anxiety / depression screwing up family commitments?

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SoulSpectrum666

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Joined
Oct 21, 2018
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7
Location
California
Hi everyone

I just got back from a two week vacation with my husband camping on some land we purchased, which was awesome because - no people to deal with really! then we went to a music festival and my anxieties became increased, then gradually working back into society has been pretty weird, then I came down with a flu, then we had to go to a family birthday thing involving people from my husband's family (overnight trip a couple hours out of town) and I basically couldn't deal.

not only was I sick but I felt obligated to go... so I rallied and went on the trip. But halfway on the drive there my husband tells me "you didn't have to come on this trip" and I felt like screaming WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME THIS BEFORE WE LEFT but I didn't... the entire time was spent me feeling anxious about people wondering why I wasn't my "normal" self (I usually rely on wine and a xanax, I know not a great combo but it's a low dose, to be able to be friendly and whatnot and curb the anxiety enough to look like a functional human being) thereby making me more self conscious, thereby having people approach me in this kind of meek pitying manner when all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball.
This lead to me getting sicker, because I was stressing...
on the car ride back home today I asked my husband if it really would have been okay to skip this random extended family event if I were sick, and he said yes. I also asked him if it was okay to skip a family event if I were depressed to the point where I couldn't face people, and to my surprise, he said, "Yes, that's a way you can feel unwell." I do love his family but honestly, this anxious depression thing is getting to me so badly that if I were feeling this way (how I've been feeling anxious depressed to this level even without the flu) and had the option to stay home, even if it was like thanksgiving or christmas, I would ask to stay home. I don't know what is too much to ask from my husband, or if that would really severely impact the way his family saw me, or if it would send people into a tailspin of yakking behind my back about 'maybe their marriage is in trouble' or 'I can't believe how unsupportive she is' or whatever.... anyone else have issues with this? Family crap vs anxiety / depression? The whole time I was there I put on a happy face as long as possible then had to excuse myself to the car to go scream into my coat periodically.

Question in a nutshell is have you missed milestones or holidays because of this, and do you think it's been better for your own mental health? Also have you faced weird backlash and the pressure to explain your issues? Have you used any good excuses?

His family is huge and all the events are centered 2 hours away, and this stresses me and honestly takes time away from what quality time I could spend with either my own family or my few close friends who are easier to talk to....
cheers and thanks
G
 
B

bluemonday

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Oct 18, 2018
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18
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Narnia
Hi,
don't worry, you're not alone in this. In fact, right this moment I'm anxiously nibbling on my phone, thinking what's the best way to postpone my drive to my parents' house. I was supposed to be there three days ago, which I then postponed to arriving yesterday and now I'm thinking of sending a text saying that I'll be there on Wednesday. I know my mom's pissed at me like she was when I told her I'm giving up University because I can't deal with my anxiety. I also skipped my stepfather's mother's funeral because I couldn't deal with all the people.

On my first day at my old job, I took a quick detour to sit for around half an hour in the yard of some apartment building smoking a cigarette after a cigarette and now I'm anxious about a call from a potential employer that's only going to take place on Wednesday.

When my anxiety was at its worst, I couldn't go to the grocery store, couldn't deal with all the staring, so I ended up isolating myself from mostly everyone. I hardly ever left my house. Still do. I've always been envious of people who are "normal". Remember one time sitting in a bar with a friend and being so jealous of her being able to enjoy herself while I was a complete trainwreck.

I usually tell it how it is, most people don't like it, but I'm not about lying to people. Can't say whether they understand what social anxiety means, but if I say I won't be coming - I won't. In fact, my best friend didn't speak to me for half a year because I didn't attend her wedding.

I don't know if it will get easier one day (I still hope it will), but it makes me feel better to know I'm not alone in this. And I'm grateful for you sharing your experience, I know it can be liberating so to speak.
 
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SoulSpectrum666

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Oct 21, 2018
Messages
7
Location
California
Blue monday I HEAR YOU on all this! Sometimes I have no idea how I've made it to this point in life. I am somehow happily married (lol my husband is a very patient person) and I have a few close friendships right now but a lot of the time the only way I can get through visiting with them is if I get wacky drunk first. (Learning to utilize the xanax instead... haha...) For me I also have Bipolar so sometimes I'm off the wall and I'll talk to anyone, but then if I'm feeling "normal" and especially when I'm feeling really depressed, I just can't leave the house worth crap. A couple of months ago I spent a good three hours lying on the carpet in my hallway just staring at the carpet fibers wondering if I'd ever leave the house again or if I was doomed to just lay there forever. Fucking weird right...!?

