Author Topic: Spookycatlady Bails Again  (Read 3055 times)

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spookycatlady

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Spookycatlady Bails Again
« on: June 09, 2014, 10:57:53 AM »
In the last two weeks, my anxiety disorder has taken a disturbing turn*.  I've always been able to sort of keep myself together until I can get to a private spot to melt down.  Five days ago, out of nowhere, full on, hyperventilating panic attack in public.  It happened because of a combination of little tiny, mild triggers piled up in a perfect storm and my nervous system reacted like I was being chased by bears with a bee cannon. 

Since then, I'm at a near constant state of borderline tears and anxiety.   It's getting better (so slowly), but for my health it means that I have to back out of a lot of commitments because haven't gone back to baseline.  Breaking commitments is a huge deal to me and completely out of character (and another source of stress).

All of my close friends are warned that I'm not able to do any forward planning right now and that I'm not reliable; they are supportive and kind.

There is another event is in two weeks that was planned months ago between me and two other people.  It's a very similar situation as the environment I was in when I had the panic attack.   The thought of going is literally making me sick to my stomach.  Until I can manage day to day without losing my marbles over spilling my coffee or missing the first bus, I'm not fit for polite society...

So, I let my two friends that I can't make it and I told them why.  Then one of them pipes up and says, "If Spooky isn't going, I don't know if I'm going."  Then the third said, "Well, I'm not going by myself, that's no fun."  We all paid for tickets to attend individually (nominal cost, but cost nonetheless).

Is there a rule of etiquette to make it up to them?  I was thinking of having them over for dinner once I'm better again.



*Important note: I've got the mental health issue under control and am working with a professional to get this sorted out.  :) :) :)

PastryGoddess

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Re: Spookycatlady Bails Again
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2014, 11:01:01 AM »
I think having them to dinner is a great idea. 

magicdomino

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Re: Spookycatlady Bails Again
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2014, 11:03:47 AM »
If you had broken your ankle, you wouldn't be able to go on a long-planned hiking trip.  This situation is similar:  for medical reasons, you will not be able to attend the event.  What your friends do is for them to work out between them.

So, no, you don't have to invite them for dinner to make up for your absence.  On the other hand, free food is always good.   ;)

I hope you will be feeling better.

TootsNYC

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Re: Spookycatlady Bails Again
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2014, 11:05:25 AM »
They can't recruit someone else to take your ticket (or yours and the 2nd lady's, since it sounds like 3rd lady would go without you, just not by herself)?

Anyway, maybe invite them over for dinner or something, when you can handle it.

Lynn2000

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Re: Spookycatlady Bails Again
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2014, 11:12:11 AM »
Tough situation! I've been having some (physical) health issues lately and sometimes I have to cancel plans I'd made to go out with people. I do feel guilty about it, but on the other hand, I know the people I canceled on would prefer me to be safe rather than sorry. They would rather we get together when I am relaxed and enjoying myself, rather than sitting there tensely and worrying the whole time. With people you know well it can be easy to tell when someone is preoccupied and not having a good time, and it can bring down the whole mood.

For me, the thing is to show that despite this temporary setback, you are still interested in maintaining the friendship and doing stuff with them. So when you're feeling better, definitely pick up the ball and arrange a get-together, maybe take the lead on a few in a row, to make up for cancelling emotionally. I don't think you have to host necessarily, but try to arrange gatherings that are convenient and pleasant for your friends.
~Lynn2000

lowspark

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Re: Spookycatlady Bails Again
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2014, 11:12:58 AM »
Then one of them pipes up and says, "If Spooky isn't going, I don't know if I'm going."

This is actually a pet peeve of mine. OK, if there were only two of you going, and you had to back out, I probably wouldn't want to go alone. But even with you not going, there will still be two. Makes me wonder if the one who spoke up first really doesn't like the other one. Otherwise, why don't they just go ahead and go without you?

I agree that this is akin to skipping a hiking trip due to a sprained ankle. I also firmly believe that your absence does not preclude them from going without you. So you don't really need to make it up to them. But yeah, of course, a dinner invitation is always nice!

BeagleMommy

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Re: Spookycatlady Bails Again
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2014, 12:12:54 PM »
First, massive hugs.

Second, I POD to others who've said this is a medical issue.  You don't owe your friends anything to "make up" for your withdrawal from the activity.  If you feel up to it at a later date and want to arrange something, that's very kind, but not required.

