How do you deal with the holidays?

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charmingsuz
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 12/6/2005 11:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone,
 
My initial post sounded pretty pitiful and needy, and I really don't want to be this way.  The holidays always add to my depression, which I'm sure is very common.  As my extended family doesn't accept the fact of my illnesses, mainly agoraphobia, Christmas is like a nightmare to me.  I usually do my shopping over the Internet; this year I haven't, and it's really too late now.  Then the family Christmas dinner and gift exchange--I start months ahead trying to think of excuses to get out of it.
 
This Thanksgiving, I dropped my daughter off, and went back home.  I didn't even tell anyone I wasn't going to come because I didn't want to deal with all the guilt trips that would be laid on me.
 
Now Christmas is a few weeks away, and I have no idea how I can go, and I've used up all the excuses I can think of over the years.  I hate lying, but honesty doesn't work when your family doesn't believe you have agoraphobia.  I've tried being honest many times, but the responses I get back are, "I'm hurting this person or that person, I'm just thinking of myself, blah, blah, blah."   
 
I would appreciate hearing any ideas of how you all deal with the holidays.  I can't get the anxiety out of my head over it, and of course, the more you think about it, the more anxious one becomes.  It's a vicious circle. 
 
Suz 

Glenniem
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 12/6/2005 1:06 PM (GMT -7)   
I avoid them. You can tell them what you need to, but you can't make them compassionate.
My family laughs when I tell them they are all messed up, or that I am all messed up. S I for the most part I stay away. I will see them at the funeral.

bevhea
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 240
   Posted 12/6/2005 2:03 PM (GMT -7)   
This is really not an answer--it's my wicked sense of humor. You could tell them that you've finally come to agree with them. You don't have agoraphobia. You've decided that you just don't like them. Sorry, it popped in, and I tend to say what pops in, even when I know better.

I had a short spell with immobilization, which is probably similar to agoraphobia. During that would not even have been able to take my daughter, like you have been doing. I mean I just plain didn't do anything. Even thinking about going out brought on severe anxiety. I did get over it. I don't know how.

My only thought would be that you don't worry about presents or whether or not to go. Have your daugher write on paper, "go," and "not go." The day of the event draw one. Since doing that will give you a 50-50 chance either way, maybe between now and then you can cut the anxiety to 50% and be more ready for whatever comes.

I'm reminded when I was a child and made decisions by flipping a coin. What the coin said did not matter one bit to me. Instead I decided based on whether or not in that first split second my heart leaped up. Most likely a part of you would be at ease if you did something similar with the drawing--so that your inner self would be in charge of what happens.

You could always try it on something else in the meantime too. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

bev

Jinxed
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 12/6/2005 2:19 PM (GMT -7)   

Cheers:

Holidays are tough for me as well. I only go out to family because I don't want to disappoint my daughter who is a teenager. Christmas is a big deal for her. I would be perfectly content to sit at home in my Pj's with a carton of Turtles icecream and a pile of movies or a good book to read. This would of course have to include no phone calls, and no one ringing my door bell.

I have problems with agoriaphobia in a mild sense. I go to school, go home, pay bills, and grocery shop when I have to. I do not stray out of my safety zone often, this causes extreme anxiety, and it is very wearing on the nerves.

You are definetly not alone.

Jinxed


charmingsuz
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 12/6/2005 2:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Hee--there may be more truth than not in "your wicked sense of humor" answer! Since I don't go out, I can't even pick up germs to be sick for Christmas!

I don't know what to do; but your answers have made me feel better and brought a smile to my face.

Suz

bevhea
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 240
   Posted 12/6/2005 5:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh, please just enjoy and don't repeat what I said--so ok that's more of my humor!

I read James?? answer to your other post and really liked it--especially about the wall. It made a lot of sense. Christmas may or may not be the time to do it, but I would sure start thinking about the things he said.

Did you know that basketball players can improve their percentage of shots made, without setting foot on the court, just by imagining making baskets? Maybe you can imagine following his suggestions and when you are ready, you will be able to take those steps with a lot less trepidation than you would expect. He certainly sounds like he's happy that he did.

bev

Nanse
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 217
   Posted 12/7/2005 5:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Suz,

How to deal with the Holidays:

Do what you want when you want. Be as social or non-social as you want to be.

Do not offer any explanation for why you won't be attending any function. Ettiquette only requires a yes or no to the invitation, not an explanation. A nice therapist taught me to say simply "I have other plans" and not say any more. If the other person asks what my plans are, I just repeat "I have other plans" . If they decide to be obnoxious and impolite and ask again... they will get my same reply which is now not only saying "I have other plans" but is also indicating to them that I won't be sharing with them what my other plans are (because I don't want to, I don't have to, it is not required, it is not any of their beeswax!). Keep in mind, my "other plans" may be something as simple as... not attending the function! Or, watching Survivor. Or, reading a book. Or, getting to bed early that night....

Enjoy your holidays, whatever you decide to do with them!

Nanse
Nanse


charmingsuz
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 12/7/2005 8:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your advice. I'm too overwhelmed right now to figure out what to do. I had to go to the bank today, and just got back--and still shaking all over from the drive. The fact it was snowing didn't help either. I am just so nervous going out.

Strivingtolive
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 12/8/2005 5:08 PM (GMT -7)   
My family lives out of state and mom has stopped pressuring me to come by, or whatever. I am on my own unless my boyfriend tries to bring me along to his family event. I haven't yet let him meet my family so the pressure isn't there but the fear of him meeting them one day is...

ShynSassy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3036
   Posted 12/9/2005 5:51 PM (GMT -7)   
I am just gotten to the point to where I refuse to go somewhere that is out of my safety zone. I just tell my b/f I'm skipping it. He still argues,but I think is getting the message...maybe we will see come Christmas day.
Holiday's are the worst,I don't feel any Holiday spirit and just want it to be over with.
Don't worry about the world ending,it's already tomorrow in Australia!


punky
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 12/11/2005 6:09 PM (GMT -7)   
I work in a small office with 2 men and 6 other women.  I usually start getting anxiety pangs the minute the Christmas party is announced.  They all start their chitter chatter about what they are wearing and how they will do their nails and hair.  Gag me!  They for the most part are all "I" personallities which drives me nutz.  They won't leave me alone and think I'm strange when I tell them I'm not getting my hair and nails done. Geeez its not Prom!(but I didn't do that then either). I just can't let myself get all worked up over them.  My boss has told be that he is considering making a separate office for me with a DOOR that I can shut.  He understands me thank goodness.  It is the type of office that the over 'bubbley' do come into good services, however, my roll as bookkeeper doesn't require a junior high giddy all the time.  Its not so much the Holiday,but just putting up with all the hoopla.  I would much rather have my boss give me a gift certificate to a nice resturant so my husband and I could enjoy a quiet meal ALONE.  Get me away from those people tongue
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