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  #1  
Old 10th April 2024, 10:20
ScottishJamie ScottishJamie is offline
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Default Attending best friends wedding

Hi there. It's been years since I last visited these forums. I have been living with Social Anxiety for most of my life. Things have got bad again for me and I have been living in a bubble for quite a while now. SA has completely stolen my life and robbed me of so many opportunities. I find it near impossible meeting new friends and only have one close friend who has been my rock for many many years now. She has stood by me through thick and thin.

This friend is getting married in the summer and as expected has invited me to her wedding. It's a full day, ceremony and meal in a small setting with her and her partner's friends (who I don't know and haven't met). Some of them have plus 1s however I don't know anyone else who could attend with me.

My friend invited me months ago and I have been so so happy for her however my social anxiety symptoms have reared their ugly head again and I am absolutely terrified at the prospect of attending. It's all I am thinking about. It will be a small wedding with only around 30 people. Involving a meal sat around a table. My best friend is usually the one I lean on in social situations but of course she will be with her new husband for most of the day.

I struggle so bad being around people I don't know and thinking of being around that many people, alone really is making me extremely anxious.

I just don't know what to do. I love my best friend more than she knows. And I want to be there for her on the most important day of her life but I just know within myself that it isn't possible for me. I know for a fact that I will have a panic attack and I don't want to disrupt her special day.

I am thinking about telling her how I'm feeling and that I don't think I can attend but I worry that she will be disappointed and potentially might end our friendship or make it strained.

My friend knows I suffer from anxiety but we don't really talk about it much and I don't think she knows the extent of how bad it gets for me.

I just wanted to ask if anyone has been in this situation. To most people, they would never understand how I'm feeling and maybe think it's ridiculous. That's why I'm writing here. Because I know people here will understand.

Can anyone offer me some advice? Thanks
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  #2  
Old 10th April 2024, 13:46
Dougella Dougella is offline
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Default Re: Attending best friends wedding

Could you perhaps attend the ceremony and quietly leave after that? People tend to mill around and go their separate ways to wherever the venue for the reception will be so no-one's likely to notice that you're not at the dinner. Maybe talk to your friend about options of what you could do. (I have done this before and it worked ok.)

Either that or ask her to introduce you to someone you can sit with beforehand so you know someone on the day?
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  #3  
Old 10th April 2024, 15:46
BFG_ BFG_ is offline
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Default Re: Attending best friends wedding

Why do something that will cause you severe distress and anxiety? You could message your friend tell them you wish them well hope they have a lovely day but won't be attending due to anxiety etc. A good friend will understand and certainly wouldn't put pressure on you to be there.

Probably why I don't get invited to anything anymore thank god
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  #4  
Old 10th April 2024, 15:48
biscuits biscuits is offline
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Default Re: Attending best friends wedding

Aww how lovely that you have such a close friendship.

I've been in a similar situation for a friend's birthday and I just didn't go without really communicating why (because I was embarrassed/ashamed) and we sort of drifted apart after that. These days I'm fairly open about my anxieties. So my advice would be to be honest about it. That takes away a lot of the anxiety, knowing that the person knows about it all and seeing that they're accommodating - not like our anxieties tell us they will be!

Have a little chat with her about it and see what she says.
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  #5  
Old 10th April 2024, 15:59
Aelwyn Aelwyn is offline
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Default Re: Attending best friends wedding

I have been in this exact situation a couple of times.

I went to my GP, and was prescribed Diazepam. The first time it worked fine, though the effect did start to wear off a bit after three or four hours. The second time I tried out Diazepam beforehand, but it didn't seem to have the same effect, so I ended up drinking two large glasses of wine before the event (I hardly drink alcohol at all usually). It got me through the occasion, though I felt woozy. I don't like to recommend alcohol to anyone, as it can become a problem. But personally I've never felt drawn to alcohol or getting drunk, it's like a last resort for me.

If you want to attend the wedding, I suggest you talk to your GP. But as others have said, if this is a very good friend, perhaps you can explain to her how you feel - I don't think people always understand how intense this anxiety can be.
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  #6  
Old 10th April 2024, 16:59
BFG_ BFG_ is offline
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Default Re: Attending best friends wedding

Self medicating to fit in with society isn't something I'd recommend. Been there done that thrown up on the tshirt.
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  #7  
Old 10th April 2024, 17:22
Hopeforme Hopeforme is offline
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Default Re: Attending best friends wedding

Quote:
Originally Posted by BFG_
Self medicating to fit in with society isn't something I'd recommend. Been there done that thrown up on the tshirt.
Nor would I, but sometimes you have to be realistic about these sorts of things. If you are close to a person at its their birthday or a significant day in their lives, you gotta show up. Unless they re very understanding, I honestly think in the real-world it DOES affect the relationship. Using alcohol is certainly not an encourageable idea however I do it but I genuinely try and do it in the most sensible way possible. I only drink when I am there and in the company of others, and will always drink water and soft drinks alongside, eat food and use caffeine if necessary to wake me up although that carried secondary risks as well such as an increase in anxiety because its a stimulant. If you take a diazepeam or benzo, don't drink!
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  #8  
Old 10th April 2024, 17:50
Dougella Dougella is offline
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Default Re: Attending best friends wedding

^ Yeah, i think there is a difference between getting one dose of medication from the GP to get through a one off event, OR having one or two alcoholic drinks for the same effect, and getting so drunk that you throw up etc.
Obviously doing this regularly is a bad idea, but very occasionally if it gets someone through something big atleast they've been able to go.

