View Full Version : Knots in my Stomach

12-24-2005, 04:07 PM
I have posted here several times about the anxiety I have when I am at a dinner table. I get anxiety and nervousness when I am standing in line, sometimes in class rooms etc. I have found it very hard to communicate this to my family, but I have told my boyfriend who thinks I should get some help. I guess I am just afraid of my family thinking I am a freak. Or even worse, getting on medications. Okay, this is hard for me to say since I am aware of my strange symptoms and wish they would just end already

Well, my main things is dinner tables and restaurants, the whole act of eating with a group of people just gets me into a panic mode. I have had panic attacks but now they are not panic attacks anymore (thank god) but it is a wierd sensation as well. When I am eating with a group of people, my arms and legs get a numb feeling (nervousness I suppose), then I start to get lightheaded and sometimes experience slight pains in certain part of my body such as my ears, legs, and chest. Then my arms get very weak that I am hardly able to hold up my utensils (which I end up dropping and everyone stares at me :( ). My body feels so weak that I feel as if I am going to fall over my chair or prop on the table. The worse part is that sometimes my body jerks quickly like my back or my arm or I grab something quickly because I get that falling sensation. Another scary things is that I work my anxiety up so much that if I am swallowing a piece of food, my throat paralyses and I cannot swallow. My nerves are killing me here...Its destroying the person that I am and my relationships with my family, friends, and boyfriend.

My boyfriend has noticed, but he is aware of my problem. I try very hard to avoid being in a table with more than one other person. Its easy to do it at home since I can just stay in my room, but when I go to my boyfriend's house and they get together to eat dinner, I just CANT do it. Its very hard for me to get these feelings under control. I feel so nervous that I eat 100 miles per hour and cannot sit still for one minute. I found it comfortable when I talk or have a conversation while eating but I realized the other day at breakfast with my boyfriend that I start to sound like a crazy chatter box and my nervousness is extremely obvious.

This is soo embarrassing for me that I cry sometimes. I have not gone to a restaurant with my boyfriend for over 3 months. The thought of me sitting in a restaurant scares the living crap out of me. He is very patient with me but at the same time, I know he does not fully understand and is sort of upset at me for not seeking help.

This fear of restaurants is very recent, about 4 months ago, I was an active restaurant goer with no fears whatsoever. I am able to face most places and situations (even long lines, which is another source of panic attacks for me) but I don't have the courage to face restaurants and dinner tables. I just feel so scared right now and freaked out by my own behavior. I hope this eventually subsides.

I have faith that every bad moment is a reflection of a very good moment to come. But when will it end? I just feel that I am depriving my boyfriend of the regular outtings and experiences that we used to enjoy...and my family perceives me as a loner and selfish person for not joining them for dinner and outtings anymore. But they do not know my fear and anxiety...How do you explain to someone that you are terrified of eating at a table?? How can you explain something to someone when you don't understand it yourself?

Well this is Christmas Eve and dinner will be served soon and my anxiety is overwhelming right now. I feel like crying so I felt that I needed to write. I don't want to be like this anymore, I don't want to ignore my family or feel as if I am losing control in a simple dinner table. :cry:

Well Happy Holidays to everyone. I hope you all enjoy your pig or lechon, as we cubans call it. I know it will be stuck in my throat half the time but its okay...it happens. :roll: Oh well, I think we are all in the same boat with our anxiety problems, so I am glad that I have somewhere where people understand the misunderstood...

I am very emotional right now, so I might as well write what I wish right now...I visualize this anxiety as some black, dirt ball inside of me. I wish an angel would come down from the heavens and clean that dark little spot inside of me and fill it with everything good and clean. So that I don't feel so dragged down and worn down anymore by these feelings. So that I finally feel energized, revitilized, and renewed.

Thank you all for listening...Happy Holidays!!![/i]

12-24-2005, 05:14 PM
although no one has replied yet, i shall reply at myself. I just had dinner and I followed some breathing techniques shortly after I wrote this post. I relaxed a bit and dinner was great!! I mean, I didn't get any of those crazy symptoms that are totally humiliating. I talked alot of course, but in moderation. I just enjoyed myself. Wow! I can't say I am ready to go out to restaurants just yet, since I am still a little scared, but getting through today felt like a light of hope. I am just dwelling myself into some wine right now and relaxing...no I am not an alcoholic lol! But hey, whatever losens me up for a couple of hours, you know?

Thanks ahead for anyone who will read this. I love you all!! Merry Christmas or whatever holiday you celebrate today! :lol:

12-25-2005, 09:48 AM
babycristy, I can totally relate to those symptoms.. when I have a panic attack real bad I get so weak and shake alot and have trouble swallowing too. I can barely stand and try to grab things to steady myself when I feel people can perceive me shaking. It's really a scary thing to go through sometimes.

Anyway, I'm so glad your dinner went great. Congratulations, thats awesome :D w00t! hehe

Hope your holiday is good as well!
take care

12-25-2005, 07:55 PM

Oh, you poor thing. I have the same experiences that you do. I'm so glad that it went well for you on x-mas- eve. Congratulations!!!

