Posted by: Belinda | 2004/10/30

HELP! Should I be brave and risk falling again?

Hi there CS!
I'm mentally tormenting myself: I am so indecisive! Don't know WHAT to do regarding the following situation:
A few months ago I had to quit my course at university and come home due to various problems I had.
Since then I avoided EVERYTHING that remotely reminded me of university and my time there and my roommate and hostel etc etc etc.
Now my roommate's birthday party is coming up, and she has invited me.
On the one hand I would love to go and see what everyone has been up to,
but....on the other hand (the bigger one) I am so scared I'm basically wetting myself. I'm afraid that being there and seeing everyone will trigger bad memories and set me back. I know I have made HUGE progress since I've come back home, and I've developed as a person, and I'm scared that going to this party will put me back.
And I'm also not very enthusiastic about seeing everyone going on with their lives while I'm struggling to crawl my way out of this hole I fell into when I strayed off the path.
I mean, I know that they ARE going on and that I'm way behind...but still, being there would be like opening old wounds and rubbing dirt into it...
and the wounds are practically healed by now.
What should I do?????
Any input from anyone would be very welcome.
I SO want to be brave and go. I need to know that I'm a courageous person, but I also don't want to hurt myself in the process anymore. A while ago I would have gladly gone just to see myself being tortured, but now I've regained some self-respect and self-love, and this is actually making my life more complicated!!!

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Our expert says:
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Hi Belinda,
Well, whatever else you do, immediately stop mentally tormenting yourself. That doesn't help find any good solution to anything. It's hard for anyone else to give you a firm answer on this, even with far more details than you could give us in this format. So much depends, not so much on what happened, or is happening, as on your attitude to it. You have made "HUGE progress" --- well, that's something to be proud of, and could share with those who remember you at all fondly. And to those who do NOT remember you fondly --- well, getting better and better is an excellent form of revenge.
If you don't go, you'll enter a whole new phase of tormenting yourself about what might have gone so well IF you had gone, and you'll never know how well you might have coped. But don't go accompanied and preceded by all this profiundly negative thinking and catastrophizing ( I'll be awful, everyone will notice how awful I am, and that'll be a catastrophe and nothing will ever go right again ) --- but with a positive atitude. You made a reasonably choice to step aside from University for a time, and things have been going well for you. You're curious about how other people have ben getting on. The more time you spend being interested in them and encouraging them to speak about themselves, the more they'll be impressed. You say your wounds as practically healed by now. Well, put a bandage on them, and they needn't be damaged anew.
When the weekend's over, I'm sure you'll get many comments from other readers, too.

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Our users say:
Posted by: TW | 2004/11/01

I wouldnt go...esp if its could have the slightest effect in setting you back in whatever you had to go through...

Im sure your friend would understand and there is always the phone, you can always call the next day for an updates on people.

I dont know what you went through but really is one little party worth all those bad memories and the temptation. No ways if you ask me. Be strong and know that you dont have to put on a brave face...esp maybe if you arent strong enough yet?

One last thing - dont care about what people think or trying to impress people, most of them also have issues ect in there lives. No one is perfect!!!

God bless and hope you make the right decision :)

Reply to TW

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