Throngs of people filled the mall, each with no sense of urgency. I managed to pass most them, politely saying “excuse me please.” Some would ignore me; others would smile, and move out of the way. I don’t handle crowds or shopping well. My patience and anxiety were revving at high speed, but being a person who has suffered from abuse, I have a secret reserve of gutsiness to pull myself through situations such as this. The only problem is I believe my reserve tank ran empty when I reached the elevator.
The mall is a modern building, decorated in a slick style, even the Christmas décor was top notch. One would think that all their systems would be working. I stood there in that top notch mall, fingers almost numb from the heavy shopping parcels. The elevator button is shiny and white, with a thin blue light. It looked as though it should work, but I pressed, and pressed on it, after the third press I eventually accepted that the elevator was just not coming down.
Panic stricken, I headed for the shiny metal staircase. My heart was pounding right up in my throat. I knew I had to control my breathing. Slowly, I started climbing the stairs. The first flight of stairs was ok, but then the next flight and the next flight… I heard a voice behind my say “don’t look down if you are scared,” but I had to look down each every time I placed a foot on the next step, or I might have lost my balance. A very old memory flashed through my head; father said to my mother “look how stupid she is, she can’t even climb up stairs, she crawls.”
I wanted to crawl up the stairs at that moment. The tears of frustration were stinging just behind my eyes. My state of mind is not good at this time of year, and small things like this just exasperate my mood. When I reached to top, I wanted to be sick, I could hardly breathe. I said I wanted to be sick, but the person with me said I was being over dramatic. Today, the combination of anxiety, and a fear of heights totally floored me. It is these layers of anxiety which overlap with Major Depression that makes me most unlikeable and unlovable.