Post # 1
I’ve had a tough, emotional year planning this wedding. I’ve realized that a huge part of that is just having to deal with so many people in various capacities…. IRL, I am not a “people person.” I am quiet, reserved and I have a hard time meeting new people and making/answering phone calls. I prefer to just be in my bubble and be left alone for the most part, with the exception of my FI. I sometimes don’t even have the energy to interact with my own family. If you’re an outgoing person reading this, you’re probably like “Whaaaaat?!?!” Normal people don’t understand, so I’m used to that.
But this has gotten almost debilitating as I’m getting down to the wire and having to set up last minute appointments and deal with various vendors and people asking me questions about the wedding. Everyone knows I prefer text/email and they’ve mostly been okay with that. Some vendors will only deal with brides over the phone, though (ugghhh) and I have to literally psych myself up to make the call each time. Also, just the thought of being the center of attention in a crowd of 100 people on the wedding day is almost panic-inducing. I’m considering asking my dr to drug me with valium or xanax, but I don’t want to be hazy. I want to remember the day clearly! I also want to be calm, though.
It adds a lot to the normal wedding stress. I was just wondering if anyone else has dealt with this. How did you cope?
Post # 3
Well I don’t have social anxiety per say, but I get anxious when I’m the center of attention.
The number one thing that will be helping me on my wedding day is (in addition to a couple glasses of champagne) our first look! Seeing my FI before I walk down the aisle at our first look will (I hope from what other brides have told me) help me get less stressed about everyone seeing me. Hopefully it will let me get my tears and anxiety out before then.
Post # 4
I have GAD and dealing with vendors on the phone is really hard for me, too. In fact right now I’m psyching myself up for a call to our caterer.
I saw a cognitive behavioral therapist for a few sessions when it got really bad over a year ago, and learned some techniques (like drilling down what you are afraid of… how likely is it that the vendor will think I’m a simpleton, yell at me or think poorly of me, and if so, so what? Chances are it will be a very smooth conversation). It’s still so hard though. I don’t panic any more about things (mostly) but I feel the anxiety lurking there.
Hugs for you 🙁
Post # 5
Are you seeing a doctor about this at all? If you are worried about being hazy at the wedding from benzos, there are other drugs that can help! Some antidepressants work great for reducing anxiety, but it takes a few weeks for them to start working. You’d have to start them ASAP. You could experiment with different doses of the benzos to see if you can find a low enough dose to keep you alert but just high enough to have an effect on your nerves. Talking to a psychologist is good too!
Post # 6
I have GAD and take Lexapro nightly. I take the high dose of 20mg. It has really helped me. It makes me tired so I have to take it before bed but it makes me a lot more relaxed.
Post # 7
I am not diagnosed with social anxiety or GAD, but I definitely am exactly like you described. In fact, it sounds like I could have written it myself. I’ve been stressing out all morning at work over a non-wedding related mess that I was going to have to get on the phone and resolve because the emails just weren’t cutting it. Luckily, it all worked out and now I am feeling better.
Anyway, as for wedding stuff, I’m lucky that my fiance is involved in planning and actually makes most of the phone calls for me. I have tried emailing vendors, but none of them ever email me back. We are going to meet with a potential venue later this afternoon and I’m kind of stressing about that too, but once it’s over I’ll be fine.
It’s been a stressful day. But at least one person relates to what you’re going through, so hopefully that makes you feel better. 🙂
Post # 8
I can completely 100% relate! I would rather use my Pizza Hut app on my phone to order pizza than make a simple phone call! I hate making phone calls and dealing with people in the public.
I’m so glad that vendors usually don’t reply to emails for anyone…I thought it was just me.
While I am currently not taking any type of medication for this, my doctor has prescribed something in the past. It did help, while I took it. If it makes you feel better, I say go ahead with the Valium or whatever…if you have an awesome photographer, anytime you’d like to remember your day, you could just look at photos. (My memory is terrible even I am not under the influence of anything!)
Post # 9
100% right there with ya. I’m not diagnosed with anything specific, but I totally should be, as I deal with those problems on a daily basis. No idea how I’m going to handle having an actual wedding. Mine is going to be small with just family and friends, and sometimes I feel like that’s worse with more pressure on me! (yeah, unrealistic)
I’ve done all my contacting vendors via email, and have 100% success doing so. I am also involving my parents, as I am in Alaska and they are in the lower 48 where my wedding will be, so they have done all the face to face work.
Are you girls planning on doing first dances, garter/bouquet toss. etc? I think eliminating what makes you most uncomfortable will help eliminate stress.
Post # 10
I have PTSD with GAD (although I think social anxiety is bit more accurate). Planning my wedding was almost as overwhelming as the actual day. I find myself wondering now, after the fact, if a simpler, private ceremony would have been better for me. I was so nervous that I couldn’t think straight the day of (although some will argue that is perfectly normal, if you have a disorder, it goes beyond nerves)… I had to block out the fact that we had guests and wasn’t smiling in most of my ceremony photos. I couldn’t look out at anyone or I would have fallen apart.
But~ I didn’t want to give away another moment in my life to this disorder and I wanted my husband to have the memory of seeing his bride walking toward him. Sharing our vows with friends and family was also important to him, although he was prepared to do whatever was comfortable for me.
