|No veil can hold back all these feelings.|
By this I mean that I am experiencing all of the feelings. All of them.
My new therapist said from our first meeting that she hates weddings because they cause so much stress and conflict. I have been lucky in that my mom has taken on most of this stress through planning the rehearsal dinner, wedding, and out-of-towner brunch. We haven't faced any crazy levels of conflict either... but a wedding is a wedding.
Nobody can save me from the emotional significance of my wedding day.
My anxiety disorder has compounded with the natural anxiety of being a bride. This has lead to an experience of intense volatility, and I am moving through the whole gamut of human emotions hour by hour: from elation, to despair, to anger, to amusement, to frustration, to excitement, to irritation, to anxiety, to contentment. It is not about cold feet or doubt as to whether the marriage is the right thing; it is like marriage has initiated some kind of emotional existential crisis.
My thought processes move like this:
It will be lovely to move into a new house with my new husband.
I NEVER GET TO LIVE AT MY HOME WITH MY FAMILY AGAIN.
We get to really start building our own family!
WHAT IF I CAN NEVER GET PREGNANT?
I love my fiancé, he is so handsome and kind.
WHY IS HE SLEEPING?! I NEED TO TALK TO HIM! HOW COULD HE DO THIS?
My fiancé and I get to spend the rest of our lives together.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DIE?
I can't wait for my wedding!
THIS IS THE LAST TIME ALL YOUR FRIENDS WILL BE TOGETHER.
I wish I could stay focused on the positive and joyful pieces of the now, but when you have anxiety, the darker thoughts always find a way to mix in somehow. You are often worried about the future or upset about the past. Having OCD can make this hard as well, as thoughts that you don't want to have seem to stick the worst. Therapists will recommend mindfulness techniques, but it can be very hard not to get caught up in your fears.
Now, I am the first to admit that a high level of irrationality has taken hold. This was proven to me the other day when I called the auto-body shop to cancel an appointment. I was mid-major crying breakdown as I dialed (functional even mid-frenzy). I was so hysterical on the phone that the worker let me know that I could still come there if I needed to talk to someone. You know you have reached maximum-crazy-woman-potential when the man at the car shop is offering you emotional support.
I have strong logic skills, so my irrationality is always interestingly tempered by some understanding that I'm being irrational. For example, yesterday when we went to get our Ketubah (the Jewish marriage contract) framed, the woman was curt and dismissive of us, and I was very perturbed. I refused to go anywhere else that day to handle the errand.
I was irrationally upset, and all I wanted to do was call customer service and rant, but I also didn't want anyone to lose their jobs or be punished. I mean, this woman was probably being paid minimum wage which isn't enough to care about anything really. I realized the call would be useless, consisting of me saying that I was wronged but refusing to say when or by who.
I played out what I would say in my head, but I never called. I took a nap instead. Lucky for Michael's customer service line, I am not good at lashing out. Truthfully, I think the world would be a much happier place if more people took naps instead of calling customer service.
After that nap, I woke up and through the rest of the day and night continued to move up and down through the emotions. Today has been exactly the same. It's fascinating to experience (if understandably somewhat frightening to spectators). I'm just trying to move through and hopefully not cause too much collateral damage.
The wedding is now 11 days away. I'm lucky enough to get to marry the man of my dreams, and if it takes an emotional rollercoaster to get to the alter... at this point I just need to laugh and enjoy the ride. Getting to have him as my husband at the end of the day will be the ultimate triumph.