Supermarket OCD Avalanche

Supermarkets were an absolute bloody nightmare for me when my OCD was at its worst. I’ve felt worse than a person ever ought to inside a supermarket. And for no good reason either. Just inevitable triggers in a place with too much information and no hiding place = guaranteed bad trip.

After I found out I had OCD I decided to write about it. This behemoth poem was the result.

I wrote it a while back and recently patched it up to go in my forthcoming book.

But you lucky people can get it here FOR FREE before the inevitable stampede and Hollywood buzz!

Supermarket OCD Avalanche

It was all going surprisingly well until the fruit and veg’,
when a word I heard made time stand still,
and moved me to dredge,
for the mantra to prove that it’s not what I fear,
so I can disarm this bomb and sound the all clear.

But somewhere deep in the unlit caverns of my mind,
I know that it won’t be long until I’m inclined,
to find new bait,
to reel myself in, ever closer to that state,
where it feels like the weight of the world is on me,
where there’s no escape from my mind’s self-rape.

Nowhere to run and hide,
to decloak and save my pride,
from the nefarious traps it sets,
cos no matter how bad it gets,
I’m stuck inside this temple to Hermes.

I already tried return journeys,
but it doesn’t work out so well.
You end up back in the exact same place,
minus petrol & time, with egg on your face,
but always without a towel.

“Spillage in aisle three!”.
I’m sure that man and woman are following me,
we made eye contact back by the pork.

Wait, can they hear my mind talk?

Now back to that thing about the word,
where can I stand so I won’t be disturbed,
or hectored or jostled or rudely observed?

Over here, there’s a space by the lemon curd!

Nope, now it’s the spot in the shop that’s preferred.
Oh, how absurd!
No recipe I ever heard uses lemon curd.

I can’t even hide by the cushions and bedding,
are these fuckers being sent here to do my damn head in?
It’s as if they all KNOW, and they’re working out when,
it’s the pivotal time to play hell with my Zen.
If there was a mindfuck scale, this would be ten,
or it’d keep on past zero, and start at one again.

A new aisle, a new hope, a new chance to take a new run,
at the karma deficit I’ve accrued since the upset in aisle one.
But now three more jokers have dealt their way in,
my mind’s fickle focus is frayed from replaying,
havoc, stuck thoughts run amok.
I’d forgotten how much supermarkets can suck.
Got to pick a spot and try to make a ruck,
so this ball of knotted mind wool I can finally unfuck.

Little improvement as I limp down aisle four,
a small dancing girl slips and falls down on the floor.
Inner-trigonometry, angling all the while,
performing an exploratory: “am I a paedophile?”.
And it doesn’t even matter that I know it isn’t true,
the seed of doubt is planted, so it’s crucial I pursue,
an epic legal defence at my sanity’s expense,
so clarity’s restored and doubt is shifted off the fence.

But once that case has been thrown out,
new allegations will arise no doubt,
about grandma on checkout three,
really being my cup of tea,
even though she ain’t,
or worse still it’ll repaint
her face with the face of my sworn enemy.


Starting to smell my own sweat, so I bet they can too.


This aggression shall not stand!

Enough of this slander right now, I demand,
a brand new jury of peers comes and hears,
one final defence to allay ALL these fears,
to bundle them up and put them to bed,
once and for all so I can unhook my head,
and get back in the moment, and shop like a PERSON.

… but now I’ve thought “bed” so the gears start reversing …

my next legal defence I’m already rehearsing,
my Satanic luck cursing,
my brain pipes are bursting,
with unresolved threads,
of children and murder and bad words and beds.

And there’s that man and woman who’ve been following me.
How the hell’d they get here so quick all the way from aisle three?
It makes no sense …
unless they were sent …
especially to persecute me?

And that elderly man, hanging round where I am,
over there by the rice, and now here by the jam.
You cannot be serious?

Mind aching, delirious,
down by the Cheerios.

I’d like to put my hands around his neck,
and choke him out,
but I’m stuck up in the upper deck,
so all I’ve got’s a rout.

So I scuttle away to the baking stuff,
pretending I’m intently studying puff-
pastry for some complex recipe,
of earnest necessity,
when all along I’m secretly trying to convince myself,
that the word on that mince-meat,
is separate to the bad idea in my head,
tangentially associated via a barely traceable thread,
to some trouble long ago,
of which no-one can know.

