Post # 1
I have struggled with anxiety and depression since I was a teenager (I’m now in my early 30s). It is usually pretty well under control. But since getting engaged I have felt myself totally spiraling downward. I think it is because for a long time, I sort of harbored a fantasy that getting engaged/married would magically result in all my problems going away. Idiotic, and I don’t think I would have verbalized it that way, but I think it was there in the back of my mind. Now it’s happened, nothing is different and I am staring at the reality that nothing will ever magically “fix” my problems of anxiety, fear, panic, depression, etc. Not having a new job, not getting married, not having babies, etc. Rationally I always knew this, but for some reason having this piece of my life “finalized” is making it really hit home. All of a sudden I am panicking about everything. Money, kids, job, the health of myself and my family members, everything.
Has anyone else gone through something similar? I guess I am just looking for some emotional support. I have an appointment with my psychiatrist but not until next week. It is so hard too because this is “supposed” to be such a happy time. And obviously feeling depressed, anxious etc. is hard on the relationship and I don’t want the relationship to suffer. My Fiance has been great supporting me through low periods but like I said this “shouldn’t” be a low period. I want us to be happy planning the wedding and our future. I am at a high stress job and my work is suffering too. Ugh.
Post # 3
I can relate. While I do feel really happy to be getting married, ever since the engagement, I have felt emotionally out of control. For the past 5 years, I’ve had extreme body image and self-esteem issues, and I think I always expected to have a handle on that before having all this ~~fun~~ during engagement/wedding etc… so it just compounds the stress because part of me thinks I shouldn’t be feeling like this right now, which makes me feel guilty and so on and so on…. and I think you’re right, some irrational part of me thought this could fix all that.
Post # 4
@laurelina: Oh hon, sending you huge hugs. I’ve had depression/anxiety and my husband has had severe depression/anxiety. So I totally get where you’re coming from. It completely makes sense that you’d be feeling this way, even if you’re happy about the engagement. Getting engaged and married is a huge life event, and huge life events always bring up all kinds of emotions.
It’s great that you have an appt. with your doc. In the meantime, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be over the moon like you’re “supposed” to be when you get engaged. I wasn’t – I was kind of numb and freaked out at first, to be totally honest. And then I felt bad because I wasn’t feeling the way I was “supposed” to. It’s an overwhelming time! But I got more and more excited about it as time went on. We also kept the stress to a minimum by having a small wedding, not having a bridal party, not doing favors and a lot of other unnecessary details. That helped a lot.
Anyway, sorry if I’m rambling, but I just wanted to give you an internet hug. Hang in there. You will be just fine.
Post # 5
@jackieee: Thanks so much for your response… I can totally identify with that too, (forgot to add I also am recovering from an eating disorder and have body image issues, oy!) the thought that you just wanted to be somewhere else at some point in the “future”… I always thought getting married was the “future”… and now boom, here it is! And nothing magically better. I’m sorry you are suffering too but thanks for sharing with me, it really helps to know I’m not totally alone in feeling this way…
@mightywombat: Thank you! It’s good to hear your story. We are trying to decide right now between doing a whole big wedding shebang and just having something really small with family. Since I have a tendency to get so stressed out I am leaning towards just family, but then I think, this is my one chance to do this, would I regret not having a big wedding?… and the anxiety loop begins! But it is helpful to remember that the details don’t really matter. Honestly I probably shouldn’t even visit this site, since it’s all about wedding details and sometimes even just looking at a wedding blog can make me anxious. 🙂 and now I’m rambling, but thank you so much for your response, I really appreciate the support.
Post # 6
@laurelina: Since I have a tendency to get so stressed out I am leaning towards just family, but then I think, this is my one chance to do this, would I regret not having a big wedding?.
Either way, I wouldn’t rush into a decision right now. You have plenty of time to consider what your (and your FI’s) dream wedding is – whether that’s the two of you at a courthouse; a small gathering of your nearest and dearest; or a big party with all your family and friends. The best way to think about it, IMO, is not from a place of fear – “I’m afraid A will stress me out, but I’m afraid I will regret it if I do B” – but rather from a place of imagination – whatever YOUR dream day is when you close your eyes and imagine the best possible wedding.
