It was a big — no, huge — day for one woman. Twitter user @TheBreeMae snapped a quick picture outside a Trader Joe’s, seemingly randomly.
At the same time, another person drove by and screamed “Nobody cares that you’re going to the fucking grocery store.”
It’s just another jerk making his opinion known, but there was a much bigger story before the snap, so she wrote an open letter and posted it on Twitter.
“I know what you thought you were seeing. Just a self-absorbed shallow millennial, documenting a mundane task for no reason,” she wrote. “I also know what you were unable to see: I am agoraphobic.”
Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder where the sufferer is afraid of places and situations where they feel trapped and helpless, typically leading to panic attacks. This often leads to isolation, which is what happened to Bree.
“For the past 3+ years, I haven’t gone into public by myself. I haven’t left the front door of my home without a friend or family member,” she continued. And even then she still experienced serious anxiety and panic.
She’s made it through with the help of her husband, but often they’ve had to cancel plans and lose money on nonrefundable tickets because of the disorder that caused her mind and body to ‘revolt’ against her desire to be independent.
She had a “flash of courage” on Friday and decided to head out to Trader Joe’s, where she snapped the picture and felt whole, powerful and free.
Then, that random guy happened.
Here’s the thing: We all have opinions — some more than others — about the way people act, what they say and how they choose to live their lives. We may think we know what’s going on, like this guy thought he did, but we really have no idea. In reality, we have no idea about what is going on in others’ lives — what they’re dealing with at work, at home or inside their own bodies. Don’t be that asshole who says something when, truly, your opinion is not needed.
What you can do instead: Smile, say hello or just do nothing at all.
As for Mae, she didn’t let the random’s comment get her down. “I want to assure y’all that this person didn’t ruin my day. I still feel pretty damn powerful & happy. I’m proud of my time in the sun,” she later tweeted.
Awesome, Bree! Here’s hoping this is the start of many powerful and happy days in your life.