Funerals and Panic Attacks

Postby RosaD » Sat Dec 28, 2019 3:10 pm

Hello Everyone

Funerals and weddings -- ahhhh the time when people who secretly hate each other get together to fake being a unified family. .For sure, most family members care about each other. It is the handful of individuals who are spiteful, envious, and hateful who suck goodwill out of the room. While in the midst, I feel the tension. In response, I watch the clock for the first time I can make an exit, and not be called out for being the first one to leave.

My fast exit relieves me to the immediate anxiety, but robs me to the joy of living. I am getting older, and can appreciate my life has been filled with fast exits and being alone. Today, I say no more.

I am on my way to a funeral. There will be a lot of people there. I know them all, and they will want to know how I have been doing. Within the next 45 minutes, I plan to become a guru of small talk. Failing that, I will change the subject to the deceased. What I am refusing to do is my usual fast exit. I plan to stay for the entire event, and visit a bit after the service.

Progress and Perfection!
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#1

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sat Dec 28, 2019 7:05 pm

RosaD wrote:...and they will want to know how I have been doing.


No they don’t.

Same as you want to be a guru of small talk, so do they. You really don’t care about what is going on in their lives any more or less than they care about what is going on in your life.

The thought that they do care is what drives anxiety up. It is this self centered view that drives the fast exit.

When you learn not to focus on you and your story, when you learn that it’s okay that they don’t really what to know how you have been, then anxiety lessens and you can stay as long as you wish.

I’m glad you are making progress. I only offer that your “small talk” strategy isn’t helpful. It just keeps you anxious and bored.
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#2

Postby Candid » Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:11 am

RosaD wrote:the time when people who secretly hate each other get together to fake being a unified family.


You old cynic, you! How do you presume to know how people feel?

my life has been filled with fast exits and being alone.


Mine too. I consider myself a flight risk. Thing is, I like me this way. If the social occasion gets tedious, or in any way anxiety-provoking, I slip away. If I'm dreading attending at all, I stay home. People know that about me. It's all good.

Progress and Perfection!


Progress, yes. Perfection, if you're talking about yourself, is an aim that sets you up for failure and bad feelings. Unless, of course, you think of yourself as perfect already.
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#3

Postby RosaD » Sun Dec 29, 2019 5:29 pm

I agree with Richard@DecisionSkills . . . I also liked Candid's post.

I never considered my ability to leave a toxic/boring situation a plus. People have always considered my ability to leave as being anti-social. So, I did too.

But, is it really? Yesterday, when I got home, I was so wound up, that I ate two plates of food. This is significant for me because I am a compulsive overeater. Once I start to overeat, I normally cannot stop. I am not eating at this moment because of god's grace. But, I have bee watching the clock for my next meal.

I strive to find a balance to live in the world -- but when it gets too much to give myself permission to go home. As it is, I am alone too often. Transcendental mediation is helping me to achieve this goal.

I give thanks to Richard and Candid for spot on post.

Rosa
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#4

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sun Dec 29, 2019 5:38 pm

RosaD wrote: But, is it really?


It can be. It depends on if leaving subsequently results in productive or destructive behaviors.

Persons A and B are both at an event they find boring or lacking in value/substance. Neither of them wishes to be there.

Person A leaves and heads to the gym, to go read a book, to volunteer at the local animal shelter. Person A engages in productive, healthy behaviors.

Person B leaves and goes on a spending spree, overeats, goes and gets drunk, or engages in other unhealthy, self-destructive behaviors.

Leaving is not wrong. It's the coping mechanisms, the behaviors a person engages in after they leave that demonstrate being healthy or unhealthy.
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#5

Postby Candid » Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:12 am

RosaD wrote:People have always considered my ability to leave as being anti-social. So, I did too.


You're allowed to make your own decisions about that kind of thing, apply your own labels. You don't have to wear other people's labels. If you're spontaneously doing what you want to do, your tribe will easily find you. If you're just doing what you think other people want of you, how can you be distinguished from everyone else?

I am not eating at this moment because of god's grace.


I doubt 'god' would relish getting the credit for this. Sometimes you eat too much, sometimes you don't. I understand, if you're always doing what you think other people want of you, when you're on your own it must be 'god' allowing or disallowing. Make your own decisions and take responsibility for them, stay or leave, eat or don't eat. It's all up to you. Be your own designer.

I strive to find a balance to live in the world -- but when it gets too much to give myself permission to go home.


I believe my feelings are my best guide: this feels good, this feels bad, today I will feel better if I 'do the social', yesterday was a day to curl up in my big armchair with a good book. Doing what you think is the right thing sets you up to be resentful when other people don't appreciate it, or misunderstand your intent. No one will appreciate things you do, pretending to enjoy it.

My thoughts about what I should or shouldn't do are less reliable. I can't second-guess what other people want me to do. I might ask them, if I feel so inclined, then I know. To me, there are way too many other people around for me to go canvassing opinions. A funeral isn't about me. No one will know or care whether I stay away, go along, stay late, leave early, or what I do afterwards. I give other people equal space, equal rights.

I can remember doing what I thought everyone else wanted of me, and feeling let down over and over. That doesn't happen any more. If I can't put on my funeral outfit and play thespian for a few hours, being graciously po-faced and saying all the right things to all comers, maybe I should stay away... or maybe not.
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