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  1. #1
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    Jun 2013
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    Christening tomorrow, friends not understanding

    Hi.
    I just need some perspective here as I feel very sad and angry about some reactions from my friends. I am suffering badly with health anxiety, social anxiety and agoraphobia at the moment. My friend has a christening tomorrow for her little girl. I told two of my other friends I may not attend the actual church ceremony but would come for the lunch after to see the baby etc. I struggle a lot in those environments at the moment, churches and the like, not being able to get up and leave and being squished in the seats etc. Anyway one of my friends said wow you're on another planet, you're mad, you cant miss the ceremony and come for the meal! And made me feel really sh*t about it. She said this knowing I am having anxiety problems. My other friend agreed you cant do one and not the other. Is this some kind of social faux par? I just want to show my face and see my friends, but dont feel up to the stress of being trapped in the church for an hour. Is that so bad ?

  2. #2
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    Re: Christening tomorrow, friends not understanding

    No, it's not, and those are the words of people who don't understand anxiety. I missed half of one wedding, and another whole wedding when I had agoraphobia. If you feel it's too much to go to the ceremony, listen to that. It's good to challenge yourself but slowly, one step at a time. I'd explain to the friend who's hosting that you can't come to the ceremony but you'd love to join them for the meal. I doubt they'll bat an eyelid, but will be pleased to see you at the bit you can do. I hope you have a great time x
    __________________
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  3. #3
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    Nov 2009
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    Re: Christening tomorrow, friends not understanding

    Hiyer

    Please don't be sad or angry with me - but - I can see why people will struggle to understand the fact that you can go to one thing and not another because one is the 'fun /nice bit' in their eyes;o) (I'm not saying you've chosen the meal for that reason, but that this is how non-anxiety people will see it). I know your reasons about 'not being able to leave/escape and being squished into a seat' and feeling constrained and trapped, but for those who can't imagine feeling that way.....they aren't going to get it...so don't be too angry with them. I would say that if it had been me I might have explained in advance that I had a problem and tried anyway - I think you could have asked to be sat at the back, on a chair where you could leave at any time and feel less constricted, but I guess you've made the choice now to go with your plan ? I had very similar problems to you a good few years ago, and would avoid anything which was an event involving halls/groups and rows of chairs. I found though that I could go sit at the back and near an exit - which is how I started tackling the problem. Then later on you stretch yourself bit by bit into moving closer in and reminding yourself that of course you can leave at any time (which I never did !) I've been free of any issues for a couple of decades now, but I remember how anxious it made me at school events and suchlike. I'm not criticising your problem, just saying that in non-anxious people it is a bit of a faux pas to go to the fun after social bit, and thats why your friends are reacting and thinking you should maybe miss both or do both. As we know mental health problems don't stick to normal social convention. Anyway, I think the important person here is actually the friend who is having the christening and if you explain to her personally the issues, then that is what matters and maybe ask if it would be ok to come and see them after the ceremony ?

  4. #4
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    Aug 2011
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    Re: Christening tomorrow, friends not understanding

    It's impossible for people to understand anxiety if they haven't had it, so you're both right....and 'wrong'. It's like trying to explain what sex feels like to a virgin who doesn't really speak your language.

    Why don't you try going to the church, but making sure you have a seat on the end...at the back?

    That's what I used to do when I got fed up missing my boys' school plays etc. I needed an escape route, the odd paradox being that I didn't need it once I had it.

  5. #5
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    Jun 2013
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    Re: Christening tomorrow, friends not understanding

    Thank you guys for the replies. I used to have all of this under control and like you have all said I would find somewhere at the back or not too jammed in and felt ok about it. And the fear got less and it wasnt even that much of worry anymore. But because I have given into it all again so much its all reared its head again. Years of work wasted! The thing with the friend that was arsey with me, she fully knows the situation AND has a fiance who has major anxiety problems. Her partner only goes to a handful of places hes comfortable with and they haven't had a holiday for ten years. So for her to act so blind to these types of problems was pretty odd. I'm also having issues with my partner, there was an incident, and she seems to be very harsh about all of that too, but I guess that's not relevant. Just made me really upset yesterday.
    I decided not to go at all today. Cant face it. My friend who's daughters christening it is was really lovely and just said to pop in I feel like it to take my mind off things. So that makes me feel better x

  6. #6
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    Re: Christening tomorrow, friends not understanding

    It's not years of work wasted, it's a relapse. These happen a lot. Your brain will remember the mental language you learned as you recovered before and you're not starting from scratch again.

    When you feel ready you'll pull yourself together and get on with things again.

  7. #7
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    Re: Christening tomorrow, friends not understanding

    Thank you ankietyjoe. I do hope it happens soon x

  8. #8
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    Re: Christening tomorrow, friends not understanding

    Something I used to do was a 'reccy mission'.

    So for example if I was concerned about going to somewhere like a church, hall or gathering, I would often go there a day or two beforehand and sit there so my head would get used to being there. Not always practical, but I found it helps.

    I used to do the same thing with going to Tesco. If I was feeling nervous about going in and doing some shopping, I would often just go in and walk around the aisles for 2 minutes first, go out and sit in the car, and then go back in again and do the shopping.

  9. #9
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    Nov 2009
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    Re: Christening tomorrow, friends not understanding

    Progress you have made in the past is NEVER wasted, you have those thoughts, skills and understanding still there in your brain to employ again when things take a small step back !

    AS for your 'friend', now you've given more persepctive I am very surprised also at her response - maybe she is taking things out on you and saying things to you that she wants to say to her partner !!!

  10. #10
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    Jun 2013
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    971

    Re: Christening tomorrow, friends not understanding

    Yeah Joe that is definitely a good plan, I will give it a try. Carys that is exactly what I thought! Like she has pent up anger about him and sees similar traits in me and decides to dig me about it rather than him!? I mean who says 'I'd love you to spend a day on your planet' and you're on 'la la land' and 'you're mad', to their friend who has previously confided to them about problems with anxiety? It really rattled my cage yesterday. I replied to her message and said well, it's the same as your partner really isn't it, doesn't feel comfortable in certain places and he doesn't go, simple as that. Her reply was 'sure is'!. That's the last we spoke. Still angry about it. She thinks she can talk to me like that she cant and shouldn't.

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