Food Shopping Part 2: Big Decisions

I recently had another ridiculous food shopping experience. Afterward, I realized it would make an absolutely marvelous blog post. So ladies and gents, here we go:

After shopping with momsy for what seemed like several hours in preparation for a BBQ, we finally reach the frozen food aisle in the grocery store. We decided to pick a frozen meal to have for lunch because:

a. We never have frozen meals, therefor it would be different and exciting

b. We were tired and hungry and the frozen food is for the lazy.

Momsy quickly selects her frozen lunch. Some chicken pot pie thinger-whatever. Good for her, I thought to myself. Now it was my turn.

Let me remind everyone that again, this was the END of long day of shopping all over town, and if you have read my first post about food shopping (click here to read it) you will remember that food shopping can be a somewhat very extreme sensory nightmare.

So there I was, surrounded by freezers with dozens, if not HUNDREDS of options for what to have for lunch. I was overstimulated, COLD, tired, and very hungry.

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I had to make a decision.

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The task at hand was not really complicated: Choose a frozen meal to have for lunch. But it felt so much more intense:

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(If you’re interested, the choices on the wheel are: lava, darkness, sword, chocolate, sharks, ice, puppies, poo, spider, knife, water, snow, fire, bugs, snakes, and bieber…whose name I spelled incorrectly. Go me).

Neurotypical people, like momsy, for instance, make decisions based on the fact that their brain does not struggle to process sensory information. All that comes naturally, so when they are in an overstimulating environment, their brain can focus on important decisions….like what to have for lunch.

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Then there are people like me, whose SPD brain – when pushed to the brink – experiences difficulty when having to process anything other than sensory info because it’s so darn busy trying to process basic sensory info that it LITERALLY doesn’t have time for anything else. My brain was like:

aint-nobody-got-time-for-that

When deciding on what frozen thing I wanted, my brain would only respond by stating what it could process at the time:

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GENIUS. UGHHHH

I remember standing in the aisle, pacing back and forth in front of the freezers and nothing was making sense. It felt like forever.

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I couldn’t stand myself! How could I have possible graduated with honors from my university just months ago, yet I couldn’t pick a frozen lunch from a freezer? WTF, you guys. To hell with my SPD brain, I was hungry and incapable!

Luckily, my lady in waiting, momsy, was there and she recognized that I was overstimulated.

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(Note: someone please make this frozen meal a reality. I don’t know about you, but I would buy Mr. Miyagi’s Kung Pow In Your Face Super Asian Noodles with SAUCE.)

And with that, all was ok. My brain accepted this box of asian cuisine and I was thankful that my decision making nightmare was over. I realized I had pushed myself too much all day, and my frozen meal meltdown – a seemingly random event –  was actually the product of too much overstimulation. I WAS SO OVERSTIMULATED THAT I COULDN’T RECOGNIZE THAT I WAS OVERSTIMULATED. Oh the irony!

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xo kelly

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5 comments

  1. Hello. This is awesome. Not that day, but now, in writing and pictures. Rachel Schneider sent me to your blog so I subscribed since I like laughing a lot and you made me laugh!

    So I’m thinking I probably have SPD of sorts since my senses, already hypersensitive, exploded a few weeks ago. Fun times. I’m also probably aspie, not diagnosed but once I get some more sleep (hopefully soon) I’m going to look into it. But I make terrible decisions (when I can make them) when I’m too tired. Hopefully introducing myself to you in this way is not one of them!

    So this post reminded me of my Tuesday this week. I work full time and there are few things that I can do afterwards that don’t completely knock me out (I also have a couple chronic illnesses that like to mess with me…all the time). So grocery shopping is something that I do only early, early on Saturday morning, and I better be completely out of food if I go any other time due to, well, everything! Too many people, they walk too slow, I can’t stand in line well, too many people, too bright, too loud, too many people, etc. So I went on Tuesday. Didn’t get paid til Monday and there were a few things that I HAD to get. Ended up doing my whole shopping trip. Bad, bad idea. If I had a clue, I would have told myself this: don’t go looking for shampoo if your body is already exhausted and you are still frayed-sparky from all the noise and stress the day before and you really don’t want to be there.

    So I’m standing in front of all the hair stuff. WHERE IN THE WORLD AM I SUPPOSED TO LOOK FIRST? There are too many brands, too many choices, which one am I supposed to get? My literacy ability tanked. The bottles all kind of ran together. All I knew was I was pretty much out and I needed to get more. But which one??? The one I use isn’t here! I don’t know how long I spent in the aisle debating…what? What to get, how long to try looking? while my legs and feet started screaming at me (like they do when I stand too long), and I STILL had to get all the food I needed, too! This was only the beginning! Plus I recently moved so it’s a new-ish store for me still. And to find a new item in a new store when I’m already way past spent??? Why did I think I’d be able to do that. I left without shampoo. 😦 But I’m getting it tonight. In a very small store close to where I used to live (I didn’t move horribly far away) where I know exactly what kind I want and exactly where they keep it. 🙂 So, hi! (waves) Thanks for sharing your experiences. Mary

    Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2014 19:27:02 +0000 To: maryflips@hotmail.com

    1. Hi there Mary! Thanks for your comment and sharing your experience! PUBLIC PLACES STINK! boooo
      And thanks to Rachel to sending you over here 😀

      The first thing I would do if I were you would be to head to a doctor, and get to the bottom of your sensory issues. You don’t want to diagnose yourself with the wrong thing, then end up treating the wrong problem. People on the autistic spectrum have sensory issues and problems with multiple illnesses, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that was indeed the problem you’re facing, but it’s best to check with a professional to be sure.

      You’re story was very accurate of someone with sensory issues. Especially the part where you stopped processing information. You said, “My literacy tanked. The bottles all kind of ran together.” You could also be very stressed, and your brain was too “stressed out” to process simple information. This may be different from a sensory issue, in your case. The only way to find out though would be to go to a OT.

      Good luck and thanks for reading, Mary! Keep laughing, it’s the best medicine 😀
      -kelly

    1. Thanks! And yes, oh my god, we ALL need a list. It’s the reference for our brains when our brains refuse to function. It’s like, “What am I doing? UGHHHHJESNHJFBDSIUNAJNSD…Oh wait, here’s the list. IT WILL TELL ME EVERYTHING. PRAISE THE LIST.”

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