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Forums / Anxiety / Anxiety stopping me from being able to celebrate my best mate's birthday

Topic: Anxiety stopping me from being able to celebrate my best mate's birthday

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. 44Max44
    44Max44 avatar
    168 posts
    23 October 2021
    So it's my mate's birthday party today but I've found that all I've been doing for like a week leading up to it is trying to find any reasonable excuse not to go to it without making me look bad. He's my best mate and I mean all the best by him but I am very bad in social situations and there are 30+ people going to the party that I don't know whatsoever and if I'm being honest I don't really want to get to know them because I already struggle to keep the few friends I currently have. The only way I find these parties bearable is if I drink heaps and get wasted but I'm not a big drinker either, I'll probably get drunk once a year if that. I love small gatherings where it's just a small group of friends I know with maybe 2 or 3 people I don't know but having 30+ people I don't know at the party is super overwhelming for me and I just find myself not enjoying myself at all until I'm blackout drunk and don't remember anything the next day, which in itself gives me anxiety because I don't have any idea what I did when I was blackout drunk.

    I don't know. I want to celebrate my mate's birthday and make him happy but I just don't find his way of celebrating fun. He's a very extroverted person and I'm very introverted. We're like straight up polar opposites when it comes to how we socialize. It's weird too because he's told me that he thinks he's very awkward in social situations too but I don't see it. He's actually the type of guy I aspire to be when it comes to social interactions. I guess that just goes to show that you never really know what's going on with somebody just from their outward appearance.

    I want to be a good friend to him but I also don't want to have to be blackout drunk to do so. I just feel so guilty if I don't show up and I can't think of any excuse that would be good enough and not just look like I'm trying to ghost him. I've already been growing distant to him throughout this year and I feel like me not showing up to his birthday would be the last nail in the coffin. I almost just want to send him a link to this post to show him how I really feel because it's hard for me to have heart to hearts with people but I also feel like that could backfire on me.

    Anxiety sucks, man. It's controlling my life, dictating the stuff I do, effecting my relationships and work, it isn't fun.

  2. Coconutblue
    Coconutblue avatar
    3 posts
    23 October 2021 in reply to 44Max44

    Hi 44Max44,

    I can totally relate mate, for my 30th a few years back I have invited a bunch of really close friends, family and of course my best friend. I knew she had suffered anxiety and depression for years and she actually told me straight up that she couldnt make it because of her social anxiety, I was 100% ok with this as I knew how bad it made her feel.

    I think if your honest with him and say you are really struggling at the moment he should understand. Maybe even suggest a smaller gathering with you, him and others you feel comfortable around? Do a day out at putt putt, a nice long lunch with only a few drinks, beach day, movie day, or a nice BBQ at someones house to help him celebrate?
    If he knows you really well and you can be open with him about his party then im sure you will remain friends for life.

    anxiety is the pits! Hope it eases for you soon. 🙂

    1 person found this helpful
  3. bluemoonbluesky
    bluemoonbluesky avatar
    30 posts
    25 October 2021 in reply to 44Max44

    How did it go? Did you end up going?

    I should put a disclaimer here that probably the best thing is to not drink but I do enjoy it, so it is always a fight between my anxiety and my party instinct.

    I know exactly how you feel. For me, it isn't so much about the amount of people, but the amount of time I would be expected to hang around and drink. If I came for one or two hours and left for no good reason (and hiding the anxiety), it wouldn't go over well and I never wanted the drama. I went to my best mate's birthday back in March and dreaded it. Even going there was an achievement. Then, I went and sat there with the darkness, the loud music, the constant worrying about my physical sensations. I did lose it a bit and had to excuse myself for about 30 minutes. But I managed to just about hold it together. Sort of fortunately, he got absolutely wasted well before me and the night ended a bit earlier than thought.

    What usually happens is I feel super anxious during the first 1 or 2 drinks, and looser after that. But if I drink too much, the anxiety the next day pretty much wipes out the day for me.

    There was another instance where I was leaving to go somewhere and they really wanted to organise a big farewell for me. The parties where I am the centre are the worst. I had to keep putting it off due to organising moving and everything and needing time to relax myself (which to be fair, was true). Eventually I caught up with only 2 mates a couple of nights before I was leaving, and just had to say clearly I couldn't drink too much.

    But I also dread long social occasions even when I don't drink too much or at all, so it sucks. Anxiety tries to rob us of enjoyment of some of life's great moments.

    I hope you did alright if you went mate. I've been there, panicking, going to the bathroom, going outside for some air. It truly sucks. I'm still here. If you didn't go also, you have our support here and hopefully your mate's understanding.

    1 person found this helpful
  4. missep123
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    missep123 avatar
    1100 posts
    25 October 2021 in reply to 44Max44

    Hi 44Max44,

    You are definitely not alone in how you are feeling. I have felt the anxiety and apprehension about being around so many people you don't know and so have my friends!

    From my own experience, I really believe open and honest communication can make people closer. If you are able to let them know how you are feeling I would hope they would understand! One of my friends has quite severe anxiety and she would cancel last minute whenever we had plans (once it was about 5 times in a row) and I wasn't quite sure what was going on. When she was able to open up to me and tell me why then I didn't take it personally and I do believe it made us closer. I was able to put myself in their shoes.

    How did you go? Did you end up going to the party?

    We are definitely here for you though and I wanted to post here to let you know that you are not alone in how you are feeling!

    1 person found this helpful
  5. 44Max44
    44Max44 avatar
    168 posts
    25 October 2021 in reply to bluemoonbluesky
    Hi all, thanks so much for the replies, they were very helpful.

    I did end up going, albeit 3 hours late and with the aide of a few drinks beforehand and a lot of drinks at the party itself. As bluemoonbluesky said, I felt pretty anxious for the first few drinks but after that I calmed down and started to enjoy myself. As soon as I got to the party I b-lined it for one of my mates I know well and joined in with the small group of people he already had going, and the conversation seemed to flow pretty well from there. This is a guy I only ever interact with at these parties (he's a mutual friend of the birthday boy) but every time I do it's like we talked just yesterday and it's just so easy to talk to him because we have very similar interests.

    I ended up talking with a few people I didn't know at all, but the conversations were pretty brief other than me introducing myself because I really don't have much to talk about. They all seemed friendly and like good people so that eased my anxiety pretty quick.

    One thing that I'm still concerned about is how distant I am growing from my best mate (the birthday boy). Our interests have slowly grown more distant and it gets harder and harder for us to have long conversations about stuff we both enjoy. I used to see and talk with him every single day but now I'd be lucky to have a single short conversation with him once a week if that. I feel like I need to have a heart to heart with him and talk to him about this issue but I don't really know how to even approach him about it.

    Anyways, the night went pretty well, I ended up leaving the party abruptly after the birthday boy had left and I felt like there was no real reason for me to stick around, but nobody seemed to notice so that's okay I guess. :P

    I think the next step for me is to try and enjoy these parties without the aide of alcohol. I'd very much like to be able to enjoy myself and celebrate without being severely hungover the next day, and to be honest, I don't really like drinking at all. It's not good for me physically or mentally.

    Anyways, I'm glad I ended up going to the party. It was fun.
    Thanks for the replies guys. I appreciate it.

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