Here’s some Raya anxiety anecdotes and how to overcome them. Whenever the fasting month ends, most people get excited by the fact Eid is coming up. Well, not me.
I’m not a very festive person to begin with and anxiety plays a huge role in shaping me to be so. (Also, the fear of being hit by those “pop-pop” fire cracker thingys is immensely real).
Eid, or Hari Raya in fact any festivity involves a large group (read: crowd) and you know how I feel about crowds.
Oh crowds, what more when you are related to them. All of the successful cousins you mentally use as a yardstick to compare yourself to, all the inquisitive aunts you get interrogated by and all the unknown faces from god knows what degree of blood related connection.
This post probably presents me as someone who isn’t family oriented but don’t get me wrong, I love my mum so technically I’m a (nuclear) family oriented person. And that arised when you’re surrounded by judgemental extended family.
Every Raya, there’s always a question I dread:
The year I took SPM: bila SPM? A question that further fuels my nervousness of taking the (then) biggest test of my life.
The year I entered college: So what are you gonna study? A question that makes me explain the social service aspect of majoring in Economics only to be shut down by statements saying I should do engineering or something science-ish, eww.
The year I was going to fly off to the States: When’s your flight date? A question I reluctantly answered because I feared a whole crowd of people would show up to the already crowded airport.
The year I graduated from college: Dah kerja? Bila nak kerja? Just. Stop.
I know what you’re thinking, being so nervous about such questions is preposterous and you bet other people handle it fine, but the that’s what generalized anxiety is like. My brain magnifies something out of nothing, and it’s a horrible thinking pattern.
Thankfully this year, I did not fall into that thinking trap. I have to credit my therapist for that.
Regardless of the festivity, people are going to be inquisitive, especially mak ciks. And if you don’t want to deal with the uneasiness of the questions that usually beckon, prep your answers. Quick-witted clapbacks are Raya essentials for me.
Another Raya anxiety hack, eat your medication slightly earlier. You’ll never know how late house guests may come for a visit. For instance, on the first day of Raya this year my mum said her sister and my aunt and cousin came by. I, on the other hand slept through all of it, like a baby.
Sometimes the usual questions that you get from previous Raya years don’t repeat themselves and you’re blindsided by first-time questions. This year, I was thrown in to the deep end by a comment made about my current job with comments that included how it was a waste that the government invested in someone who works at a start-up. Well, let’s just say the person who stated such a thing got a mouthful from me and even my mum, who defended me by saying “have a job that makes you happy”. Mad props to my mother for saying that!
So let’s recap on the eid anxiety hacks: prep you self with potential questions, treat questions as they are because humans are curious creatures and you’ll require your mum defending your butt in certain situations.
But none of the above can save you from the question everyone dreads during Raya: bila nak kahwin? Well, let’s just say for that anxiety inducing question you might need other reinforcements to save you from being a ball of anxiety as seen the Snapchat screenshot below: