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"Medication" for Christmas gathering.

Every year as Christmas rolls around the family comes together for a gathering, everyone is in good spirits, looking forward to catching up with each other, except me. My anxiety is at it's worst in a group, sitting around a table making conversation. I'm going to have to deal with this in 2018 with real medication but right now I can't survive sober. For many, alcohol on its own would suffice, however, I am there with another family member who struggles with anxiety and has access to "medication". Overall the night goes well, I talk to family and engage in Christmas games. I feel like I'm part of the family and they are all surprised I have come out of my shell. What they do not know is that I am under the influence.


I know this is irresponsible, but considering I haven't spoken to my grandfather properly in years because of my anxiety and now, on Christmas, we had a great conversation. He's not far away from passing and I couldn't live with myself if I never spoke to him properly before he did.


I don't regret what I did, if I had of overdosed, so be it, I've never felt like life is for me anyway. I have so much anxiety I can't talk to family and I'm in my 20's. I mean, how pathetic is that. 




Re: "Medication" for Christmas gathering.

Hi @CookieDough,


Firstly a quick bit of housekeeping, in line with our Community Guidelines you may notice that we've edited out some references to medication and other substances from your post. Please have a quick read through.


Now getting on to your post, you are not pathetic, and you are not alone in having anxiety when it comes to interacting with family. I can totally understand not feeling comfortable talking to and interacting with your family, because there is a lot of pressure, and when that pressure combines with anxiety it's not easy at all.


For me, the idea of saying the wrong thing to my family usually ends up in our conversations revolving around the weather (if I don't just sit there quietly letting others carry the conversation). I can also understand how draining socialising with family can be. When I return from my Christmas holidays with my family, I often feel like I need a whole other holiday just to recover. And none of this is to say that I don't love them and enjoy their company, I'm just who I am.


I'd say cut yourself a little slack, and don't feel guilty for finding it hard to interact with your family, because you aren't the only one who finds it hard. But getting help to manage your anxiety and to feel more comfortable is a great priority to have for 2018.


I am glad to hear that you had a great conversation with your grandfather, but needing to self-medicate to have that conversation doesn't seem to be the best situation for you or your mental health. If you had to go to these lengths recently, then now is a great time to start the discussion with your doctors. And when you do, be open and honest about what happened this Christmas, including what you used to get you comfortable to open up. The help we get from our doctors is only as good as the information we offer up on what we're experiencing.


Re: "Medication" for Christmas gathering.

Oh sorry, I had not read the guidelines, thank you for notifying me. I only mentioned the substances because I felt as though others may have similar experiences and I wanted to express the lengths that I go to - to function normally around family. 

I thank you for your support but I do believe I am truly pathetic.

My old friends say I'm 'weird', the neighbours make disgruntled faces when I walk past, girls say I am "creepy". All my life people have said I was, "pushing them away" when really my anxiety is getting in the way of a relationship.

Also being a male my anxiety is considered a weakness, not to undermine any female struggling with similar issues, however, I feel the stigma for men is especially tough. 

Also, i just want to thank the entire ReachOut community. There is only a certain amount someone online can do to help with these issues but just having a place to collect my thoughts anonymously is amazing - if I kept a diary no doubt my parents would find it - privacy is hard to come by nowadays. Anyway, I'm rambling away now, just wanted to show my appreciation. 





Re: "Medication" for Christmas gathering.

@CookieDough  You are not pathetic and if people find you weird or strange then they don't deserve to be your friend Smiley Happy

I too have anxiety and it can be tough at times, but something I have found that helps when it comes to relationships is to be honest and open with people about my anxiety. I am going to have bad days and it's nice to be able to blame it on my anxiety. I'm not saying you have to tell everyone you have anxiety but one way to help reduce the stigma surrounding it is to mention it to people. I don't make a huge deal about it but I find once I mention it to people they are more understanding and don't look at me weirdly. 

Have you looked into any mental health support groups in your area? It might be good to be surrounded by people who can relate to what you are going through and it's a chance to make some new friends Smiley Happy


Whatever it takes I know I can make it through!

Re: "Medication" for Christmas gathering.

im glad you had a nice conversation with your grandfathet.I've also struggled with anxiety aswell and also have found it hard with a gathering with lots of people. I would just sit there and listen to what everyone says and never really spoke to anyone. What helped me was talking to someone close to me about what was causing my anxiety in situations and also when my anxiety flares I would count down from 5 to help relax me. You could also try writing down or taking a photo of something each day (there is phone apps) that made you happy or excited or that your are grateful for that day this will help you to have a positive outlook on life.  There is lots of techniques out there that can help you with anxiety.  You have taken a big step in writing a post to reachout you should be proud of yourself for taking a step in helping your anxiety.