I know exactly what you mean. I do the very same thing. I want to go out and do things, but then I always change my mind. I just cant stand going out into the crowds, public I guess. I dont know, but I get really upset with myself. Its a viscious (sp?) cycle. I am always worried about what my friends will think. They probably think, 'why cant she just come'. 'Whats the big deal'. 'She could force herself to come if she really wanted to.'
But, it isnt as easy as that. And it doesnt make you a bad friend. Luckily, a few of my friends know and understand what I am going through so, they encourage me to go, but they never force me to. They always tell me to try, but if I just cant, they understand. I like that! Hopefully, you have good friends who understand what you are going through.
But, I totally understand what you are saying...
Sorry but I have to disagree with you, your not stupid or a bad friend. That is "stinkin thinkin" as Lyn so wisely says. You are going through a rough time and staying home after a long day at work is taking care of you.
Sounds like a good plan to me to stay home with a good book if you don't feel like being in a crowd. Please do not beat yourself up, it will be ok so just take tiny steps and get back on track. We are here to support you.
Take care of you.
Oh My a Party...............yes you are normal. I have done this very same thing. I have forced myself to go to the party and acted like I was fine and having a good time. But usually the first to leave, like you say after 4-5 hours. That is a lot of time to be running on adrenaline.
When I got home or even before I would be in tears that I had to try so hard to do what others take for granted. I would feel anxious and upset for hours. I was always very disappointed in myself. I have learned now not to beat myself up and to not force myself to go to events that I find very uncomfortable. I pick and choose where I go and how long I can stay. The panic has subsided although I still have anxiety but most of the time it is controlled.
So be assured, you are not loosing your mind. :)