How I Handled a Panic Attack at the Grocery Store

I recently had a panic attack at Giant supermarket, which is (as its name suggests) a honkin’ big store.  Now, a note of explanation here.  I tend to get a panic attack when I have a migraine.  Usually, I get the panic attack AFTER the migraine starts, but this time was special, I guess. I got the panic attack before any migraine symptoms started.

Now, I’m the only one in the household that can do the food shopping since Mom’s doctors have warned her that she should no longer drive.  I’m sure my dogs would love to do the food shopping but there’s that annoying rule grocery stores have about not letting dogs in the shop.  I could claim they were mental health assistance dogs, but their ripping open the deli department would probably give the game away.

Many people who suffer a panic attack are unsure what starts their panic attacks off.  Sometimes, they just come from right out of the blue.  In this case, mine was triggered because I needed to go to the bathroom and was suddenly convinced that I’d poop myself.  And then everyone would look at me and say, “tsk, tsk” (and I hate “tsk, tsk”) and then I’d be banned for life from Giant and be doomed to have panic attacks in other local supermarkets.

Now, granted, there are worse things in life than being an adult and pooping in your pants in public.  I know because I have had it happen to me.  It did not happen in this instance (it happened years ago when I was homeless and ate too many wild mushrooms.  I ate wild mushrooms because I was hungry and had no money, hence eating the local fungus.)

So, I managed to think, “What’s the worst that could happen?  The worst that could happen is that I’d poop in my pants.”  You know what?  Babies poop in their pants every day at supermarkets.  Considering my neighborhood, probably a few adults do, too.  There may even be a guy who waits every day to run to Giant and have the runs.  The employees may even have a cute nickname for him like “No Holds Barry.”

With silly thoughts like this, I managed to wheel my cart into the checkout line, do a normal transaction, get home, unpack the food and finally get to the toilet.  It wasn’t until I had this time to sit down and think that I realized the panic attack went away while I was still in the store.  That’s probably the shorted migraine-related panic attack I ever had.

Until the migraine hit about two hours later.  Well, at least I didn’t poop in my pants.

(I also placed this post on Bubblews.)

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