Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Anticaptory Anxiety coming right up!

When I was in high school, I was madly in love with this boy. I would do anything for him. We dated on and off for about 4 years. Problem was, I never felt good enough for him no matter how hard I tried. For example, I dressed a certain way that wasn't really me because that's what he liked. I never felt like his family accepted me either. But I was pretty obsessed with him. My whole world revolved around him. When he broke up with me my junior year, I was devastated. I had never felt so rejected in my whole life. It hit me pretty hard. One time he hooked up with my best friend. That also was devastating to me because they were the only two people in my world. I was able to forgive him because he had such a hold on me but I never spoke to my friend again. That was so sad to loose that relationship. Ever since I have had a really hard time making friends with women. He and I eventually got back together for about a year until he went on a mission for our church and I started dating my husband who made me realize that I was good enough just the way that I am. We are equals, and that is such a liberating feeling. I am no longer constantly trying to gain acceptance.
Man just typing this post out is making me feel anxious.
Anyway, about 5 years ago we were visiting my parents for the holidays and I saw this same guy from high school at church where he met my husband. I knew he would be there and the whole day I was just sick about it. I didn't want to see him. It was so horrible that I spent half of the church service in the bathroom expecting to throw up.
Now, 5 years later, I have a wedding to go to next weekend. The wedding is for an old mutual friend of ours from those high school years. I don't know for sure if he will be there, but there is a really good chance that he and his new wife, and his entire family will be. I really want to go to support my friend and his family because they are very dear to me, but I am freaking out about seeing him there. It just brings back all those horrible feelings of rejection and I am pretty sure they hate me since I broke up with him to date my husband. I already RSVP'd that I would go. But I am not looking forward to it and I feel like I need to buy a new outfit and get all gussied up to look my best and thats annoying too. Although I wouldn't mind a new outfit :) Just looking at the wedding announcement brings on the butterflies.
I know the day of is going to be really stressful and my anxiety will be bad. So, does anyone have any tips for me? To go or not to go, that is the question...
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Jenn Ford said...

I say, without a doubt, GO! Think about how proud of yourself you will be when the evening is over and you know that you accomplished something that gave you so much anxiety.

For me, my anticipatory anxiety is the worst part of it all. I find that as soon as I am in the situation and realize that I am handling it just fine, then the anxiety usually dissipates. Or at least comes back down from a 10. It is impossible for anxiety to last forever, so just go into the situation reminding yourself that as sure as it rises, it falls back down.

Think of all the wonderful things you have missed out on in life because your anxiety kept you from doing them. Then, don't let this be another thing to add to the list. Easier said than done, but will feel absolutely tremendous once accomplished!

Good luck!!

Aimée said...

Thanks Jenn, you are right. I should go just to prove to myself that I can do it. Take on the challenge right? By the way, I checked out your Frosted blog and you are an AMAZING baker! Baking is so intimidating to me so I always go store bought. You are inspiring!

Anonymous said...

I started getting pretty bad anxiety after experiencing several attacks of vertigo. I'm still working on finding out what's the cause of them, but just being afraid of another attack can put me in the house for days. Luckily (?) I'm in school so it forces me to face those fears, but it's so nice to know that other people are in the same situation.

Also, I don't know if it's weird to mention this, but I assume you're LDS based on this last post and that's another comfort. Just to know that another person in the church is dealing with the same things. Thanks for making this blog! :)

Anonymous said...

I debated this same way over that funeral I recently to. To go or not to go? There were pros and cons both ways. What ultimately decided me was the fact that the biggest reason NOT to go was to avoid the anxiety and residual physical symptoms. That didn't seem like a good enough reason to skip it, and I was determined not to let my anxiety make me miss one more thing in life that I wanted to do.

So I say, if the biggest reason not to go is to stay in your comfort zone and not have to deal with anxiety, you should go. Just be prepared for the anxiety, do your what if questions and prepare like you would for a long trip away from home - get your mind ready to deal with it all so it's less overwhelming. And then promise yourself that if you go, and you get too uncomfortable, you can leave at any point. Sometimes just knowing you have a way out reduces the panic, even if you don't use it!

If you have other reasons you don't want to go, and you and your hubby make the choice to skip it for whatever reasons, don't feel guilty or beat yourself up for not going. Your friend knows you love him and that's what matters most. You can always send a special gift or make plans to spend time with the newlyweds at a later date. Just don't punish yourself and make the stress worse.

That's my long winded advice for the day ;0)


Anonymous said...

I got here by lazily meandering along links, and I probably really shouldn't be commenting, since I'm pretty much at the opposite end of the scale. (Sometimes things don't worry me when they really should.) But, well, the view from my neck of the woods is "go." Rejection? Schmejection. You're with a way better guy and in a much better place, and getting rid of the highschooler -- however it happened -- made that possible.

And as for what others think of you, my guess is they generally don't. People are mostly so wrapped up in themselves that they're too busy worrying what you think of them.

Partner Yoga said...

i have read your article. and i feel that if you forgive some one its better for your life. and after forgiving don't think about what he did with you or what you did with him. i am in same condition but i am happy.

treating anxiety said...

I remember being in a similar situation with my first real relationship. After we broke up I was practically gone for months and alienated my friends. I can feel where you're coming from there.

I'd say go for it to. Just because you don't know he'll be there should not ruin your night or the support you can give your friend.

I hope you figure things out though.

Cate said...

What a great post. I so appreciate your frankness. Anxiety and not being able to really "forgive and let go" are probably in play here. Somehow, we have to talk ourselves down ... first from feeling rejected and forgiving them for that, and then to rid ourselves of the anxiety of seeing and being seen. I have long believed that merely anticipating these little meetings are far worse than they actually turn out to be.

I love meditation, prayer and guided imagery to get me through experiences just like yours. I especially like the titles at www.healthjourneys.com. They have everything from relaxation from anxiety, to forgiveness, to mere positive affirmations that remind you that you ARE good enough ... and are in a good place.

At any rate, I really appreciate you sharing. Thanks so much!

- cate.

Anxiety Girl said...

Definitely go, Aimmee! You can do this & you'll feel so much better once you get there & begin to mingle. Let us know how it goes (and what cute outfit you choose!). :)

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