I can smell them. Come along, kiddie-winkies! Here we are children, come and get your lollipops, lollipops, come along my little ones. They’re all free today, cherry pie, cream puffs, ice cream, treacle tart.

The Child Catcher, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Today was a very simple task, find a white shirt and pick up some groceries. Instead I was overwhelmed.

Every bus, every person, queue and crowd made my palms sweat. My shoulders moved up to my ears. Any sudden movement around me made me jump and tense. Even the man stacking the shelves in one of the shops was making me terrified.

Some days for me are like this. I’m not able to complete basic tasks. Everything happening is too much and my senses are overwhelmed.

I don’t plan for it to be like this and I don’t know when it will be like this. The only thing I know is that I need to find the least crowded place and route to get home.

I found myself on a traffic block in a side street doing breathing exercises. Even though my noise cancelling earphones were in, I could still hear the steps of passers by and I felt uneasy. I wanted to be left alone so my feelings could subside.

I had to go to a more expensive shop to at least get some fruit and veg. And then go straight home. My original plan would have been so much better. I felt disappointed but couldn’t continue to be in a place that was sending my senses and anxiety systems into overdrive.

I couldn’t walk on the same side of the road as other people as any sense of crowd was overwhelming me.

When it’s like this I know I need to take it easy. There’s no point getting more stressed about something just for the sake of confronting it.