I hate being asked the same question repeatedly. Maybe it’s because I hate having to repeat myself, and maybe it’s because I fear how I will respond. If I am in a hypomanic or agitated state, I worry I will snap at someone. I hate being told I am irritable or seem edgy (don’t remind me how I’m feeling, I am perfectly aware, thank you). Why am I thinking this way? The wedding is just around the corner, and naturally, people like to ask the usual questions: “Are you excited?”, “Do you have everything done?”, “Are you ready?”, etc.
To answer those questions:
- I am getting excited but anticipation is my worst enemy.
- I have almost everything finished and ready to go, though I had a bit of a set back this weekend that was totally uncalled for and made me very agitated.
- Am I ready? Are we ever ready for these life events? Ready in what way? Mentally? Emotionally? Physically?
To elaborate on these points, my anxiety usually stems from the fear of the unknown. I hate not knowing what will happen, relying on other people, worrying if someone will show up on time, will cooperate, if everything will go as planned…and it doesn’t help when people keep telling me not to have any expectations and to expect disappointments and “things” to happen on the wedding day. It begs the question, “Do you know me at all?” I hate when people make comments that cause me to have further ruminative thoughts or when someone tells me not to be anxious. You can’t tell an anxious person not to be anxious- it’s not that easy to turn it off. I wish it was that simple. The build-up before an event is always the hardest part…so I hope I can be as calm and relaxed this week as possible.
In terms of being prepared and getting things crossed off my list, I was really proud of myself for finishing the seating plan, organizing the guest lists according to how the wedding planner needed them, etc. I was able to breathe a sigh of relief. Only a couple minor things left to do. I woke up Saturday morning to a text message from a friend who decided not to come to the wedding at the last minute. I had to scramble to rearrange everything over the weekend! The extra work made me angry, but what also got me angry was this person’s behaviour. I am understanding to a point, and I understand that people have issues, but this was very strange behaviour as she had just told two other friends that she was coming and who she was bringing, and her Instagram photos from this weekend did not reflect the reason she gave me for not attending. As one other friend told me, “Weddings and funerals bring out the worst in people,” and as my Dad has been telling me, since I have had quite a few issues with friends and disappointments lately, “This is the litmus test.” I know who my real friends are.
Am I ready? Since my fiance and I have been living together for almost 2 years, I really don’t know what will change other than how we refer to other, and getting used to saying husband and wife. Am I ready to see all those people and be at the biggest social event of my life? I will say I am definitely looking forward to seeing the people that are coming and I’m honoured that those who are coming are choosing to spend the long weekend with us. I have a very small family and the fact that my father has quite a few cousins coming in is fantastic and makes me very happy. It is a testament to how well liked he and my mother are. I am not nervous about saying a speech or pictures, I’m used to those things. Once we are ready and get to the pictures and that part, I know I will be fine. It’s just getting to that part! I know every bride is nervous on her wedding day and as the wedding day approaches. I am concerned about my mood becoming too high but I can also put a positive spin on it and tell myself that people expect a bride to be happy and elated. I don’t think anyone would judge if I was hyper and happy, right?
I want to find a way to enjoy the day without letting my thoughts get the best of me. Unfortunately, I was in a terrible mood the day of my engagement party and couldn’t enjoy it the way I should have. I to love my wedding day. I want to see myself as beautiful and to stop worrying if my arms look fat, if my face looks fat, if I will hate how my face looks in photos, if people are judging me, if people are enjoying themselves…it should just be my day and I should be kind to myself. I need to just let it be and learn to be. Easier said than done…
About Melanie Luxenberg
My name is Melanie Luxenberg and I am finally ready to live openly with mental illness. I was first diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder in 2003, which I still experience. At the same time, I was diagnosed with Social Anxiety (which I also still experience), and then briefly experienced Agoraphobia. I have had depression on and off since I was 13 years old. In July 2010 I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder II. Shortly after it was realized that I experienced rapid cycling. I can experience multiple cycles in a week. Despite my diagnosis, I completed a university degree and then a college program. I have always held stable employment, regularly taken my medication and regularly attended my doctor’s appointments. There have been times of hopelessness, but I have always found support from my family, husband and 3 dogs. I am a law clerk, social media/content writer and of course, mental health advocate. My Twitter feed is full of mental health advocacy messages. I hope one day to see the end of stigma towards mental illness, because stigma has to stop!