In London there is something pleasantly anonymous about being there. I can confidently sit on the bus or walk round in any state and not have people pass judgement, or they even actively ignore me. While I was living in Cheltenham, that I may bump into someone I knew was always slightly in the back of my mind. Though that was fairly unlikely, and if they did know me then actually seeing them may have been some comfort. But here in Woodbridge, it is actually reasonable to assume I may see people I know out on street on a Saturday afternoon. The main problem with that, unlike previously at uni, is that they are, at least so far, only ‘people’, rather than friends. People I work with. People I’ve meet at the sculling club or boxersize and zumba classes. People my landlady has introduced me to while out on dogwalks. All people who I really don’t want seeing me upset on what would only be the second or third time of meeting them.

So when I found myself walking down one of the main streets here this evening in tears, at first I thought it best to avoid people, and walk down to the quay. Except that by myself there was no stopping my tears. It’s funny how quickly I forget how to deal with these things. So I went back onto the main street to distract myself with the shops. Though the shoe shop was a bad idea. Too many people too quickly asking me if I needed any help – a sure sign to get out quick! I found the Oxfam bookshop next door a much better place to go, quieter and I could pretend to be reading a book blurb very intently if anyone came near, which in the dull evening light could also explain my red eyes too. I happened to come across a dog eared copy of Paul Gilbert’s Overcoming Depression. I couldn’t figure out if it would be considered good or bad form to buy a copy of it while with blotchy eyes and cheeks?

I haven’t ever read the book, having originally found it too condescending (on Amazon ‘look inside’ preview), then, when I accepted it might have some useful ideas regardless of its tone and tried to borrow it from the library, it was on loan, and then more recently I tried telling myself I didn’t need to bother with it anymore, anyway. But maybe now that I know where a copy is, and evidently that I could still benefit from some ideas for ensuring today/future househunting stress is just a ‘blip’, I’ll go back for it…that is when I’m feeling a bit more confident in myself to actually take it to the cashier.

I can’t remember what the point of this blog post was going to be:

  1. Comparing the sizes of places I’ve been in recently and the relative risk of being seen upset by people I know.
  2. ‘People I know’ versus ‘friends’ and the implications of being seen upset by those categories
  3. Forgetting whether it is god to be near people or alone when upset
  4. What types of shops are best for distracting oneself in
  5. Irony in the dilemma of buying an ‘Overcoming Depression’ book when already visibly upset
  6. ? Main point of the post

I think I wanted to get my thoughts down on why I randomly ended up in tears this afternoon anyway. Except I don’t know why, which is partly what worries me. All I’d done was try going to an estate agent to see about renting a studio- or one bed- flat, with the specific aim to find out typical council tax costs and utility bills so that I can have a better idea of what my budget can cope with. Really there’s nothing in that which should upset me. Except it did and I ended up only going into one agent and then walking out and down the main street in tears, contemplating how to avoid people I may know. I guess what gets me is the thought that if I’m incapable of managing to ask the right questions (whatever they may be) to an estate agent, how on earth am I meant to cope with living by myself in a flat if I ever get one?? Pah, maybe I’m catastrophising. I should see what Paul Gilbert says about that.

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