Post # 7
@mightywombat: Thank you, that’s a really good point… and yeah I am trying to just put the wedding stuff on hold and focus on feeling better for now, fortunately we are just in the initial planning stages, so nothing “needs” to be done in a certain time frame.
Post # 8
is it horrible that i felt sorta good reading the comments on this post? it makes me feel like i’m not so alone. i empathize with you so much it hurts. i used to think getting away from the people i scapegoated for my issues would make me feel better – it didn’t. i thought getting a new job with a great title and salary would make me feel empowered and better – it didn’t. i thought losing a ton of weight (85lbs so far) would make me feel on top of the world – still something lacking. then when fi proposed, i though this is gonna be the thing. finally i have security and someone is going to love me forever and its going to be amazing, but no. here i am, every day feeling alone in this stupid wedding journey and grinding my teeth til i fall asleep. i don’t really know what to do to fix it, and i don’t know what to tell you to fix it, but i hope you feel better knowing you’re not alone :-
Post # 9
Oh hun, YES! I totally understand the way you feel and it’s NOT fun 🙁 When everyone’s telling me I should be sooo happy and excited, I get so easily freaked out and frustrated and depressed. My anxiety is worse than ever and old fears (abandonment, etc) are made worse! EEEK.
I cried the whole afternoon after I got engaged, I was so happy to be with FH but was so emotional I had no idea what to do.
I can’t offer much advice, besides making sure to take time for you and your future husband! Fiance and I took off a day from wedding planning yesterday and had a blast. It felt SO good not to think about anything wedding-related and simply be with each other again.
I send lots of hugs and prayers your way! I hope it gets easier for you soon, know you aren’t alone in this!
Post # 10
@laurelina: Yes! I was EXACTLY where you are right now about 5 months ago. It is a tough spot to be in, but you are not alone! I too struggled with anxiety and depression most of my adult life (and sometimes still struggle), so I understand that part of it too.
I had all kinds of crazy fears about my wedding that ranged from minimal to gigantic. The thing that honestly helped me the most was the book “The Conscious Bride.” I highly recommend it because it made me feel less alone and less crazy. She also has a website, conscious-transitions.com, which was also helpful for me.
As women, we conditioned by the bridal and wedding industry to believe that engagement is the “happiest time in our entire lives,” when in reality, it’s largely about transition and change. Marriage is a huge commitment, one that shouldn’t be taken lightly, so I think fear is a normal part of this process, regardless of what other people say.
Hang in there, you’ll get through it!
Post # 11
You are DEFINITELY not alone. (And I wonder if there is a correlation between eating disorders and anxiety, depression? Does one follow the other or are eating disorders caused by an underlying depression? I ask because I have all three too. But that’s for another thread).
The part I want to touch upon is wondering if you should have a small family wedding. WE DID! And didn’t regret it. We found the most beautiful venue and tasted the food a month before hand. I was so relieved to find out it was delicious! An intimate wedding has many benefits. We will never regret it.
But hey, take your time! As hard as it is to fight through your emotions, just think of your fiance and how he is your number one support system which is amazing!
And now that you’re here (at the Bee), you have us 🙂
Sending warm thoughts your way that everything will be fine!
Post # 12
Ladies, thank you so so much for your replies. I am really touched by the support. Not that I’m totally over it but it has been helpful to me even just to vent about this here and know that I’m not alone…
@HorizonDoll: Thanks for the book/website recommendation – I just glanced at the website so far but can definitely identify with it. It looks like those will be great resources.
@Just_Squeeze: I think depression is the root of all evil for me… but yeah that’s a big/interesting topic. I only wish we did not both have firsthand experience with it. But on a happier note your wedding sounds lovely! It’s good to know that you didn’t regret doing something more intimate.
Post # 13
@laurelina: There’s a great book called The Axiety & Phobia Workbook by Bourne, Ph.D. He has some great practical exercises and suggestions for getting through periods of anxiety. It helps bring me back to reality and take some of the edge off when I’m going through a rough patch.