More long term it's better to seek mental health support, find ways of managing anxiety and making progress with SA so that it's easier to do these things. But that does take time and has varying levels of success for different people.
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  #9  
Old 10th April 2024, 17:58
Lee S Lee S is offline
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Default Re: Attending best friends wedding

As you are such close friends, I would definitely try and talk to her about how anxious you are feeling about the day. A good friend should understand and be able to help.
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  #10  
Old 10th April 2024, 18:15
biscuits biscuits is offline
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Default Re: Attending best friends wedding

Quote:
Originally Posted by BFG_
Self medicating to fit in with society isn't something I'd recommend. Been there done that thrown up on the tshirt.
Agreed.
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  #11  
Old 10th April 2024, 18:27
Aelwyn Aelwyn is offline
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Default Re: Attending best friends wedding

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopeforme
If you take a diazepeam or benzo, don't drink!
Yes, that's important. And I hope I made it clear I'm not recommending alcohol, just saying what I did.
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  #12  
Old 10th April 2024, 18:31
sophie79 sophie79 is offline
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Default Re: Attending best friends wedding

My advice reflects some others already. I would be honest with your friend, open up and explain about your social anxiety and that you will be unable to manage something like that. A good friend would understand.
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  #13  
Old 10th April 2024, 19:06
Chess&Junkfood Chess&Junkfood is offline
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Default Re: Attending best friends wedding

I would probably feel the same way if I was in your situation, Jamie. And to give yourself credit, you are at least entertaining the possibility of attending the wedding. One of the ways I've been able to cope with similar situations is to give myself a sales pitch. For example, I have to remind myself that I can't be 100% when I go somewhere. if I'm too quiet, then that's just the way it is. I will try and prepare a few things to say, but sometimes I need to keep things as simple as possible. Otherwise I might find it difficult to maintain my composure. Although I don't mean that in the sense of turning into the HULK and tossing the groom around the room. But in the sense of keeping my SA composure to a minimum. I would also keep reminding myself that I'm here for my friend, but I can't be fully here as well.

Anyway, only you know what's best for you! And I'm sure your friend would understand if you didn't attend.
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  #14  
Old 10th April 2024, 19:20
arrested_development arrested_development is offline
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Default Re: Attending best friends wedding

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dougella
Could you perhaps attend the ceremony and quietly leave after that?
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  #15  
Old 11th April 2024, 08:25
Seagull Seagull is offline
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Default Re: Attending best friends wedding

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophie79
I would be honest with your friend, open up and explain about your social anxiety and that you will be unable to manage something like that.
A pretty black and white take on it imho, we can do more than we give ourselves credit for surely, it’s just a self-sabotaging mind telling us otherwise.

Good luck to the OP, whatever you decide to do, a very relatable post, and maybe having the fallback of the ‘Irish goodbye’ option is a good one.
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  #16  
Old 12th April 2024, 21:10
ScottishJamie ScottishJamie is offline
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Default Re: Attending best friends wedding

Thank you all for the replies. I spoke to my friend tonight and explained everything about how I'm feeling. She was very supportive and loving and came and spent some time with me. She doesn't understand SA but said she would never judge me and loved me unconditionally. She said if I didn't attend then it's not the end of the world and wouldn't affect our friendship. She has said the seat would be left open for me if things improved but if I didn't make it then it would be totally okay. I'm so lucky to have a friend like her. Thanks for all the replies.
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  #17  
Old 12th April 2024, 21:23
Lee S Lee S is offline
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Default Re: Attending best friends wedding

^ Well done
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  #18  
Old 12th April 2024, 21:44
Chess&Junkfood Chess&Junkfood is offline
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Default Re: Attending best friends wedding

It sounds like you've got a really great friend, Jamie! I'm glad she understands.
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  #19  
Old 12th April 2024, 21:46
biscuits biscuits is offline
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Default Re: Attending best friends wedding

Awww. Isn't she lovely!
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  #20  
Old 29th April 2024, 22:36
Bluebear Bluebear is offline
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Default Re: Attending best friends wedding

That's great Jamie! I'm glad your friend understands.
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  #21  
Old 30th April 2024, 15:33
Hylas Hylas is offline
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Default Re: Attending best friends wedding

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chess&Junkfood
One of the ways I've been able to cope with similar situations is to give myself a sales pitch. For example, I have to remind myself that I can't be 100% when I go somewhere. if I'm too quiet, then that's just the way it is. I will try and prepare a few things to say, but sometimes I need to keep things as simple as possible. Otherwise I might find it difficult to maintain my composure. Although I don't mean that in the sense of turning into the HULK and tossing the groom around the room. But in the sense of keeping my SA composure to a minimum.
I used a similar coping strategy before work everyday, visualising situations and conversations that might occur, it was very effective and helped decrease my morning anxieties, setting me up with positive vibes for the rest of the day.
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  #22  
Old 30th April 2024, 21:44
Chess&Junkfood Chess&Junkfood is offline
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Default Re: Attending best friends wedding

^
That's good to hear, Hylas. It's definitely helpful when you get into a positive way of thinking. I also find it helpful when I highlight the things that are achievable. Sort of like a powerpoint presentation. Where I try to break it down into steps and try not to get overwhelmed by it all. Although my sales pitches are still a work in progress, but one day at a time and all that.
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