Noise induced panic & stores; also Hangul, and UFYH

This post is going to meander, and just sort explain some reasons why I have poor reactions in noisy stores. (You know aside form the general “Ack! There’s people there!” caused by anxiety) and also go over some goals I’m setting for myself.

So, today was an uneventful day, with a blip of anxiety in the middle.
One of those days which seems quite common now where I felt kind of cheerful but generally anxious, and though I had energy I still felt kind of cruddy body-wise. Mostly because I had a headache.
I’ve had lots of head-aches lately, and I can’t seem to shake having them, I don’t understand why.
Maybe because Mr. C has been burning lots of incense? Perhaps I have a sinus infection again?
Hard to tell, but having a head-ache so much doesn’t tend to make one feel very good, and for me it makes me extra sensitive to noise.
I’m already noise sensitive, I get overwhelmed very easily with too much noise.
Too many people talking, especially if it’s people I’m actually trying to listen to, and it’s like bits of my brain don’t want to work anymore, the speech starts to sound incomprehensible, and I have to go hide for a while til my brain sorts itself out. OR tune everyone as best I can while I try to force myself to focus on only one conversation, sometimes I begin to panic because I can’t make sense of the world and that is rather a scary feeling.
Music is worse; if there’s music playing for too many hours, especially base-heavy music, I start to feel like the walls are closing in on me, only the walls are made of sound. This, of course, triggers my panic badly, because that’s that “no escape” feeling.
If my neighbors have a party, something in my brain starts the count-down to panic.
So noise and headaches and panic are all very inter-related for me.

Today, we went into a very busy, and therefore noisy, costco.
Any American reading this (even later), may look at the date for this post and go “What were you expecting! It was black friday of course it would be busy” but you’d be uninformed of the fact that I’m Canadian.
So I was expecting it to just be an average shopping day, because we don’t have black friday up here in Canada, and even if we did, our thanksgiving is in October on a Monday. So it would have happened a month ago, and it’d be ‘Black Tuesday’… Maybe they’d be willing to cater to song lyrics, national colours and a general sense glamor garnered from pretty colour names, and call it “Ruby Tuesday” instead.
Needless to say shoppers didn’t meet my expectations, they were out in force, at noon on a damned Thursday there were people trawling the parking-lot for a spot (we got lucky) even at the outskirts, and the store was packed. (I shudder to think what the mall must have looked like.)

So all that was to essentially explain what it was like being in the store. With a tangled mess of a brain (much like this post?) Mostly when I go into stores it’s not quite so overwhelming, I’m usually doing my best not to care. I don’t think I could have faced that one alone, but then I’m one of those anxious people who can face most things if they have someone they trust with them. The real issues start when I’m alone.
Not having someone else to focus on, and either lead or follow, tends to let my own mind get a lot more hazy or out of control. It’s like it kicks into high gear and I have twice as many thoughts, the trouble is most of them are completely useless anxious thoughts. (XP)
Though to go back to what I was saying earlier, an issue that comes up even if I have someone with me, is noise.
I always feel like there’s this background of sensory over-exposure in stores in general, but the amount of noise caused by so many people mixed with music feels, all together it feels like tangled string in my brain. That can get very distracting.

Being around people in the first place makes every single self conscious thought run in a circle, so that also can make the internals of my mind a fairly noisy place too.
In fairness, I know that most people don’t give a damn so there’s no reason to worry about that one, but it doesn’t always shake the thoughts because they aren’t spawned by reality, they are irrational, sometimes foolish, anxious thoughts.
(It is something I’ve learned, people generally aren’t interested in anyone else around them, they are thinking about the things they want or need.They are concerned with their own interests almost exclusively, and they may even be self conscious themselves. — Knowing this to be true doesn’t always stop the irrational thoughts though, all it does is let me more easily affirm them to be irrational thoughts. Scumbag brain.)

Fortunately for me, my partner has little interest in spending time in stores, so we got the shopping done really quickly, and got the heck out of there.

