….the full joy of Anxiety Attacks, is, not so much not knowing where they may strike, as being utterly bemused as to why the hell the full ‘AARRGHH IT’S A HUNGRY LION -FLIGHT OR FIGHT!!’ reflex is firing itself up for something utterly stupid.
Escalators. You know, those magical moving staircase things, moving us up and down tube stations and department stores and all that? Yes, those.
A gentle jaunt through the local Marks & Spencer’s store in search of knee-length socks this afternoon. It’s 6pm in the evening, the day-time Shopping-Mall-Rush is over. It’s quiet in a kind of staff-outnumbering-the-customers kind of way. I have to hang around for a 7.30pm appointment, so grasp the opportunity to shop for some boring essential things, like the aforementioned socks. And I make the mistake of deciding to visit the first floor of the shop. Via the ESCALATOR. And every tiny bit of stress just flowers out and suddenly I’m trying to concentrate on breathing in and out, keeping upright (because collapsing half-way up 10 metres of escalator would be a) embarassing and b) painful), and keeping a grip of the handrail and my shopping bags. Whilst trying to distract myself by counting slowly up to 10 and simultaneously reading any advertising signs very very seriously hello P-E-R-U-N-A C-O-L-L-E-C-T-I-O-N A-R-E Y-O-U S-T-I-L–L-U-S-I-N-G-T-W-I-G-G-Y-A-S-A-M-O-D-E-L-?-oh look I’ve reached the first floor. I have no fucking idea whatsoever how I’m going to fucking get back down again, but I’ve reached THE FIRST FLOOR without serious injury.
Amusingly enough, the 7.30 appointment is with my GP, who proceeds to tell me how much more confident and together I look…