I had to really steel myself for it and I wish I had made sure the day of was a slow, calm process, with music playing and only peaceful people around me, if it all. I rushed around to get my hair done and finish last minute things… try to make sure you have as much time to yourself as you need to feel ready and take a quiet moment just before you walk down the aisle to be alone with your thoughts.
As for dealing with vendors, I had the same issue. Is there anyone who will would help you handle calls and communication? Other than that, take a deep breath and walk yourself through it…the following dialouge helped me a lot. The “something bad” mentioned could be as simple as feeling stupid or having a panic attack.
why is my heart beating fast?
because i am afraid
why am i afraid?
because something bad happened to me once
is that happening now?
no, i just think it might
but is it happening right now?
so i am okay
If you feel like it’s all too much and it’s taking you further and further away from enjoying your wedding, be brave and speak up. The ceremony truly is the only thing that matters and you can have that w/o the stress of all the extras.
:)My heart goes out to you!
Post # 11
Thank you so much, Bees. It’s so reassuring to know I’m not alone!!
@calypso522: I tried seeing a psychiatrist for awhile and didn’t like it. She just wanted to talk about my feelings. I’ve had GAD/ social anxiety my entire life… talking about it how it makes me feel won’t make it go away. In fact, talking about my anxiety with a stranger just made me feel more anxious!
I do fine with everyday circumstances. Most people are SHOCKED if/when they find out about my issues, because they just think I’m shy and reserved. It’s just extraordinary circumstances like the wedding that throw me for a loop. When this happens, my regular doc gives me “emergency benzos.” I like that I can take it for a few days and then go off without any side effects. The problem is that benzos make me feel buzzed… Maybe I should just try a lower dose?
@Baby_Diva: OMG there’s a Pizza Hut app?? I always use their website. FI knew that one of the conditions of marrying me would be making ALL of the take out orders 🙂
@MrsTtheArmy11: We are not doing a receiving line, because I cannot stand and shake hands and make small talk with literally every single wedding guest all in a row like that. It’s just not happening. We will go around to tables and try to do one quick thank you per table instead.
We’re also not doing a garter toss or bouquet toss. For our first dance, we’re coming nto the ballroom and going right into the dance. We’re not doing anything silly, crazy or like “heyyyy look at us!!!!!” It will be pretty low key: walk in, give a little wave and start dancing. I’m shaving down the song so it’s less than 3 mins, the lights will be dimmed, and the DJ is doing this “starry sky” effect on the ceiling above us and there’s a fireplace behind us that will be lit. We’re hoping people will be too dazzled and distracted to really notice us LOL!
Post # 12
I’m not diagnosed, but I suspect that I do (and it worsens with stress). I experienced much of what you are describing, though I found the wedding planning to be much, MUCH worse than the actual ceremony (anxiety-wise). We didn’t have a traditional “aisle” to walk down, which I think helped quite a bit (I wasn’t the complete center of attention)–instead of an aisle, we had a labyrinth outlined on the ground and had our friends and family stand on the outline to create the “walls” of the labyrinth. My husband and I started at opposite ends of the labyrinth, met each other in the middle, and walked the rest of the way together. Because of the way this was set up, I was walking through my friends and family and it felt much less intimidating than it would have otherwise. We also had a short ceremony, and everyone was standing up in a circle around us, so again, it didn’t feel as much like we were on “stage” as a traditional ceremony would have. I actually had quite a lot of fun at the wedding, and it wasn’t nearly as stressful as I had anticipated. I love the mantra that @jjmomma posted and will have to use that.
Post # 13
You are not alone. I don’t have any kind of social anxiety, but I HATED when vendors would only deal with me over the phone. It was really annoying becasue there are just SO MANY vendors and so little time, they all wanted to talk to me constantly.
As far as being the center of attention, I thought I would love it because I am really outgoing, but it was actually extremely difficult because I felt like I didn’t have enough time to devote to any one person that day and it left me feeling guilty afterwards. Maybe if you’re shy that will help because you won’t feel stretched as thin – you can just kind of hang with the bridal party and let people come to you if they want.
Post # 14
I have Social Anxiety and it can be completely debilitating. I’m also one of those people who would rather text/email than make a phone call. I hate calling people. If I walk into a room, I automatically feel like every single person is watching me, judging me and talking/laughing at me. Most people can’t understand this, but I know exactly where you’re coming from. I’ve done almost all my planning online or I’ve taken someone with me if I *have* to go in person. I can’t go to appointments alone. I totally freak out. Every time I think about walking down the aisle, with all those people staring at me, I have a panic attack. And the first dance, OMG! I do take Effexor and it works wonders for me. Without it, I’d probably be a hermit.
Post # 15
@mckernae: Thanks for mentioning it! I thought maybe I had gone overboard with the huge post.
Post # 16
I am the exact same way and my FI just doesn’t understand. He hates having to make all the phone calls to the venue and such but I can’t do it. When I try I freeze up and lose it at which point I hand the phone to somenone else or hang up. I only use email to talk to people! My doctor said it’s a paranoid/ social anxiety I have from my borderline personality disorder so I’m not allowed any meds. =(
I found I can talk to anyone when I’m drunk though… I plan to have a drink or two before the wedding to loosen up and take the edge off, it takes at least 6 drinks before I start to get silly anyway so I should just be more relaxed.