Jobs have always been f-ed up for me too, which I guess I can be thankful I chose the career of starving artist... I work from home, by myself, all day 5 days a week. Other jobs I'd have panic attacks during work and be forced to get super loaded afterwards just to get the anxiety to diminish (this was years before I knew I could take a xanax for this purpose, but still!) and dealing with clients requesting really specific art images from me was basically something that's always driven me nuts. Heaven forbid a 'work contact' person wants to get together for a coffee for an in person meeting or something... I freak the hell out if that happens and try to come up with every excuse possible to use email or even a phone call instead of an in-person meeting, but even the phone call freaks me out really badly.

Yep, you're not alone, this thing is really frustrating.
And I can relate, even in a bar atmosphere or a party atmosphere when I'm plastered, it's weird because my anxiety is on like SUPER HIGH ALERT, so I think I actually generally function with acute mental clarity, to where I'll tell a friend or frightening new person I'm talking to, "I apologize, I'm really drunk right now," and they'll always say, "WHAT! You seem totally sober!" So there you go. Haha. Perennially never able to let loose really.

other weird REALLY uncomfortable thing is that as an artist I have to attend these art exhibitions where people want to come up to me and ask questions about my art, and I have learned canned phrases to spit out to people about how I make it, what it's about, etc... thank god because for a good many years I would just freeze up and look like a deer in the headlights idiot person as if I had no idea what my art was about. lol.

It's debilitating for sure.
Long paragraph here. This is the most I have said to a stranger in weeks HAHA...
You're not alone <3
 
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bluemonday

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Oct 18, 2018
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Location
Narnia
What a coincidence, I'm also a starving artist. Only I'm a writer. I tend to take up some copywriting jobs (not too thrilled about them) just to please my mother, but most of the jobs I've had had a fairly flexible work policy where I could work from home most days of the week.

Yesterday, for the first time in months, I actually left the house to drive to a friend's place. To my own surprise, I spent 5 hours conversing with her child, which for me is a lot. Usually, when someone wishes to meet up, I, just like you, tend to come up with every excuse (for myself) not to do it. And then I feel guilty for not socializing more. Back in the day I used to be the soul of a party, have no idea what went wrong.

Anyhow, thanks for sharing! it made me feel better, I hope it did the same for you. :)
 
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hopeful0907

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Sep 4, 2018
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USA
I can relate to your post. I too struggled with anxiety to the point I started to withdraw from people and events to see if it would help me feel better. There is such a battle over what people think versus what we need people to understand. I believe it is better to keep putting yourself out there in a small way of telling your anxiety and depression it does not get to control you. Would it help if you were more open and honest with his family about what you are going through, explain that you don't need their pity, but that you want them to know your struggles? I found excuses to be too tiring, so I started being open with people about my battles. IT HELPED SO MUCH! People went from being distant to being understanding and encouraging. This actually helped me out of my darkness. I know it is hard to overcome depression, but having a support system is vital. Please don't let life pass you by, you will regret not being there far more than you will going despite the struggle. Have you looked into counseling for your depression? It gave me the window I needed to get better. Hang in there and do what you feel is best for you.
 
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brboy

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Oct 24, 2018
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I'm in a similar situation to those here and I have to say it has given me some real comfort reading the posts on these forums and hearing from like minded people who really understand what we go through.

I have a job where I have to go in to an office every day and chat to people and I can put on a mask most days and struggle through.....all the time looking at te clock for when I can leave for some solitude in my car before getting home and closing the door. I always make an excuse when someone tries to arrange a social function or get together as I can never know how I will feel on the day so prefer to say I already have plans and have ended relationships and let friendships fade in the past too as it was just easier to manage things alone rather than do all the family commitment stuff, arranging social stuff etc.

That being said, although I can be quite content being solitary at times there are other times when I get extremely lonely yet when I am in company very quickly crave solitude again so all very confusing!
 

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