Claustrophobia

So, yesterday, pretty much against my will, I was dragged to a supermarket to do some shopping because I ‘needed a break’ and ‘needed to get out’, in my mother and sister’s opinions. I was perfectly content studying, blogging and chatting but clearly, my family disagreed and I was hence forced to clothe myself appropriately to actually leave home. I was not so happy at first because the outside is this big alien place that I usually prefer not seeing unless I get to meet someone I actually care for. I got into the mood though and I needed some clothes anyway, so I cheered myself up as we got into the car and drove off.

Enjoyed?
NO.
At first it was okay – I looked around for clothes, tried a few on, even liked some of them (I’m even wearing one of the tops right now). But somehow, my heart wasn’t in it. Mentally, I was elsewhere, probably home with the desire to actually finish all my work screaming to be completed or just chat with my best friend. I finished shopping really quickly. My sister and I begged our mother to be allowed to play puck hockey. The last time I’d played, my sister had beaten me and this time she was determined to repeat her feat. It was too bad for her then that I won. I even celebrated my victory but somehow, even that felt half-hearted. I don’t think even I understood myself.

My mother’s biggest motive in taking us to the supermarket was to check the new chaat stall out. So we did. We didn’t buy anything else at the grocery section and we headed to the express counter to leave quickly but unfortunately, there was a long queue there. I stared at all the counters and the never-ending sea of people and shuddered slightly. It’d been ages since I’d been amongst so many people I didn’t know. In school, crowds are easy to ignore mostly because I keep looking down at my shoes. But here, the crowd struck me and scared me. I broke into sweat and looked at my queue anxiously,  mentally bidding it to move faster. It was maddening. My sister noticed something was off and she asked me about it. And then my mother noticed too. I had to hold tightly on to my sister to not collapse. My hands and knees were shaking. It was crazy. I just wanted to be out, out in some open place or somewhere where there would be no people closing in on me from every imaginable direction.

It took me a long time to stop shaking, even after I’d reached home. It was scary. I’ve always known myself to occasionally fear either vastly open places with crowds or extremely closed places but this was a whole new level of fear. I refuse to move out of home now. The furthest I am going is the beach because that is my haven and there, I am safe.

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