So on a completely different set of notes, I’ve gone back to studying hangul, and working on learning new words and making my way slowly through the tuttle book I bought last month called “mastering conversational Korean for beginners” which has been amusing in it’s writing style so far. (though it does seem like it’s trying a little too hard to be funny, I don’t mind that – better than not trying at all, in many respects)
One of the bloggers on here recommended a couple books for me to look into, so I’ll take those suggestions and look into those books. 🙂

Annnnd, in the interest of enjoying my space more, I’ve been using some UFYH advice for starting to build up some good habits. So, to start with I’ve been making our bed everyday, and slowly working on one little bit of clutter or mess that I notice each day.
I’ve not actually been following the UFYH blog or anything, but I do like looking at other peoples pictures – it motivates me to feel like my clutter will become manageable is I just work on it slowly. (I have a lot of things I want to get rid of, mostly due to inheriting quite a number of things form my aunt when she passed away, and having a bunch of stuff sluffed off on me when my father moved to a different city. XP
Since my mother was a hoarder I’m not very super keen on keeping tons of stuff, BUT I am not at all a minimalist. (I kind I wish I were though)
I do have a fear that I’ll end up with her habits though, so avoiding excess clutter is on my priority list. To that end, I very much enjoy UFYH, it reminds me that I don’t have to be trapped between panicking about having clutter in the first place, and feeling like there’s too much clutter to deal with.
It’s nice too, to have little suggestions, it makes you feel like you don’t have to plan out all of your cleaning — Sometimes it’s nice not to have to all the planning oneself. 😀
And I know for sure little things can make a difference, notably over time as they seem to build up.
I’m hoping bed-making and tiny clutter clearing turn out to be that way.
Even if the first few days make me feel silly making the bed.
Explanation: I haven’t consistently made my bed… ever in my life, except when staying at my grandma’s house when I was a child I never made my bed — I wonder if it’s more odd to feel like a little kid making my bed, or more odd to have not really ever made my bed on a regular basis, at any point in my life?
Hmm… (O.o)  Not sure.

Anyways, mostly this is all mild — Mild anxiety, and mild goals — They are soft, those tiny steps you take to try and just move a little bit. 🙂
Hopefully this is some form of progress.

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3 thoughts on “Noise induced panic & stores; also Hangul, and UFYH

  1. I can absolutely relate to the noise making the anxiety go haywire. I would prefer to pay extra rather than step foot in a mall, especially this time of year. For me what is worse is being startled suddenly (like if someone hides behind something and then jumps out at me and yells…I am never amused and will often need hours to recover). Loud children in small spaces are very triggering for me also. And I have children! But they learned very quickly the difference between inside and outside voices and to NEVER yell in the car (or that could be literally dangerous to us all)! I didn’t know I had GAD (mild OCD with some PTSD sprinkled in as well) until last year but as I read more about it and find more people like me it makes sense. Good luck to you and thank you for reading my blog! 🙂

    • Ahh, my brother is like that too. He chose to pay extra fees, instead of call the company and tell them that they’d made a mistake in their billing. Anything to avoid having to deal with extra people.
      I’m a little more stubborn, if I know what to expect, and have specific goals (especially if I’m not alone) then I can ‘prep’ myself, and face down most average things.
      The costco was hard because I wasn’t expecting it at all. Going blurry (can’t clearly think or see, or distinguish what people are saying from background noise around me) needs perpetration.

      My sympathies on that one, loud kids can be quite starting. Especially when they scream like their being murdered, when all that happened was that their friend poked them. ( It’s like: O_O Kid, you had me reaching for the emergency speed-dial! You’re fine! )
      Gails of laughing or/and coughing from adults actually startle me more though. I think it’s something about the tone, like my brain expects high pitch shrieking of children more than it expects someone with a deeper voice to be making a loud noise.
      For instance a rumble combined with a high pitched wheeze (which is my husbands cough due to asthma — I jump and flinch. Every. Damned.Time.)

      It’s really good that your kids know better than to startle you! Driving is hazardous enough with all the drivers around, no need for any risky in cab behaviour.

      Always glad to hear when a diagnosis ‘clicks’, and helps someone find answers, that’s excellent.
      Thanks for writing and sharing your thoughts! I’m always glad to read what other people think, and I find that I can learn from other peoples struggles, and hopefully maybe some people will likewise be able to learn from mine. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Realizations and progress, noise is scary and so is leaving the house. | Anxiety & Oranges

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