so worked up that I never made it to the second store. It took all of my effort to get home, but I did.

I’m both sad that I couldn’t handle the whole trip, but kinda glad, too, because I was alone. That was the first time grocery shopping alone in months. I didn’t get all of the things that I needed, and I freaked out, but I was able to handle it, and that’s important to me.

I came back home and got paralyzed for a few hours. I basically did nothing. Siri helped me out by playing some forest sounds (which I find relaxing), but… yeah. 😢

Snow eventually texted me and said they were on the way home. I told her I was not okay, but was home and safe. She offered to meet me at a different grocery store (that’s a bit larger) to get the things that I needed. I agreed.

The Safeway where we met, as seen from my car.

While in this grocery store I had another freak-out. This one was larger than the first. I had to cross the path of the door, and a constant stream of people came in. It was really hard to keep 6′ away because they just kept coming in. I froze and just stood still for several minutes while waiting for the path to get clear. Snowy and husband had to come get me to get me out of it.

We got home, I said “that’s it, no more going out today,” and put on my PJs and we watched a movie. (Iron Man) That part was pretty good. I’ve seen that movie a bunch of times, and it’s really familiar. Re-watching movies I’ve already seen is really comforting right now since I know how it goes. Familiar is good.

The current view of my living room, as seen from my normal spot on my sofa.

On the plus side, today’s project, which was hanging lights in the hallway, turned out great. It really made that dark and drab hallway a lot more magical. 💜

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