The first time (that I recall) that I had a sort of anxiety attack was at the West End markets in Brisbane.
It was a hot day, hotter than usual for that time of year. A close friend and I had gone to the West End markets to purchase some veggies and to have a look around. The West End markets started out as lovely small markets, under these enormous and magnificent trees, but I hadn't been in ages and now they were big and markety, with people everywhere and everything now out under the hot sun.
We went into a fruit and veggie store, but nothing looked too appealing. The next store yielded nothing and the third even less. Usually I would purchase similar types of food each week. But for some reason everything looked, well, yuk, and I felt increasingly less and less inspired to cook.
"I don't know which veggies to buy", I stammered to my lovely friend, tears suddenly spilling out of my eyes. Not even missing a beat, she patted my arm and reassured me, "hun, it's okay, now what do you need to get?"
"I don't know, I just don't know what veggies to buy!", getting closer and closer to panic. Sensing my distress she requested if I wanted to go home, telling me there was no pressure to buy anything if I didn't want to. A huge wave of relief washed over me, "yes, I've got to go home NOW!" But then a fresh wave of panic swept over me, "I can't go home without veggies!!" The crowd seemed to get thicker and we were fighting to get through. All the while it was getting hotter and my sense of panic increasing until I couldn't hide the tears.
I've got to go, now, but I couldn't go home empty handed. What would I cook and eat for the week?
I am blessed that I was in the company of such a good friend, who without judgement or question guided me home, with the reassuring words that there was no pressure to buy veggies.
We dubbed it my 'vegetable freak out moment', not really knowing at the time that it was the start of something a little bigger.
In retrospect, of course, I have no idea why I panicked so intensely. Anxiety is funny in that way. It's difficult to comprehend, even for me having experienced it first hand, until you're in it's grasp.