That’s why I juggle whatever it throws,
ducking or taking body blows,
while all the plasma flows,
up from my bloody nose,
to my brain,
to take up the strain,
of a mind baulking under the onslaught,
of insanely too much thought,
and simultaneous close-quarters jousting.
Dripping subcutaneous waters, dousing
me in my own fluid,
auto-baptism by a self-flagellating druid.

And by the time I start to get a handle on this thing,
recursively tying off all the loose bits of string,
the irony is it doesn’t even really matter,
cos now all I can hear is the chitter and the chatter,
of chiming beer cans and clinking bottles,
as shell-shopped captives grip white knuckles,
round trolleys flying down the final aisle,
picking up a prize for their miracle mile.

But for this non-runner, it can only mean,
that there’s just one thing left to get,
and that’s a magazine.
Then it’s off to the checkout,
where I’ll stick my neck out,
to act like I’m normal,
with an over-informal nosy stranger,
going through my hoard,
opaquely judging my choices,
cos she’s bored.

Wait, can she hear these voices?

Just go through the motions,
performing final devotions,
to the god of mass-produced processed crap,
praying there’s no final lurking mishap,
like my card isn’t recognised,
by the cyborg mechanised life-audit machine.

And no obscene thoughts,
about the chick in tight shorts,
two people behind in the queue.
Boy what I’d like to do …

And that gives me the usual painful reminder,
that I can forget about anything like that,
because I’m one seriously unwell cat,
with a lot of bad news under his hat.
So that folks … is that.

Settle up with the woman,
and dig deep down to summon,
the missing gear required,
to drive home this tired
mental patient,
from his latest self-violation.


21 thoughts on “Supermarket OCD Avalanche

  1. You certainly picked the right place to freak out. Grocery stores have far FAR too many choices to process; it is enough to defeat even the most able-minded among us. Of which category I do not include myself. This was a roller coaster of a poem. That’s meant as a compliment. 🙃

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are aren’t they. It’s not just people with OCD they drive bonkers.
      It doesn’t always go this way. Sometimes it’s OK. But it used to go this way a lot back when the OCD was at it’s worst. Back then the poem would’ve been much longer 😮 !
      I always thought I’d get arrested for acting weird. Not just supermarkets either – pretty much any shop or public place. The best is, when you’rs stuck looking at some spanners you don’t want in the car shop, in the middle of trying to solve a complex riddle in your head that you’ve been wrestling with for half an hour, then some spotty kid comes up and screams “HEY – ARE YOU ALRIGHT THERE? IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN HELP YOU WITH TODAY?”
      …. and everything resets and you’ve got to start again. Fun fun fun fun fun!

      Thank you very much for your kind words. I appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Look forward to this being published. An epic mental journey (nightmare) through a modern day labyrinth of consumerism, cons and calamities.. coupled.with OCD, never easy – this is a beautifully written poem on a difficult subject to approach, so well done.


  3. I understand this struggle, doubtpuppet. I still feel like this or similar sometimes, although I’ve made the supermarket a second home, I go there every day, it used to be my only reason to go out for days and weeks last year when I wasn’t well. Now it’s a safe place, although there are still dangers and moments when it gives me anxiety.
    This a great poem! I’m looking forward to read your book 🙂


    1. Ah that elusive book. Yes I must get and finish it. It’s getting embarrassing now. Difficult few weeks though to be fair.
      It’s funny, even with my history of supermarket nightmares, I still have a love/hate relationship with them. I want it to be a good experience, and sometimes it’snot too bad, but when OCD gets involved, suddenly it’s the last place you want to be. Like a rodeo. But you’re riding yourself. There’s a joke there somewhere 😮
      I bet in future it’ll all be done at home and delivered. Then people will romanticize about the shopping trips people used to make. They will all have enormous arses and Gollum complexions. No, wait, that’s me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are welcome. Thank you for writing it. Hehe
        I will be one of those who “will romanticize about the shopping trips people used to make” and I’m definitely going to tell stories about the supermarket trips to my grandchildren the way my grandma used to tell me about her trips in the mountains where she, at a very young age, had to go alone to bring bread to the shepherds, and all that during the winter when the wolfs were most hungry and bloodthirsty….. You can imagine how bored and unimpressed my grandchildren are going to be with my stories, but I hope by then I’m gonna save money for my dragon sleeve tattoo (the thought won’t leave me alone now, I’m obsessed… Shit!) and I’ll win them back after all, I’m gonna be a veeeeeryyy cool granny… Heheh


