I am not literally at the dollar store right now but my heart is there.
Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of work on identifying anxiety triggers. Part of me trying to deal with the reality of living with my flavor of mental illness and trauma involves a lot of me sitting with my anxiety or panic and letting it happen and then trying to figure out how I got there.
Another thing I’ve been slowly learning to allow myself to do is express what’s on my mind mid-freakout. Once upon a time, I was barely capable of telling my best friend over IM. I spent years supressing any outward signs of having emotions much less of having a panic attack that now, my deepest desire is to let it out.
So look here for what I was tweeting in a nice storified way. And then come back to this tab so I can tell you what was gong on in my head.
What set this off on Friday was that I was already feeling very nervous about what/how we were going to eat through getting my paycheck, paying the rent/bills, and until my partner’s EBT refilled. Typically the end of one month into the first week of the next is really difficult for me. I’m partly relieved, and then I’m angry all over because my paycheck barely covers my rent.
By that point in the month, we are always on the dregs of what we’re eating. My partner has health problems and I know how much of a difference a better diet could make but, we have some intersecting things that make doing that extra hard.
I know that I would feel better overall if we could eat better. I know that I feel the best when I use a less “diet” based way of eating and just eat what I want when my body says I want it.
That is expensive. I can’t afford it.
And last Friday, I was hit up for money to be taught marketing and the person used a lot of negging to do it and it caused me to have a panic attack and subsequent bout of pure rage.
The anger was mixed with my panic because, boom I had an instant cascade of food insecurity. And what do you know, afterwards (and after eating thanks to some gracious donations) I was able to figure out and pinpoint that food insecurity for either myself or my Lil family, sends me deep into panic and anxiety and shame.
What does that have to do with the dollar store?
Our neighborhood dollar store is slightly small, cramped and usually hot as hell. The staff is pretty friendly and they have food.
Generally speaking, I always have a jar of change, I have my emergency dollars stashed and I know if I can walk up there, I can feed my little family.
It is not the best food.
But it is sometimes what makes the difference between eating and not. Between, getting some protein and eating plain ramen.
Sometimes when I’m panicky about making sure my partner has something to eat in the house if he’s unable to get out or when I realize I don’t have any lunch, the dollar store is there.
And for that, I am terribly thankful.
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