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Out with friend do I go?

(46 Posts)
ruthiek Wed 20-Sep-23 13:00:51

I have retired 18 months ago and I will be honest I went through a bit of a hard time adjusting , however I have got into a nice safer life although still have episodes .but I have a problem which I can’t seem to get right.
I have a friend who have known for years we worked together and I would say we were close she says I am her best friend , however even though she now lives alone it is always me who reaches out to her Unless she wants me to do
Something -she tends to be happy on her own but she is over generous over Xmas and birthday presents etc and she has bought me tickets to see wonderful shows but often I have been unable to go due to anxiety, this time I am meant to go with her to a show next week and I am having the usual anxiety about going to a large city With the rush on under ground etc which is making me ill , I think if I let her down this time it will be “it” however as I say she doesn’t t bother with me usually It’s so confusing as if I have to go anywhere with my husband I feel safe , sorry for the ramble

grandtanteJE65 Wed 20-Sep-23 13:11:40

If this woman really is a friend, she will understand, or at least try to, if you explain that you have anxiety issues about being on the underground and in a big city.

So explain that although you would like to see the show, getting there is just too much for you, and why this is.

If she can't or won't understand, then quite honestly she is the kind of "friend" you can well do without.

Try to make new friends and accept that some work-place friendships do not survive retirement, and that at any time of life you may to your disappointment find during hard times that some of your friends were "fair-weather friends" who simply are not interested in keeping up the friendship when health or other issues crop up.

ruthiek Wed 20-Sep-23 23:29:24

Thank you really struggling x

crazyH Wed 20-Sep-23 23:49:02

ruthiek - I’m so sorry you are struggling. Looks like you need to move away from work friendships and create a new circle. Perhaps join an over-50s club ? There’s nothing wrong with wanting your husband to accompany you. You are lucky you have a supportive husband. Mine left after 25years of marriage. Anyway, it’s not about me. Have you seen your Doctor , regarding your anxiety? I hope you feel better soon. Explain your feelings to your friend and I’m sure she’ll understand. Good luck !

nanna8 Thu 21-Sep-23 00:04:26

That’s a hard one,ruthiek. If you like the show other than the travelling part I would try to go but if it is a show you are not interested in I would think twice about putting yourself through stress and anxiety. If crowds upset you maybe take a mild tranquilliser before you set off. Really mild, because you don’t want to feel sleepy or not with it! I can empathise in a way - I don’t like flying but living here you have to from time to time. I dread it. Good luck with whatever you decide and ,as others have said,I would talk to your friend about your feelings,too.

Shelflife Thu 21-Sep-23 00:20:07

Explain your anxiety to her , she ought to understand and behave accordingly - if she is incapable of supporting you then you should question your relationship with her . A true friend would be there for you and be prepared to compromise. I question why she feels the need to be over generous when it comes to birthday and Christmas gifts ? Is she really the sort of ' friend ' you want ? It appears that she buys the tickets for a show without consulting you! and does' nt bother much with you at other times. If going to the city is too much for you and the busy underground is completely over facing for you then don't go. If that ends your 'friendship ' with her then so be it. Protect yourself , you know what you are capable of and also know that certain situations will make you ill, so please look after yourself. Who knows you may find a friend who is not so full on and is happy to simply meet up for a quiet coffee and a chat or a stroll in the park . Don't feel guilty for taking care of yourself or because she has bought the tickets for the show. Hope you feel you can be bold and just say NO to the show. I wish you well and sincerely hope you begin to feel better soon . If you are struggling now it is clear that a trip out to a show and all that entails will be detremental to your well-being .Don't go , out your emotional health first and good luck.

Shelflife Thu 21-Sep-23 00:22:01

'Out ' should read 'put' - apologies!

NotSpaghetti Thu 21-Sep-23 06:17:21

Could you go if it was a taxi?
Just wondering.

V3ra Thu 21-Sep-23 07:14:32

Your friend sounds quite lonely to me. Maybe she doesn't reach out to you because she doesn't want to intrude with your husband being there, so she waits for you to contact her?
If she keeps buying you over-generous presents like tickets to shows is it because she has no-one else to go with?

Do you work out your underground route before you go or just wing it once you're there?
Why not ask your husband to sit down with you, look at the map, work out your route and write it down. Then you'd feel he was supporting you on the day. I've done this many times, I'll even write down whether I need the northbound or southbound line.
If you walk along the platform nearly to the end the carriages are often quieter. Let all the people in a hurry go first and take it steady.

