I’m not a control freak, I’m just anxious

Well who would have thought it, a week after saying I wans’t sure if I would ever put pen to paper again in a blogging sense I have found something I want to talk about. Why anxious people can’t just ‘go with the flow’ at social events.

The inspiration for this post came from how I spent my weekend. It has been a bank holiday in the UK and the weather has been suprisingly okay. The perfect scenario for a barbeque you might think, and indeed that is what the hubby and myself did. Not having one ourselves, but attending a surprise barbeque/birthday party. Organised by a friend of mine for her fella who is now in the 40’s club.

The invites had been sent out months ago. Everything looked like it had been carefully planed ( croquet on the lawn, Pimms refreshments, followed by food, entertainments and camping on the lawn). So despite my high levels of anxiety at the moment and not knowing anyone else  other than my friend and her fella and the hubby I felt ok about going.

Why are plans important for anxious people?

People with anxiety worry. This may sound very obvious. But what people with little experience of anxiety may not realise is just how much we can find to worry about.


You name it, we will be stressing about it. Will I do something wrong? Will I say the wrong thing? What will other people be doing? What will they think of me?…..
However its not all bad, we have coping mechanisms and the biggest one of these is to plan. If we can anticipate any potential problems then we can put strategies in place to deal with them. (If you ever get invited to an event organised by an anxious person you will be well looked after).

So you can begin to see why the when/where/how details are very important to the anxious person planning to attend a social event. And this birthday party had plans by the bucket load.

The Facebook event page for the party had listed everything. Overnight accommodation had been considered, pre-erected tents in the garden, and room in the house if the tents were full. Food had been organised, the barbeque, a curry and extra buffet food bought by guests. There was an hour by hour run down of what was happening and where in the garden. Honestly it was a thing of beauty and made my little anxious heart happy.

What went wrong?

I’m sure you have guessed by now that things didn’t go to plan on the weekend.

Or to be more precise I found out as the afternoon and evening went on that the beautifully laid out plans were not set in stone, but were flexible.

Why I hadn’t anticipated this is a suprise to me. My friends are awesome, but are somewhat bohemian. (He is a musician, she is a pagan witch) They are very much ‘go with the flow’ types.

The problems occured because the Facebook event page was run by my  friend but the actual event was held at a friend of hers house/garden.  This friend of my friend was not aware that they were suppose to be organising the BBQ or accomodation and as a consequence there were no extra tents for us to sleep in and the BBQ was forgotten because no one remebered to buy charcoal.

So, no food (unless you ate curry, I didn’t) and nowhere to sleep. This was not the evening I had mentally prepared for, and without those plans the anxiety hit big time.

It seamed like most of the other guests were more prepared than us and had made their own arrangements for food and sleep. So as well as thinking ‘Will we end up sleeping on the lawn’ and  ‘How long is the evening/night going to be when I’m already hungry’ I was also thinking  ‘what are the other guests going to be thinking about the idiots who didn’t bring a tent’.  These may seam like silly things to worry about in the grand scheme of things, but when anxiety is biting it is easy to become fixated on these problems.

So how did it end up?

In the end we ended up going back to my friends house and sleeping in their spare room. My dinner consisted of  slices of cheesecake and all their friends were really lovely, but by then I was miserable and just wanted to go home.

What is the purpose of this post?

As I read this post back, I can see that it comes aross as a bit whingy, but that was not my aim when I started writing it. What I wanted to highlight was how important it is for people like myself to know the When/Where/How details when they’re going out. We’re not being control freaks by wanting to know all the details. We’re not being  awkward by not wanting to change things last minute. And we’re not  being selfish or spoilt divas if we get upset when things are changed. We want to be able to enjoy your company and help you celebrate your special events but we need to do it in a way that enables us to feel secure and safe.

Scientific Fact* Anxious Dragons feed on blog comments. Please help keep this dragon well fed. Thank you Xxxx

*Possibly not true


  1. endardoo

    April 23, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    Gosh, I feel your pain … the unpredicted things can be a real bummer. As an amusing aside though, you mentioned croquet on the lawn, and for one second I thought about you doing crochet on the lawn, and imagined you would be in your element!

