I actually slept last night. I woke up at 6am, refreshed but agitated, did a little bit of cleaning and then played a little bit. I was still feeling restless and a little bit wonky, but it seemed like I'd finally gotten over the constant low-level anxiety of the past couple of days, so I decided to go to the dollar store and pick up a gallon of milk so I could make a mocha.
The dollar store near my house is great for me. I usually forget it's even there and get the random staples I've run out of at the gas station if I don't want to wait until the wee hours when the stores will be deserted. So today, I think I'd been there for about 5 minutes, wandering around and looking at things before I heard the cashier greet someone, and the voice that responded sounded familiar. I looked over, and saw a former co-worker of mine that I haven't seen since September of 2000.
It was odd, because I was just thinking about her 2 days ago. She had always greeted me every morning with, "Good morning, O Evil One" and a loopy grin. I was living in a house with a couple of members from my coven at the time I was working there and I've never been overly vocal about the fact that I'm pagan, but I've also never set foot inside the broom closet, either. So when I was razzing her about something all those years ago and a coworker laughingly asked her if she was going to take that from me, she looked right at the other woman and said, "Hell yes! I've seen The Craft!" She had an awesome sense of humor…
But I digress. She looked like shite. Exhausted. We started chatting and she said, "You know my son killed himself 6 months ago, right?" She told me that today was the 6 month anniversary of his funeral. She told me that she was working two jobs to pay for the funeral and has been struggling with depression and suicide attempts. She felt guilt for not being able to pick up on the severity of his depression. I remember her son. He was a very smart boy, from what I remember of him, and I asked her about that. She smiled and said, "Yeah. He was awesome." I said, "And he loved you, didn't he?" and she started crying and nodded. Hell, we were both crying by then, and I told her that he was smart enough to hide it from her and loved her so much that he felt the need to. We had both tried and failed and usually by the time I'm so depressed that I'm actually considering anything like that, I also start worrying that if anyone finds out, I'll end up in the psych ward again. So I hide it. She hid it. She shouldn't feel guilty that HE hid it, but I know it's common.
We exchanged email addresses, and unlike most times, I think I might actually want to stay in contact with her. Not out of pity or anything like that, but we get each other, and when we were sharing stories about our own experiences with anxiety and depression, she never made me feel less than, or broken. There's freedom in not having to hide things that effect you so deeply for fear that people will think you're crazy. So yeah, I think I might e-mail her some day when I'm feeling particularly ballsy. She was someone I enjoyed knowing, and since my best friend of 28 years seemed to have forgotten I was gay and started suggesting we should be sleeping together, I don't have any "real" friends anymore.
About halfway through the conversation, I realized I was starting to freak myself out with the "she'd better not try to hug me" thoughts and started trying to covertly switch to the belly breathing thing. It helps, but it still makes me feel conspicuous when I have to do it around people. We said goodbye and shook hands, which I usually don't do, and it was awkward but brief. She went to get whatever it was she came for, and I went to get milk.
I picked up a couple of 6 packs of soda also, and was on my way to the register. I made it about 2 steps, and one of the cans fell out of the plastic ring, hit the floor, and exploded. It got my leg, my foot (and consequently my Birkenstock) and left a mess about 4 feet long and the can was still spraying. The store was pretty much dead, which I why I like it, and the cashier came over. So NOW I start freaking out… lol
I just assumed he was going to be mad at me, but he wasn't. Didn't stop me from babbling. Right into the "I'm sorry, didn't mean for that to happen, it fell out…." stuff, and he calmly takes the now 5 pack of soda to the back room and came back a few minutes later with a mop bucket to clean up the mess. I put the other 6 pack on the counter before anything could happen to it and went back to grab a second one to replace the first, then picked up the one from the counter and walked around to the side of the register that wasn't closed and ANOTHER freaking can fell out of the plastic ring thing.
This one just dented a little bit, but I was already stressed out and sticky from the last one, so now I'm standing at the cash register in tears but the cashier was just being soooo nice… lol. It's kinda funny now. But that was my outing for the day, and now I have a mocha.