To go or not to go …

Today I am anxious. I have had slow growing anxiety over the past couple of days and now it’s reached the level where I am lying in bed because I’m not sure how best to manage it.

Those of you that have read past posts of mine will know that I have had some tricky situations with friendships and relationships over past months. One friend (I will call her Di) has disappeared from my life completely after a couple of intense years of friendship. Following the final ‘split’ I gave up alcohol. It was one of the ways a managed the whole fall out. I’m not going to go into the in and outs of what happened, mainly because to this day I’m not really sure. There was lots of made up stuff about me which hurt a great deal but I don’t know why she said it or behaved as she did.

Anyways, tonight I am attending a mutual friend’s 50th birthday celebrations. This friend (B), I have known for 40 years. I met Di through her. I haven’t discussed Di with her or even so much as mentioned her name in 3 months. They are exceptionally close. I know Di and all her friends will be there later. I know I’m going to be catapulted back to teenage angst and playground ‘mean girl’ bullying. I know I could just not go, but my long standing friend B would be sad about that. My family (brother and parents) were invited but can’t attend. My husband will come with me so I’m not totally alone (although Di and her ‘was married but now estranged’ boyfriend hate him too for some unknown reason). The whole situation is petty, ridiculous and frankly boring but seeing her and having to stand in a room and be pointedly ignored fills me with dread.

Luckily I’m not drinking which means I won’t lose control and say something I’ll regret. Plus I’ll be driving and we can show our faces and then quickly get the hell out of dodge. Still, I’ve told myself all this over and over but it doesn’t help me. People keep saying it’ll be fine but I’m tipping into unmanageable anxiety which then descends into ‘switch off’ and disengage because I can’t handle how it feels.

Wow, this is the first time I’ve actually described my anxiety and subsequent low mood as it happens, in real time. Blogging is good for that, right? I have an appointment to get to in an hour’s time and I’ve already tried to think up excuses how to avoid going. It’s a work based commitment but the overwhelming feeling at the moment is to just stay here, in the safety of my bedroom!! What to do? Should I not go this evening, just bail out totally which will stop the anxiety. Or is that not facing difficult emotions and pure avoidance.

Before sobriety I would drink. I’d start at 5 ish to give me courage. I’d be totally wasted by the end of the night but I’d survive it. I don’t have that crutch now so I need to either not go or find a way through this. I think writing it down has helped a little. I will go to my work appointment. I’ll force myself to achieve at least that today. One thing at a time.

Agh! I hate anxiety and I just want it to leave me alone.

Claire xx

18 thoughts on “To go or not to go …”

      1. At least you’re getting a very clear picture of how you used alcohol in the past to cope with your anxiety…the work now is to get to the root of the anxiety, which I think you are seeing (and certianly feeling). This is where therapy is invaluable. I hope the evening is/has gone well for you. Keep us posted.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I am seeing that my drinking increased in recent years because my anxiety did, and one triggered the other. What a cycle to be in eh? I just wish I was a person that didn’t give a shit about what others think (are there people like that?). I have to try and focus on liking myself and knowing that important people who truly know me love me. Really difficult though. Thanks Nelson. Hope you are ok x

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Hi Claire: I really get this. Anxiety is truly terrible, and probably the biggest reason I drank so frequently in the last decade. Feigning stomach flu is always an option. And no one would blame you for taking it. But, I know that I have always felt better when I just did the scary thing. F Di. This is your friend of 40 years’ birthday. Di doesn’t get to take away your right to wish her happy birthday. You could just decide to smile sweetly at Di like nothing ever happened, say hello, and then turn quickly away and talk to other people. Then get the hell out of dodge. You may feel better afterwards, and less anxious about Di in the future. Just my 2 cents. Good luck! Hugs! 🤗

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You know that’s so true. I realised today that I did drink far more when I was anxious and that then increased my anxiety!
      I don’t want to go but I think I’m going to do exactly what you said because deep down I know it will be better to go than to stay here wondering! I don’t have to stay long and I shouldn’t let someone else dictate. It’s just getting past that anxiety … that feeling your heart is going to come out of your mouth 🤪
      Thanks for your 2 cents … much appreciated xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with the above sentiments, that you should make an appearance and not let someone who is full of shit get the best of you. You always feel better about yourself when you accomplish something that seems difficult, instead of taking an easy way out. I’ve done both, but when you do what you know is right, even though it’s hard, it aligns with your integrity and you feel right with yourself. I’m sorry your struggling. Sending strength and love! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Collette. I’m glad I posted because I did know deep down it was the right thing to go and I have to start being the person I want to be. That involves dealing with some of these emotions and feelings and not hiding away or numbing them with alcohol. Really helpful comments. Much love xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been in situations like this and ended up giving an excuse and not going. I wasn’t sorry for it later, but relieved I didn’t have to deal with whatever it was that caused me to go into anxiety. Usually it’s dealing with someone in their ego (mean girl thing), plus I’ve never been very good in large social situations. I tell myself it’s ok to not attend these type of things because I never enjoy them and always feel very awkward. I’m more of a one on one type, or very small gatherings with close people. I realize that may not be your case, but the point is to realize and accept who you are without feeling like an oddball or that you missed out on something (if you don’t go). You can always do something else for the friend’s birthday such as take her out to lunch later if you decide to not go.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly my head says I should just go and not be a baby about it. Just be strong, smile and get my shield up. But my heart is saying different and wants me to not feel what I know I’m going to feel walking in there. I’m not worried about missing out, the FOMO part of my personality magically disappeared once I knocked wine on the head. I just think it might be a good thing to confront this, without alcohol to give me false confidence. Whether I can do it or not is the problem. Thanks so much for commenting. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey friend!!! ❤ I totally get all of this and I usually end up bailing. Frustrating due to anxiety gets the best of me. I know I really need to push the envelope some. Like you say, go and leave early….then it's all on your terms. You're in control. One of my things is over the last few years I have managed to completely alienate myself, so invitations are just not out there much. I have declined too many times in the past. My advice is to not let it get to that point. Now I need to initiate something to get me out of the house and be social, yet who do I ask? Everyone has given up on me, rightfully so.

    I hope you went or are going…can't remember our time zone difference. Make it all about you and your terms.

    I am out of work now, going to go get some groceries and then come home and Netflix and eat snack foods, with Avery. Looking forward to that. I wish you the best as you are a staple for me here so I hope I can be that for you as well! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jackie. Great to hear from you. It’s nearly 7pm here and I think we are going. I need to do it for many reasons and oddly I feel I have the support of my blogging family behind me which is immense! I have planned it all, even to the moment we leave, come home and I can get my pjs on, eat chocolate and watch Netflix!!! If only we could be sociable together eh? Though I think Netflix and snacking would be on the agenda!
      Xxx 😘

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wish we could Netflix together! Would be awesome! You have it perfectly planned out for tonight I say! Support from our blogging family I really have come to rely on. I need to share more, I really feel comfortable here.
        Now I see I am 5hrs behind you. Let us know how you make out! XOXO

        Liked by 1 person

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