I anticipate any social dining. When I'm with people and eating I'm afraid I'm going to shake and everyone will see. Specifically, bringing the fork up to my mouth and worrying about food falling off and dropping on me or the table; my throat gets so tight I cannot seem to swallow and sometimes when I do swallow it seems like I have to force it down and it hurts; my arms get weak, shaky and have a numb/tingly feeling. Reaching for my glass to bring to my mouth scares me sometimes because I'm afraid of someone noticing if my hand shakes, and if I get the glass to my mouth my arms feel so weak sometimes I jerk and knock my teeth and then comes inevitable stream of drink running down my chin. I'm not clumsy - just a nervous wreck. I get dizzy/light headed and it is difficult for me to converse while eating and when I do, I chatter too much to take the focus off the food. Sometimes I pray that someone will start an interesting conversation so that everyone's full attention is on them so I can relax.

I have had friends, family members comment that I am being rude or distant because of not attending social gatherings, but how do I explain? I feel bad and I have missed out on things. I have told people that I have anxiety - I don't go into detail like I did here, and they seem to understand. The people who really care about me do at least.

I also have problems waiting in line. I feel like I'm going to pass out. My legs get weak and sometimes I jerk/spasm and reach for something to stabilize myself. This all do to anxiety.

I have more issues; but, I can say that I am much, much better now. It used to be a raging nightmare to do "normal" things.

You are not alone with this. I'm so sorry you have these experiences. I have social anxiety and general anxiety. Cognitive behavior therapy and Paxil has really helped me. Regarding medications, everyone is physiologically different and I'm just saying that it has helped me greatly but my not be everyone. I highly believe in therapy.

Though saying, "It's just anxiety" seems slight considering what we go through is devastating and interupts our lives at times severely; but it is just anxiety and you can overcome it. I thought I would never get better considering how bad I was, but I did.

Take care,


12-25-2005, 10:16 PM
soshy and shoe, thanks for your replies. I can totally relate to soshy about waiting in line...i also feel that I am about to faint. Before my days of anxiety, I had fainted a couple of times and I know the feeling of it. However, I do not get the realistic feeling of faint but in my head I feel that I am going to faint, when in reality I show no symptoms.

I have gotten through last night and today without a problem. However, I know it will not end here. I want to be positive, but I know a good day is followed by a bad one and vice versa. The thing that scares me the most is not my mental symptoms, but my physical ones since they are visible to everyone. The new things with me is the jerking. I started getting these quick jerks in my body. When I am at a dinner table and feel that I am "falling" or "faint" I get this panic and I grab onto something real tight and that is what people notice. To be honest, my whole avoidance with restaurants happened after one 'normal' evening (before my constant attacks) I was sitting at a restaurant with my boyfriend and his family. And out of the blues, I get this horrible panic attack and I try to hold it in. I didn't know what to do so I held on to my chair soo tight, I got that faint feeling again. I felt like everyone's attention and eyes were on me. The room felt like it was closing in. I had to stand up and walk to the bathroom. I told my boyfriend to tell his family that I threw up in the bathroom and had to go home. I had never felt so bad about lying in my life...but sitting through that restaurant and eating and shaking seemed far worse. Ever since then, I try to avoid restaurants at all costs because of fear of it happening again.

I try everyday to accomplish little things and I admit that I am not that bad overall...but the whole restaurant/dinner thing is what weakens me. I don't think its a specific phobia to 'restaurants' per say, since I have general anxiety in social gathering. But I can get through gatherings as long as eating is not involved.

Why is that? I don't know. I probably sound nuts but now and maybe I am :( . I just got to keep hoping and trying for now until I win this little war :?

12-27-2005, 03:58 PM
I understand your problems

Its Just so hard for me to enjoy a meal in a restraunt because as soon as i plan it i dread it as i know what my anxiety will be like. Often i dont order any food and say im feelin ill. Its horrible because i look like a fool going to a nice restraunt and then not getting any food.

12-29-2005, 02:31 PM
Hi there babychristy. I have to say that I can relate as to how you feel about restaurants. The thought of being invited out to dinner is so scary for me. I feel like I should make an excuse as to why I can't go. I know by doing that can make it seem like I am running away from the problem. I have always loved going out for dinner. And now as much as I'd love to, I just can't. If I'm in the mood for chinese food, I order in. I went out to dinner with my son who is 17 and I told him "we need to go" "I'm sorry". I felt closed in or I felt like everybody was staring at me. I started sweating and just couldn't breathe. When I got home, I was totally fine. It's so frustrating. We have a new year upon us so to all of us here, let's make it the best year that we can.

01-04-2006, 02:30 PM
yes i can relate...I think i feel trapped and that makes the symptoms worse. Waiting for the food to come is the worst time for me...normally when i start eating I am ok...but the long wait sometimes is unbearable for me.