NotSpaghetti has a better idea of taking a taxi though, would you feel safer doing that?

Oopsadaisy1 Thu 21-Sep-23 08:04:24

My first thought was, like others, take a taxi from the train station, as she has been generous with the tickets, the taxi could be your treat?

MerylStreep Thu 21-Sep-23 08:14:39

I would take a taxi and also watch your timings Re going into the theatre so you’re one of the last to go in. Your seats are booked so that’s not a problem. The same when leaving. Just stay in your seat until the crowds have more or less left.

Casdon Thu 21-Sep-23 08:22:47

I think a taxi is a good idea too. The problem with anxiety is that you have to manage it, and live your life regardless, or it eats you up, you do less and less - and the less you do, the more it grows until your life is so restricted you can’t do anything.
Explain to your friend how difficult this is for you, and I’m sure she’ll meet you at the taxi drop off, and make sure you’re safely on your way home after the show. Have a lovely time!

J52 Thu 21-Sep-23 08:57:15

As the ticket are already bought and it’s her treat, I’d take a taxi from the station, at my own expense.
Maybe another time , you could suggest a different outing that you’re more comfortable with, such as a NT property.
That’s if you want to maintain the friendship.

Cabbie21 Thu 21-Sep-23 09:35:04

If you want to avoid rush hour could you maybe meet earlier and have a meal before the show? Would that help?

Annanan Fri 22-Sep-23 11:34:36

Can you find a bus route? You’d be able to use your bus pass. I always plan ahead to find a bus route, as I have problems with stairs.

GoldenAge Fri 22-Sep-23 11:36:36

ruthiek - irrespective of how you manage the situation with your friend, you need to pursue ways of reducing your anxiety. You should see a counsellor who may be able to trace the root of this, it sounds very much like social anxiety and there are several techniques you can use to alleviate that. It's great that your husband supports you but it's not great that you are restricted to only going out with him because of the anxiety. You can obtain 6 weeks of free counselling via your GP or your local council/borough that might offer talking therapy on a self-referred basis. You'll be a happier person if you know how to control the anxiety and are able to maintain friendships.

biglouis Fri 22-Sep-23 11:46:00

I understand your anxiety of noisy crowded places. From someone who travelled alone to unusual places that it is difficult to visit now (think Afghanistan, Iran etc) I now feel very negative about making the effort to go anywhere with a lot of people. If I do to out to visit a friend its a taxi door to door so I choose my outings carefully.

As other posters have pointed out some friendships do not survive retirement. You have adjusted to a different pace of life on a lower level of activity but your erstwhile companion still wants to buzz about. I can only echo the suggestions made upthread about seeking companions nearer home.

EEJit Fri 22-Sep-23 11:57:28

Have you spoken to your doctor about your anxiety, don't suffer alone.

rileydog Fri 22-Sep-23 12:00:47

I agree with GoldenAge. Until I retired I worked as a Psychological Well-being Practitioner. This involved working with people such as yourself with anxiety and/or depression. By learning and using a few simple techniques your anxiety levels could be significantly reduced. Your GP should be able to point you in the right direction for this free service. Good luck!

Baggs Fri 22-Sep-23 12:05:21

I wonder if your friend is anxious about going to shows and using the underground too. Could it be that that's why she buys the tickets without consulting you and apparently isn't aware of your feelings?

JdotJ Fri 22-Sep-23 12:06:39

Could you perhaps get a taxi instead of having to use the underground.
I hate the tube and, like you, get anxious at the thought.
I'm okay with mainline trains (just) but the thought of descending underground fills me with dread so either hop on a London bus or, jump in a taxi to get to the theatre etc
You could say it was your treat fishes been generous with tickets/gifts

JdotJ Fri 22-Sep-23 12:07:25

If she....... NOT fishes confused

jenpax Fri 22-Sep-23 12:08:21

I suffer from huge anxiety in London and feel totally over whelmed to be honest. I take taxis everywhere when I go up to London. I know its not cheap but at least it saves the stress! Another option is to get an airport transfer car (ours does no airport runs too) and get dropped and picked up at the venue.

MaggsMcG Fri 22-Sep-23 12:16:08

If you can afford it use a taxi in the city. Or if not try the buses. If explaining your anxiety doesn't help then maybe the friendship has come to a natural end.

Kartush Fri 22-Sep-23 12:18:48

I hate going anywhere with my husband, if I am forced to go with other people I get nauseous, anxious and just do not enjoy the experience.