Anticipatory Anxiety

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Happypants

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Anticipatory Anxiety
« on: June 07, 2020, 09:39:36 AM »
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to deal with anxiety in anticipation of any get together?  Iím not talking about contact with PDs, but people who dont actually present any threat. 

I just feel like Iím living a constant battle between fighting the desire to avoid contact with people, and fighting the anxiety leading up to any get together.  It doesnít matter how nice the previous get together was or how important the people are to me, Iím filled with dread the very second anything is arranged and it doesnít just simmer in the background, itís in the forefront of my mind until Iím there.

This wasnt such a problem during lockdown, but now that restrictions are eased Iím back to full-on dread. 

Any thoughts would be appreciated as it just feels like my subconscious just expects a negative outcome from any interaction.  Lifeís getting really difficult, really quickly.  Back to normal  :stars:

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BeanerJane

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Re: Anticipatory Anxiety
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2020, 12:33:33 PM »
I feel you.  I also have anticipatory anxiety, especially around the holidays. Parties are the worst torture. To prepare myself I make a mental list of topics to introduce, that will hopefully spark conversation (that's not about me, how I'm doing, what's going on in my life, etc).  I also visit Captain Awkward's advice site and scour for scripts in case they're needed.  Once at the social gathering, I absolutely do not drink at all and have a canned 'Oh! Look at the time.  I better get going, the dogs need feeding/the cactus needs watering/cats need petting/etc!' when I think I can reasonably leave without looking like a jerk.

Hope it helps to know you're not alone!  :hug:

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vijaykumari

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Re: Anticipatory Anxiety
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2020, 11:56:16 AM »
My strategy has been to keep very busy until the last moment.  I have a lot of home projects, workout plans, puzzle books, and paint by number projects that I do one after another so I don't have a moment to even think about the problem.  Let's say I have to meet someone online in three hours.  I'll first get ready for the meeting by getting dressed and putting on make up and setting up etc, as if I'm meeting right then.  Then until the meeting time I'll do something else that is totally bland and unemotional.  I also have tv streaming nonstop in the background.  It takes a lot of distraction. 

It doesn't work as well to get ready for the event right before it because I get myself all worked up just before I have to talk to people.  I know that once the conversation starts I'll feel better, kinda like jumping into a pool instead of trying to inch myself in. 

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Poppy

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Re: Anticipatory Anxiety
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2020, 08:27:50 PM »
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to deal with anxiety in anticipation of any get together?  Iím not talking about contact with PDs, but people who don't actually present any threat. 

I haven't managed that yet really to answer that. BUT I did find out that I feel more anxiety around some people than around others. Although friends may not be PDs exactlty, we did pick them with our experience of being treated badly. There is a reason there was an attraction of some sort (comfort in what is familiar, not knowing any better etc).

Try and be an observer of the interaction next time you're together. Are you sure there's no covert digs? No invalidation or passive aggression? Such things might explain your anticipatory anxiety. It might be less about you than about (some) others.

So, sorry not an answer to your question, but it may be worth exploring for yourself if this is the case for you as well.
It's never too late to be who you might have been (George Eliot)