Bipolar Disorder, Healthy Minds Canada, My Real Opinion

I Am Stronger Than I Realize

My wedding was this past Sunday (May 17). I had been worried about how I would handle the crowd of people, how I would handle any impending anxiety, the build up, etc. But I am happy to say that I made it through the day without too much anxiety and I actually enjoyed myself. Yes, there were a few hiccups and there were a few anxious moments but I didn’t freak out, didn’t have to avoid people and I was smiling, happy and have no regrets.

My parents, friends and husband are surprised at how stoic and calm I was. I completely surprised myself too. This experience taught me that I am stronger than I realize and by distracting my mind with positive situations, I can handle big events. Maybe also because I wanted to enjoy my wedding, I was able to.

cameraLeading up to the big day, as previously mentioned in another post, I was pestered with questions like, “Are you nervous?”, which of course made me nervous. Why couldn’t people just say positive things to me like, “You must be getting excited,” or, “This must be a happy time for you”? I was also growing weary of people asking me how I was feeling. How was I supposed to be feeling? It doesn’t matter now that it’s over but I wouldn’t be pestering people who are getting married with these questions. I don’t like people telling me how I should be feeling.

It was great on the day of my wedding to receive positive compliments about my appearance – that I can handle (seeing as I have self-esteem issues). We were really lucky to have a great wedding party and such caring friends to surround us. While I have “lost” 4 friends since we became engaged and since sending out the wedding invitations, the wisdom I have gained and the kindness and generosity I have received from other friends has more than made up for it. Those former friends are clearly not people I want to waste my time on anymore.

I am sad now that it is over. I was riding the high for so long and using my energy from my hypomania to get through the past few months. Now what? Will the energy continue? Will I feel “let-down”? We are taking a short trip to New York to get away, and afterwards we will have a few days before going back to work. I won’t have been at work for about 3 weeks. It will be an adjustment. I wonder what my mood will be like.

I am terrible with change, good or bad. I am sure I will feel a little sad and melancholy after my trip and before starting work again, but that is just part of life and part of having mood cycles. I  have to accept this reality, and feel comfortable with what happens.

Bipolar Disorder, Healthy Minds Canada, My Real Opinion

Wedding Day Build Up

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.

keep the faith

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…