    1. hooks_and_dragons

      April 23, 2019 at 1:50 pm

      Ha, i may try crocheting outside this summer

  2. Mrs A And The Brexit Problem - Hooks and Dragons

    November 29, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    […] I suffer from anxiety. Anxious people dont like unpredictability. Rules, structure and familiarity are our friends and make us feel safe. We like to know whats going to happen in every aspect of our lives, be that good or bad so we can plan for things. I’ve written about my need to know what’s going on in posts such as I’m Not A Control Freak, I’m Just Anxious . […]

  3. Stewart Harding

    May 29, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    Great blog my friend 🙂

    1. hooks_and_dragons

      June 4, 2017 at 6:03 am

      Thank you xx

  4. DomesticatedMomster

    September 13, 2016 at 2:17 am

    I can totally relate to this post, not only because I too suffer from anxiety but because it totally the truth! I am the type of person that if you call and ask to something with me on that day I will say no because I already planned my day out and I prefer to have a day in advance to plan. I hate myself for it sometimes and probably miss out on a lot but it is what it is and who I am. Thanks for linking up with #momsterslink and I apologize for the delay in my commenting but the truth is, I am just always behind these days when it comes to blogging. Hope to see you Thursday!

    1. Hooks and Dragons

      September 13, 2016 at 5:31 am

      No need to apologise honey, ive been there, know how hard it is xxx

  5. Lisa Pomerantz

    September 11, 2016 at 12:23 am

    I recognize this blogger and welcome back, new look and feel. Anxiety still holding strong? I’m with ya. More of late. Nice to see you! M’wah! #BigPinkLink

    1. Hooks and Dragons

      September 11, 2016 at 6:42 am

      Lovely to be back my dear xx

  6. thismumslife

    September 8, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    Oh dear, it’s a shame when miscommunication can lead to a lot of things going wrong. Like you say, they may not have felt like they’d hugely ‘gone wrong’ for non anxiety sufferers, but the knock on affect to you was underestimated. I’m sorry that it ruined the evening for you, hopefully the cheesecake was a small consolation!

    1. Hooks and Dragons

      September 8, 2016 at 6:55 pm

      There are very few situations that cant be made a little bit better with lemon cheesecake 😊

  7. Mummy Muckups (Anna)

    September 5, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    It totally sounded so organised!! I was mildly amazed! What a stuff up though, heh? No food or tents; kinda biggies, I think!! Glad you made it through. Sounds so exhausting and it sucks you have to feel this way. xxx #bigpinklink

    1. Hooks and Dragons

      September 5, 2016 at 10:06 pm

      To be fair there was curry there, and I think I am possibly the only person on the planet who doesn’t eat it, but the tents thing, yeah that was pants 😀

  8. restlessmonologue

    September 5, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    I think the world is divided into those who crave spontaneity and those who run a million miles to avoid it! I don’t mind a bit of chaos (personal only, not work, no way!) but my husband would want to know in advance if I was ever to throw him a ‘surprise’ party…..otherwise its all too stressful. Glad the cheesecake was good 😉 #FartGlitter

    1. Hooks and Dragons

      September 5, 2016 at 9:02 pm

      Maybe he would be better organising a surprise party for you 😀

      1. restlessmonologue

        September 6, 2016 at 7:02 am

        Actually on second thoughts maybe I’d hate it too!! x

  9. Squirmy Popple

    September 5, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    I know what you mean. I like plans and get really anxious, kind of stupidly so, when they get changed. I know there’s no rational reason for me to get so upset – things are different than I expected, and I should just get over it – but it really throws me through a loop sometimes. #fartglitter

    1. Hooks and Dragons

      September 5, 2016 at 7:17 pm

      Its hard when you know your not behaving/thinking rationally but you dont have any way of changing it xx

  10. Samsam - Simply A Mama

    September 5, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Glad you’re writing again, on the bright side you ate that slice of cheese cake and your friends were being lovely #momsterslink

    1. Hooks and Dragons

      September 5, 2016 at 12:20 pm

      Yes, I hope it comes through in the post that I am not being critical of my friends. They are awesome and it was a lovely party, it is just my anxiety that prevented me from enjoying it properly xx

  11. ljdove23

    September 5, 2016 at 8:55 am

    I have suffered with anxiety my whole life, I actually developed panic disorder and have had countless bouts of CBT. I think people consider us control freaks for wanting to know all of the details but they have no idea just how important this is for us. I also think that people assume I am a let down as often I have to cancel plans as I just cant face it, anxiety can be so consuming and out right debilitating. Great post. #bigpinklink

    1. Hooks and Dragons

      September 5, 2016 at 9:33 am

      Yes I know the feeling of being a let down too. I have had to back out of a social event just this morning as the friend who was organising it had invited people I dont know. This makes me sound like a real stuck up cow, but I cant cope with visiting a new place AND meeting strangers at the same time xx

