Marie hosted a party on Saturday evening. It was for her friends with anxiety issues, but she let me attend too (as long as I agreed to help with the catering). Our guests all came from the South of England and 5 of them who had travelled about 2½ hours to get to us had booked overnight accommodation. In total there were 11 of us present.
Sufferers were afflicted in various degrees with one or more of the following conditions - agoraphobia, arachnophobia, gynophobia, haphephobia, monophobia, ocd, panthophobia, ptsd, social phobia and xenophobia. A social anxiety sufferer took 90 minutes to pluck up enough courage to ring our doorbell. Our ptsd guest didn't converse with anyone for almost 2 hours, and then talked incessantly. A few of our invited guests, including our new next door neighbour, Drew, couldn't make it because their phobias were too strong on the night and one had a stomach upset.
Marie had what looked like the contents of a small supermarket delivered from the local Asda (UK's Walmart stores). It was all snack food and cakes and the drinks were either alcoholic or sugar saturated. There wasn't a healthy tidbit in sight. As a result, the food and drink were very popular!
Our guests mostly hadn't met each other before. They were all keen to compare symptoms of their conditions as well as chatting about TV, movies, their children (who appeared to be either really sweet or real nuisances) and jobs - or lack of them. Of course, no one had to hide their condition or put on a false front, so we had a very relaxed atmosphere. Some of our guests were very pleased with themselves just for travelling so far or going somewhere with so many people.
Everyone seemed to have had a good time. No one panicked! The guests wanted Marie to have another party and the concensus was that some time around Easter would be good.
By the end of the evening, I realised that all our guests suffered from one common problem - poor self esteem.
Nobody got drunk enough to be annoying, the carpets and furniture hadn't been damaged and when all our guests had left, around 12.30 am, we completely filled a bin bag with rubbish! Blaze (our dog) got petted all evening and had some of the leftovers, so he had a good time too!
Marie's mental mates are a great bunch of people!