        1. Oh I love that story your Granny told. Youre right, our stories will be rubbish in comparison. About payphones, Sony Walkmans, smoking cigarettes, shops, and driving cars. I want a wolf story dammit. Actually I was chased by an angry dog along an unlit canal drunk once. I’ll just embellish that and replace the dog with angry terrorists and the canal with the Eiffel Tower.
          Ah youre very cool already 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Ah, you reminded me of that time when not one, but 4-5 angry dogs chased me for a few meters one night. Luckily a garbage truck came and the people in it saved me. Actually, I have some stories from the Alpes, the time I lived there for 2 months, but I’ve been planning to write the story for the last 4-5 years and I can’t start. I’m saying that because we too have interesting stories, one doesn’t need to survive wars and wolf attacks to be cool grandma or grandpa. And kids need attention most, the rest is imagination…


            1. The secret is to just start writing anyway. It doesn’t matter. It all has to be re-read and reviewed afterwards at least once(more likely several times!) so just get something down and dont care too much how sloppy it is. It’s the nicest way to write too – just let it all pour out. See what happens. Edit it after. Or not!
              Several wild dogs eh? Damn if I’d known about this I’d have changed the story to a hundred wild bears. Are there Alpes in Bulgaria then? Or was it somewhere else. I cant think of a nicer place to live, apart from the werewolves. Living by the sea would be cool too. But such nice air and stars up in those mountains. I love it. Unless there’s a thunderstorm.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Not at all, doubtpuppet! Not at all!
                You don’t want to live there (of course it’s unbelievably beautiful, only one storm for 2 months). It was in France, then I kind of escaped and went to live in Belgium for a while. Now I live in Bulgaria and here we have beautiful mountains you have never heard of, that’s your problem, not mine. Hehehe
                You can’t imagine the isolation up there, you can’t imagine how you’re going to miss the cars and the people. Unless you are a different kind of a loner than me, I’m sure there are many kinds of them.
                I will listen to your advice and start writing, enough excuses.
                Thank you for everything, sorry if I’m annoying you.


                1. Oh really? Then explain this wikipedia page which I just finished writing:
                  I know isolation can be tough. And hard to predict how you’d deal with it in reality. I worry for these young people saying they wan to go to Mars. I truly don’t think they know what they’re signing up for. They should pick someone mad and old like me!
                  I can’t be sure, but let’s just say I think I’d deal with it better than most. But that’s another story.
                  Annoying me? I don’t understand, why do you say that? You silly sausage. You’re not annoying me.
                  I lived in France for a year, but not the Alps, more’s the pity. I did go and stay in the Pyrenees for a weekend. With an old hunter who used to smuggle Jews across the border in WW2. He was such a great guy. He caught a wild boar and his hilarious wife cooked it for us. WOW – what a meal.

                  Liked by 1 person

  4. Of course you should be sent to Mars and kept handcuffed to a desk with a pencil and paper in front of you or if you prefer a laptop, I don’t mind. You think the aliens would take you hiking or eat their boars? Don’t think so… (I just remembered you mentioning aliens in a poem these days). Or maybe they have a way to download every masterpiece you have in your head, they’ll free you of the burden to write (song recommendations) for ever and ever and ever and ever… And you can finish your book!


    1. “You think the aliens would take you hiking or eat their boars?”
      No, I don’t think so.
      URgh, I think that last one got misunderstood or something.
      I quite like the idea of being relieved of the burden of writing though. Tick.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I have a very bad memory, and quite possibly I misunderstood something. What I meant was, I can’t imagine you completely alone even on Mars, so the aliens can do for a while. To keep you warm.


        1. No I put that wrong. I wouldn’t want to go somewhere like Mars on my own. But I’d love to get away somewhere like the Alps alone. At least for a while. Where I live, it’s very busy everywhere and cars cars cars., nosy people. So much noise. I would like to experience life without any of that for a good while., if not for the rest of my life. Maybe I couldn’t hack no human contact, but it would be nice to have the option and control over that. But I think going to Mars would be a scary dangerous experience you could expect to end badly one way or another. At the moment anyway. Neptune on the other hand …

          Liked by 1 person

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