Thanksgiving is easily my least favorite holiday for obvious reasons. It’s the one day of the year where the entire point is to eat as much food as you can in front of everyone you know. It’s a nightmare in real life.
Last year I tried to do 2 different dinners, only to wind up having a panic attack at my sister’s house and having to bail out before the food was even done being cooked.
I remember feeling so embarrassed and upset that day because I couldn’t understand what was wrong with me. This was when I was just learning about anxiety and panic attacks and hadn’t quite nailed it all down yet.
Then to make matters worse, the next morning all the girls on my in-law side of the family had to do the early morning shopping. When they were starting to slow down and talk about going out to breakfast, suddenly I started to feel nauseous. Still not sure why I had the reaction I did but knowing it had to do with eating around others, I had to make them take me home before they went out to eat because I was going to throw up. So I managed to thoroughly embarrass myself on both sides of my family last year.
This year, I have already been invited to the morning shopping with a “Don’t worry, we won’t go out for breakfast so you won’t get sick” reassurance that only reminded me of the embarrassing memory and let me know that others hadn’t forgotten it either.
I decided that although I have a much better understanding now how to properly plan and prepare for the holiday, I am not going to throw myself into situations that are too much. Thanksgiving dinner is going to be hard enough without throwing in more dangerous triggers. I don’t feel bad about it because I am not avoiding it because I am afraid, but rather I want to have a good memorable Thanksgiving that I can use to draw strength from next year. So I will stick to the basics and work my way up.
Positive Affirmation Alert: There’s no need to push myself. I can take as small a step forward as I choose.
This Thanksgiving I want to keep things as simple as I can. My sister’s family is going to have dinner with my Aunt but I worry that it will be too small a group to where I will feel uncomfortable. But I don’t want my sister to feel bad if I don’t hang out with them. I don’t even know my in-laws plans yet. Personally I would just have my own turkey dinner if I could! But its more than food, it’s about being with your family.
So my plans for the horrible day are not yet confirmed. I am going to have to do some major prep work no matter where I end up spending the day. T minus 7 days to go.
If you enjoyed this post Subscribe to The Reality of Anxiety.