  12. plesaoana

    September 5, 2016 at 8:20 am

    I’m not an anxious person, but I believe in a good planning strategy 🙂 #FartGlitter

    1. Hooks and Dragons

      September 5, 2016 at 9:28 am

      Good planning is the key to being less anxious xx

  13. Heather Keet

    September 5, 2016 at 5:06 am

    Great post! I’ve learned to let go in some areas, in others I tend to hold it in a vise grip. #fartglitter

    1. Hooks and Dragons

      September 5, 2016 at 5:32 am

      I can hand over control as long as I know what their plans are. I am not equipped to go with the flow xx

  14. Lisa Pomerantz

    September 3, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Life is not easy for those of us with issues of control. I am learning with age, comes release of this. Thankfully. We can only do so much, ya know! #momsterlink

  15. thefrenchiemummy

    September 2, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    I hope next time will be better for you. It happens sometimes. In the end, it wasn’t all bad, some cake was involved but I get your point. Sometimes I can lose it if things aren’t going as planned in the first place #momsterlink

  16. Mother of Teenagers

    September 2, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    Oh dear, I simultaneously laughed and cried during this post. I am a total control freak and need to know all the finer details of any plan that involves an overnight stay and would have freaked out too at the scenario you found yourself in. Well done for holding it together. I am currently planning my 50th and have made a note to make sure I don’t miss out any fine planning details. #momsterslink

    1. Hooks and Dragons

      September 2, 2016 at 4:52 pm

      Oh, well done to you for even thinking about planning a party. That would send me into a total tizz. Waaay too many things to think about x

  17. helen gandy

    September 1, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    I worry about everything. I over analyse everything and obsess about things going wrong! Lovely to have you linking up again honey! #bestandworst

    1. Hooks and Dragons

      September 1, 2016 at 7:13 pm

      It does seem to be something that a lot of mums can relate to in varying degrees.
      And thank you, its lovely to be part of your linky again xx

  18. alifeinpracticeblog.com

    September 1, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    I never considered myself an ‘anxious’ person about social events but hearing your story… yeah I pretty much tick those boxes! This is actually really helpful for me to realise as I’m sure I can make future events much more pleasant for myself with a better understanding of what I need! tweeted! #momsterslink

    1. Hooks and Dragons

      September 1, 2016 at 8:29 pm

      Im glad my story has been a help to you xxx

  19. Heather Keet

    September 1, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    I am a HUGE planner and get nervous when I have to wing it. But I’m also a procrastinator so I end up nervous quite often. #momsterslink

    1. Hooks and Dragons

      September 1, 2016 at 7:35 pm

      Oh yes, I know that one. If I can possibly put stuff off I will. Twitter is my down fall

  20. mummyhereandthere

    August 31, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    Nodding along in agreement, have chronic anxiety and wholeheartedly relate. I think because ‘control’ is black and white something we can hold on to, it makes me feel safe and gives me comfort. When it is taken away or flexible and I am not mentally prepared I have a meltdown or run away. Either way anxiety sucks. Sending you lots of love X #bestandworst

    1. Hooks and Dragons

      August 31, 2016 at 7:00 pm

      Yes it is not easy to have a lack of control about the what/where/whens of your day x

  21. jeremy@thirstydaddy

    August 31, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    I’m a planner and I can react on the fly to plans changing, but there better be a damn good reason. Good to see you back

    1. Hooks and Dragons

      August 31, 2016 at 5:16 pm

      Usually I would have had several contingency plans in place, but I was lulled into a false sense of security.
      And its good to be back, thanks xx

  22. Steve shore

    August 30, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    I can relate to this i also have anxiety and i like things planned and i get panic attacks if things go wrong as well

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      August 30, 2016 at 7:17 pm

      It seams to be quite a common thing xx

  23. Rhyming with Wine

    August 30, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Yes yes yes and so very much yes! The cheesecake for tea bit I can roll with 😉 but I would have been with you in the “how in God’s name is this all going to pan out” somewhat panicky mode. To me this makes perfect sense, but thank you for putting into words how it feels in a way that I just never manage to. You belong with that pen in your hand lovely. So pleased to be reading your work again xx

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      August 30, 2016 at 11:50 am

      The cheesecake was awesome (my own lemon cheesecake recipe).

      Its lovely to be writing and receiving lovely comments again xx

    2. Rhyming with Wine

      September 5, 2016 at 7:21 pm

      I love love love your new theme and look. So good to have you back! Thanks for linking up with #fartglitter xx

      1. Hooks and Dragons

        September 5, 2016 at 7:23 pm

        Thank you my dear, its good to be back xx

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