It's not as though you were backing out because a better offer came along.

m2kbug

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Re: Spookycatlady Bails Again
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2014, 12:26:10 PM »
I'm going to jump on the sprained ankle bandwagon.  You have a legitimate reason for bailing and you are making your friends aware of the problem quite far in advance.  You could possibly keep the door open on going in the event that two weeks from now, you actually could manage this, though it sounds like you know it's a slow heal, and probably not.  I don't think you owe anyone anything at this point.  The other two could still go.  They are opting to eat the cost of the cost of the tickets on their own.  I think it's very nice of you to make it up to them in some way, and maybe a quiet evening with snacks and a movie instead of this event could be something you can plan on, keep it simple so you're not stressed and overwhelmed with cooking.  You could offer it up as a backup plan for whatever they decide to do (if you feel able).  But overall, I don't think you owe anything, it's just a nice alternative. 

cicero

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Re: Spookycatlady Bails Again
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2014, 12:27:35 PM »
Massive hugs.

I agree with the PPs - this is a medical issue, this isn't "bailing" on your friends. You *can't* be involved in certain activities now, it's not a choice.

I also don't understand why your friends decided not to go to the event, but that's *their* choice. Please don't feel guilty about that.

Dinner for your friends is a nice thing to do, not a "have to do". and it will give you something nice to look forward to.


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Tea Drinker

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Re: Spookycatlady Bails Again
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2014, 04:34:53 PM »
Yes, this is a medical thing, and your own medical thing (rather than, say, a close relative having had surgery scheduled and needing support). Inviting them over when you feel better--or now, if the difference between it being your home and somewhere else is sufficient for confidence--would be nice, but I don't think it's required. It doesn't sound like this is something that can't be done by three people instead of four; if it was, I'd suggest offering to pass your ticket on to a new person, if they found one, and not ask to be reimbursed.

The argument for dinner later isn't that you owe them something: it's that it's both a way to reconnect, and a clear message that you want to see them.
Any advice that requires the use of a time machine may safely be ignored.

aiki

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Re: Spookycatlady Bails Again
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2014, 05:31:56 PM »
If you had broken your ankle, you wouldn't be able to go on a long-planned hiking trip.  This situation is similar:  for medical reasons, you will not be able to attend the event. 

This, so much this. You can even extend it to cover the other commitments you are feeling guilty about as well. If I were your friend I would not want you to feel bad about taking the time you needed to heal well.

"A true gentleman is one who is never unintentionally rude."  - Oscar Wilde

rain

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Re: Spookycatlady Bails Again
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2014, 09:39:36 PM »
Massive ((((hugs))))


You're not alone ...
"oh we thank thee lord for the things we need, like the wind and the rain and the apple seed"

purple

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Re: Spookycatlady Bails Again
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2014, 12:56:11 AM »
Another vote for medical issues are an acceptable reason to back out of this commitment.

If I were you, I'd probably give my ticket to the other 2 girls so they can find another third person to go.
Then one of them pipes up and says, "If Spooky isn't going, I don't know if I'm going."

This is actually a pet peeve of mine. OK, if there were only two of you going, and you had to back out, I probably wouldn't want to go alone. But even with you not going, there will still be two. Makes me wonder if the one who spoke up first really doesn't like the other one. Otherwise, why don't they just go ahead and go without you?


I also agree with this.

sweetonsno

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Re: Spookycatlady Bails Again
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2014, 01:54:07 AM »
Panic attacks are no fun at all. I'm really sorry to hear about your situation and I wish you a speedy recovery!

I don't think there's a hard and fast rule for this particular situation. While I don't think you are on the hook for a "make-up" of any kind, I do think that rescheduling (even if it is for a different kind of event) is a good way to reinforce that you enjoy your friends' company and want to see them.

I like the idea of seeing if you can find a "substitute" for the event. Is there anyone else who knows and gets along with both of these friends? Could you give him or her your ticket? I don't think you're under any obligation to do so, but if the ticket is transferrable, at least you wouldn't feel like it was going to waste.

scotcat60

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Re: Spookycatlady Bails Again
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2014, 07:52:52 AM »
Could they be worried that you think you might be spoiling their day by not going with them when you had planned it, and trying to reassure  you that it doesn't matter, and they would rather be with you anyway? As for the health issues, I am with the broken ankle brigade. Mental health issues are not imaginary, they are as real as the broken limb, and need to be treated as real. You are doing that. Hang in there, and get well soon.