Anxiety and Avoidance- Christmas Blues

It isn’t my desire tonight to have a self-deprecating blog post, but I feel alone and sad…much like a lot of people I’m sure, but I feel like I need to vent somewhere just for a moment – ultimately I’ll regret my post in the morning but hey ho.

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I can find this time of year pretty hard. I enjoy Christmas, admittedly I get a small break from work which is fantastic, but I love the feel of general happiness, being around those I care about and sitting back, relaxing and watching some crummy ol’ Christmas movies…I really do.

But for someone who struggles with general anxiety and occasional panic attacks, I also wish I could hibernate until it is all over. This September, essentially three months before Christmas I was already worrying and obsessing about the work Christmas party. Therefore I didn’t go…again, as usual. I avoided this like I avoid everything because I am too scared of risking “it”, of having a panic attack and ruining it for everyone and embarrassing myself again. Oh how I would love to have a good laugh, mix a little and enjoy myself. Hell, I’d even have a glass of wine or two..and I rarely drink but I want to be that person, not this shadow of a girl I have become.

So I decided long before to visit Sheffield instead and also my friend in Wakefield. Catching a train journey long distance seemed a less scary prospect than going to a work Christmas party, crazy isn’t it? I was all set to go, toothbrush, tickets, journey planner, then I wake up the morning before ill, ill enough to stop me from going. I know this wasn’t the anxiety stopping me as I booked the train tickets already and they were nonrefundable. Last time I forced myself into this situation I did it and had a great time…but this time I felt too rough and now also despise myself for that…letting people down yet again.

So here I am, deluding myself that one day I will be able to climb over this bridge I have chained myself beneath and live a little, not be afraid. To not let my unfathomable emotions think I’ll…

  • Be sick at the dinner table due to anxiety and hyperventilating.
  • Have a panic attack and end up being the unfortunate centre of attention.
  • Being out of place / being the burden / being pitied.
  • Be ashamed of my inability to do basic things…go out for a meal and have a good time.

My partner is currently at his works Christmas party, having a wonderful time no doubt and here I am alone and dwelling about my dissatisfaction over my life. I sound really pathetic I know. But I don’t want to be the one who sits home alone anymore. I hope someone out there understands me and I am not alone in this anxiety madness nightmare.

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3 thoughts on “Anxiety and Avoidance- Christmas Blues

  1. I get it. I really do. That’s my life too. But I work around it. I do what I have to do, and don’t do what I don’t have to do depending on my anxiety that day. But know this: I have learned that my anxiety doesn’t have to effect everyone, nor does it have to ruin anything for everyone. Just me. It sucks, but it’s true. You can’t avoid it, but you can make it where people around you can. You get anxious and feel the panic start to build, take a minute. Go outside, go into the bathroom, get out of the room. No one will be the wiser. And so what if someone else notices. I went on a trip with my sister, her husband, and my dad 2 years ago. I was freaking out going bc my anxiety was at an all time high. I unfortunately had several panic attacks, something my sister is equipped to handle but no one else. It didn’t matter, she was too busy arguing with her husband the whole trip about something stupid like who had to carry what bc of how heavy their book bags were. I don’t know. So it fell on my father. At first he just ordered me to calm down. That didn’t work. Neither does his medical theory that sunglasses help people not suffer heatstroke. (Btw he’s not a doctor lol). But eventually he stumbled on a solution. Stuck on a bus for hours and a bloody panic attack was a terrifying prospect, and it was worse after it happened. He started sitting next to me and singing to me. It sounds stupid because my music wasn’t helping me, but it worked. He would get really into whatever song he was singing, and he’d screw up the words. I’d correct him because I can’t help it, and he’d tell me I was wrong. To prove it, he’d start the song over again. By the time he got to the messed up lyrics again I’d be laughing rather than hyperventilating and crying. He thought it was fun. I realized it worked. The rest of the people on the tour just thought it was a game we played and thought it was sweet. No ones trip was ruined, not even mine, despite 9 full-blown panic attacks in 2 weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing, it means a lot. I think my main problem is I am in a vicious circle. I am anxious about being anxious. The last two christmas parties I have attended have been bad experiences, I was basically sick at the table as soon as the food arrived. I cannot eat when I am anxious so feel the pressure. Also one person made a comment about it is better I do not go if I get that bad which really knocked my confidence at the time. But I will keep trying. I can do more complex things, it is the little things that people take for granted that I struggle with! Plus I worry for weeks/months before the event and make myself ill. We will both get there in the end. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I do that too. That’s why I don’t think about it anymore. I just realized its December 20 today. I seriously just don’t think about it and thus generally forget a bunch of stuff, but at least I’m not freaking out! Lol

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