Monday, October 27, 2008

Please Don't Make Me Go...

Once again it is Monday and I have a class to teach later this afternoon. I do not want to go. I want to stay home and do nothing. I want to be alone.

Each day I am scheduled to teach, (and sometimes for days before) I dread having to go. Each time I go teach I generally have a pretty good time. I really like my assistant and the people in the class are great. I don't know what it is.

Last night I was supposed to go to a pumpkin carving contest at the house of a friend of my husband. As it got closer and closer to the day we were to go I began having more and more anxiety about being stuck in a social gathering where I only knew my husband, and sort of knew (enough to say niceties and hellos), the host.

By yesterday morning I thought I was going to be sick I was so anxious about going to a function with so many (approx. 30) unknown people. What would I say? I knew I would end up an outsider, sitting outside the circle looking in. I knew I would "disappear" into an anxiety fuelled bubble.

That bubble appears to protect me from outside forces. I disappear. In disappearing I no longer need to try to connect with other, because I am no longer in the room. I am cutoff from every noise, sight, smell; everything that enters me via my senses. There is a peacefulness to disappearing, but my anxiety strengthens each time my bubble disappears, because I have no idea what I looked like to others, or how long I was gone.

No one ever seems to notice, or if they do they never say anything. I have to assume the bubble is an instantaneous process, lasting only a split second.

My husband asked me yesterday if I wanted to go. I felt immediate relief. Thank god he asked. "NO, no I don't want to go. I don't know anyone. What am I going to say to people. I really really don't want to go." He said, "you don't have to. I'm only going to stay for a while anyways." "Are you sure?", I asked feeling instantaneously feeling intensely guilty for backing out of yet another social situation I was supposed to sharing with my partner. "You will miss out on the opportunity to meet a lot of really nice new people", he replied.

I felt ashamed that I simply cannot manage those situations. "I'm sorry honey, but I really do not want to go. I prefer small intimate gatherings where I know everyone. I do not do well at large gatherings where I know no one". He just walked away accepting my mind was made up. He went by himself. I still feel guilty.

I have taken to sleeping most of the day in preparation for my afternoon classes. I am afraid I won't have any energy when I get there. Dr. X. asked me if I had ever fallen asleep in my morning class? even if I had not slept the night before. I get where this is going. No, I have never fallen asleep. "Maybe try and do something else in the hours leading up to the class and see what happens. I reply, "Okay, I will try".

It is 11:32am and I am feeling anxious about my class. The more anxious I feel, the more I don't want to go. The more I don't want to go, the more tired I become. I want to hide under the covers, avoid the class, but I know I will go teach it. It is a responsibility and a commitment I have made to the young adults in the class and to the Art Clubhouse occupational therapists. So I will go, but I really, really need a nap to deal with it.


Anonymous said...

Oh Aqua, no wonder you are tired by the time you get there, all that nervous energy burning away your enthusiasm! It's knackering being that fraught all day. You are doing the right thing though, by going, especially if you do enjoy it when you get there.

As for the party, don't stress about it. That sort of do is not everyones cup of tea, you don't have to go to larger parties, i wouldn't beat yourself up over it. Concentrate on doing the little gatherings, and your art classes. It's very easy to fall into the trap of feeling inferior because you aren't a wild party animal, swinging from the chandeliers and working the room! Keep doing the things which you know you would be enjoying if you weren't so anxious, thats the main thing. maybe one day you can go and dangle off the light fittings too, but even if you never get the urge that doesn't make you any less of a social butterfly.
Lola x

Clueless said...

Hi Aqua, I did not find you via Google, "I want to die." However, people can find my own blog that way too!!

I really felt for you as you described the "party." I've had to back out of so many things due to my major depression or PTSD or leave concerts that we have paid for and I feel so guilty. My husband says that he is fine going on his own, but, of course, would like me there. I used to be busy all the time and now I can't even work...I know guilt.

Anxiety can exhaust your body...I know, I do that too. I really do a number on my GI system.

Thank you for sharing about your life and hang in there.

Tamara (TC) Staples said...

I am not one for large groups either. And, my husband has gone to plenty of functions or parties alone and assures me that he doesn't mind. I don't think whether it is for mental reasons or just plain dislike that we should have to go to a party that we do not want to attend. It is a party and should be fun. If it isn't fun, why go? It has taken a long time for me to begin questioning why I "should" do something because someone else wants me to. I "should" do things that I want to especially when it comes to socializing.

As for your class, I hear you. I can really build my anxiety and dread levels much the same way. I don't do well with expectations and "having" to do a certain thing at a certain time. I think I have heard you talk before about dreading class and then enjoying it once you got there and got into it. What I am working on right now if reframing my "have-to-do's" in a more positive way such as I am doing this because it really does make me feel good.

I don't know if that is helpful, or not. If not, feel free to click the little trash can. I don't mind - honest!

Hang in there. You have a lot going on and you are cutting meds right now. Treat yourself with the love that you deserve.


Polar Bear said...

I know it's hard. There are times when i feel the same way, when things just seem impossible to do. Don't feel guilty about not attending the party with your husband. I think it's more important to look after yourself first.