Last week it was my Grandma’s 80th birthday and she was having a large party/dinner over the following weekend (ie the weekend just gone). A couple of weekends before I told my mum I didn’t think I would be able to cope with it and was seriously contemplating pulling out. However, my dad and boyfriend convinced me to go and though I am glad I went, it was still am extremely hard situation for me and I struggled immensely with it.
On the drive down to the venue I was ok. I think I was so tired from barely sleeping during the night that the drive gave me time to nap! On arrival I saw people I knew getting out of their cars and I started to panic. I persuaded my boyfriend to park far away from them and we waited in the car for me to calm down. Thankfully my sister was only a few minutes behind us and my parents had stayed their the night before so we had somewhere to hide for a while.
On seeing the room full of people i vaguely knew – ie my distant relatives – I again started to panic and said I couldn’t do it and started crying. My boyfriend and mum supported me and said I was doing well, that I needed to breathe and that it would be OK.
My boyfriend and I stood at the edge of the crowd and I said a brief hello to my auntie, uncle and cousin. After getting drinks we waited to be sat down for the food, my boyfriend found a quite place we could stand out of the way and we kept to ourselves. My parents had warned my Auntie who was organizing it that I wasn’t feeling the best and I was sat next to my mum and boyfriend at dinner to limit my anxiety.
After the cutting of the cake, my boyfriend and I made a sneaky escape up to our hotel room. The relief that swept over me as we left the dining room was immense, and I found the morning so stressful I promptly fell asleep soon after we checked in!
Although I did panic and I was by no means the life and soul of the party, talking to my family about my anxieties meant support could be put into place to enable me to attend and they were more understanding when I wanted to leave.
Today I am rather exhausted from the travelling and the stress of going so, I think a bath may be in order!