LockDown Diaries Pt.2: Over Preparation is my Panic Language

So ever since this pandemic broke out I’ve credited myself on being pretty calm outside of some anxiety of the fear of people I know and love getting sick. But I’ve realized that while I have been calm on the outside, my fear and anxiety have been expressed in other ways. Not in over-indulging in anything, not over-exercising, not lack of sleep or too much sleep. No my freaking out has shown itself in my over-preparation. Translation: I have a grocery shopping problem.

(Quick disclaimer, I am not one of these hoarders out here buying all of the toilet paper, bleach, and paper towels. I’ll explain what I mean.)

Like a lot of people I’m cooking more now – and honestly maybe I’m doing what I should have been doing (i.e. having more of a variety of meals throughout the week instead of making a couple of main dishes and sides and going off of a lot of remixes of left-overs to avoid having to cook a lot throughout the week). But still… there’s preparing and being ready and there’s doing too much. My  moment of pause was last week when I went to re-up on groceries. I was shocked to find that I spent more money than I can remember spending, in recent history, on just food. Mind you, I’m single and live by myself so all this food is just for me. But my mindset has been that not only do I need to get everything that I need, but I also need to get everything I’m closing to running out of, everything I think I might run out, and all that I couldn’t find from the last trip to the store Basically, I’m trying to get what I can so that I can eliminate the need to go back out anytime soon. Now while this all sounds sensical, the reality of this is that I’m planning so far ahead that I’m starting to run out of room to house groceries for. I even found myself thinking about how nice a deep freezer might be because I’m starting to have to get creative with how things are stacked in my current freezer.

I’m sure I’m not the only one like this. But does anyone else catch themself looking at their grocery buggy like you do when you’re tipsy and trying to decide if getting that one last drink will put you over the edge or if it will maintain your buzz?  Because it was these thoughts (and seeing 2 containers of Almond Milk in my fridge – even though I only use it for smoothies because I’ve never been big on milk –  that alerted me to the fact that something was wrong.  I reasoned to myself that this is being safe. This is being cautious. This is making sure that when I get in that I have no need to have to go back out. This is what you do to make sure you  have everything you need.  I also make the comparison that this is similar to what I would do if a snowstorm was coming, because those are the only other times I can think of in terms of being confined to being home. But even then I don’t prepare to this extent because, again, I always feel like there’s a predicted light at the end of the tunnel. This scenario has the added fear of health concerns – which are paramount – and having to think about how I only have a certain amount of surgical masks and gloves and the more I go out the more of them I’m using up.

It’s ridiculous because I’m to the point that I’m plotting what I’m going to eat moreso for how that will make more room in my fridge than out of hunger. I’m aware this is a good problem to have and I’m talking from a place of privilege. But over-doing anything is still problematic. Also I’m realizing that something in me feels like by making sure I have everything I think I need then I’ll feel like I’ve got a grasp on this situation. In a time when you feel like you can’t control anything other than covering up, staying inside, and washing and disinfecting your entire life, this extra step of being “prepared” feels like it helps. Even if it isn’t.

Regardless, I know it’s something I have to deal with. Therapy is next week.   In the meantime, my Easter dinner for one is about to be lit.

 

How have you all been holding up? Has this lockdown made you notice any new patterns of behavior that may be a little out of the norm for you?

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