Brunch—Confessions of a Sufferer of Anxiety—the Real Truth
Today is my brothers’ birthday. He loves The Belvedere,so my sister in law invited me to a family brunch with them. As I sit here waiting for them to get here I am a little scared. A little panicky. I can feel the heat rising. There is no one else here, so it will just be my family. And me.
Yet I’m nervous.
It’s just brunch to most. To me it’s so much more. I have been having problems eating lately. A few weeks ago, a person that my mother worked with made the mistake of telling me that I looked like I lost weight. With that, I know that I must eat. However I am afraid that if I don’t…. I will waste away to nothing as I did 23 years ago. I will be so sick. So when I have to eat, I panic slightly. It’s then hard for me to eat. My stomach gets upset at the thought.
So I am here. Most would say ..” so don’t eat… you can eat later… “ or “if you don’t feel well and want to leave, you can.” Oh if it could be that easy. To me it is not.
If I leave… if I don’t eat… I have failed.
I am reminded of something that I read years ago when I was just learning about panic. It’s something that I in fact say to others. “Practice with Patience.” I have no patience for myself though. If I don’t do this …. I failed and I am afraid I will never be able to do it again. To me, this is not a practice.. but a test.
I know it shouldn’t be. I know that by just coming here I am taking a step…in the right direction. At least that is what I am supposed to know. But I can’t take that failure.
I also don’t want to embarrass my brother. I don’t want to cry.
I sit here waiting for my brothers family to show. I am scared. My heart beats fast. I pray that I can feel okay when they are here.
His sister in law shows up. We chat. I feel okay. We go back and wait for the rest of the party. I don’t know what to order, so I get creamed chip beef. Why did I do that? My dad used to give me creamed chip beef after I had my daughter.. when I was so sick. This chip beef tastes the same. It’s a huge portion. I feel a little sick but I eat a little. I feel like I might pass out.
We make conversation. I start to plan my escape. I look for money so that I can pay my meter. My brother checks in on me. Oh shoot… people can tell. What if I can’t make it out of here?
We go back to talking.
I play with my food and I eat a little more. We talk and laugh about lots of things. I am making it through. I am enjoying myself. I sure wish that I didn’t have such fear for no reason.
The check comes and its time to go. We take pictures by the tree.
I think my brother is happy. I’m so glad that I made it.
I go back to my car and cry.