Post # 1
This is a little embarrassing for me to write, but I feel like I need some support/advice.
I have bipolar disorder. For those who don’t know of it, its a mental illness that makes me have extreme highs and lows.
My wedding is a month away and in addition, I am a medical student and I have final year exams 2 weeks before the wedding. The next month is going to be extremely stressfu. I am already starting to get cold feet and i am worried that the stress of exams and excitement of the wedding is going to trigger off an episode and I’m either not going to make it to the wedding or im going to ruin the whole wonderful experience. Given my track record, I know this is likely. When we first moved to the other side of the country together, I was so unwell for about 6-9months. When we brought our own house, I cried for days thinking I was making a huge mistake. Bottom line – whenever anything huge happens or changes, I have an episode. I have been on medication that has worked for about 5 months, but I have not been totally symptom free so the dosage has fluctuated a bit.
Basically, I would love some advice from anyone who has had something similar happen – bees with mental illness, with really cold feet, or anyone really.
how did you cope? What did you do to come to terms with the fact that your wedding day might be tainted or ruined by mental illness?
Post # 3
I don’t think this will help you during an episode, but take comfort in knowing that you are marrying someone who has seen you through your ups and downs and still loves you. Most of us don’t really know what we are getting into when we say for better or worse, the worse can be unimaginably bad. It sounds like your fi has seen worse and he is still there! That can only make your relationship stronger.
Post # 4
First of all do not be embarassed. You have nothing to be embarassed about. I have a few thoughts.. I do not have a mental illness myself, but I have a masters in a medical field and have worked a lot with people with mental illnesses.
It sounds like you are obviously very self aware and I’m sure you know the importance of taking medication and all of that given that you are a medical student yourself. Perhaps you could discuss these concerns with a medial professional? They may have some insight (i.e. doctor, mental health worker, etc.)
You also know that you tend to have issues when many big changes are happening at once. In the future you might want to plan for this. I’m not saying to change your wedding or anything but having your exams/wedding so close together would be stressful for any bride! Perhaps you had to plan it this way because of your school schedule being busy? After your exams are over make sure you take time for yourself. Find a way to relax each day. Focus on things that you find calming (exercise, meditation, etc?) I know we can’t always plan for life, but maybe in the future try to plan big events with down-time inbetween (i.e. don’t move the same month that you start your residency).
Also, many brides are stressed around their wedding. That is completly normal. If you are crying on the big day no one will think anything of it. I have seen brides that cry through the whole wedding. As a gues I think it seems genuine. I’ve never thought that a bride ruined the day by being too emotional. I was concerned myself about crying too much, and you know what? I did cry! But in the moment I didn’t even worry about that fact I was crying, it just felt right give what a big day it was! I also cried the week leading up to my wedding and a lot the night before. I had never lived on my own before so I felt like leaving my family was a big deal. I also planned my wedding two weeks after finishing classes (I had to due to a busy schedule as well!). I have some anxiety myself when I experience change and new things, but I found that on the actually wedding day I was fine. I was so focused on my husband and excitment that I was okay!
Congratulations on everything you have to come! Being a medical student is very exciting and getting married is wonderful ! It sounds like you have supportive people in your life, remember to turn to them when you need them! The most important thing is that you are marrying the love of your life, I think your user name says it all! 🙂
Post # 5
I apologise if this seems rude or uneducated, I don’t have a lot of experience with mental health so please know that I’m just trying to be helpful in my post.
Can you see your doctor and have your medication dosage raised to help cope with these more stressful times?
Also, remember that you have 2 weeks after exams before the wedding so I think that that stress will have subsided before the big day.
Like @RedPandas: said, don’t be afraid to be emotional on the day! You already know it is possible so make sure someone has touch up makeup for you with them the whole day and that you wear waterproof mascara.
I would also talk to your Fiance and your mother (or whoever else will be with you during the day to support you) and remind them of how big events effect you and just let them know of what you are currently thinking and what you are afraid of. That way they will be prepared to help and not blindsided.
Are you going to see your Fiance before the ceremony? If not, do you think that working this into your timeline might help?
Perhaps you should write yourself a letter now to read on the day. You should remind yourself of the other times you have had doubts and been wrong, of how happy your Fiance makes you and how angry your past and future self will be if you don’t marry the love of your life.
This might also sound silly, but professional athletes go through the entire race/event in their minds, leading up to the day, from start to finish, picturing how they want it to go. Perhaps you should start doing this? Picture yourself getting ready, the excited butterflies, the walk down the aisle, play your music for yourself, picture yourself saying your vows, your Fiance doing the same, having your first kiss as husband and wife, walking back down the aisle to cheers from your guests and partying on into the night. The more times you visualise it going well, the more likely it WILL go how you want it to.
Post # 6
I think those are all great ideas. Especially visualization and imagining the entire day and your feelings. I did that a lot leading up to my wedding to try to avoid being super emotional! I think that is why I ended up crying so much the week before and I ended up getting a lot fo the tears out.
I also agree with seeing your fiance before walking down the aisle if that is something you want. I found that helped me a lot and I made sure I saw him before to avoid being too emotional in front on a crowd.
Post # 7
@engagedandinlove: My mother has that also as well, I understand it a fair amount. A suggestion I think might be really good is to talk to your doctor and make sure maybe even once a week you get check up on
you could also think about it might be to do the legal wedding (singing things privately and then do the vows and the bid day so the pressure is mostly off) i don’t know if thats a choice for you but if your really worried and have a bad record it might make enjoying the vows and time together with friend and family and the promises to one another more joyful less stressful
if that is not something you would like to do… journal (maybe you have before and remind your self not to be implusive) have your supportive family nd friend finalized the detials and you just focus on school and feeling good that day
Post # 8
I work in the mental hospital..it is a crisis mental hospital…and patients stay there around 7-10 days..a lot of patients with bipolar end up there during their manic episodes..and I have experience working with them..First of all…do you see a psychiatrist regularly and do you take any medications for your disorder? If you get prescribed right meds and stay compliant with your treatmnet it really helps..
Post # 9
Thanks for your responses ladies. I do see a psychiatrist regularly. He’s fantastic. But I’m getting married om the opposite side of the country to where fi and I currently live, so I won’t be able to see him before the wedding. He has told me to increase my medication before the wedding to keep my moods under control, but I find when I’m super stressed it takes a LOT of medication to keep me level, so much so that I’m kind of sedated. The idea of me needing to be slightly sedated to get through my wedding upsets me.
Having a wedding so close to my exams was a pretty crap decision, but to be honest there really isnt a good time for me to have my wedding when considering medical school. I hardly ever get holidays and they’re never for very long.
My fi is wonderful with regards to my illness. He takes care of me when I loose it a bit and rven tries to remind me when I might need to increase medication.
bottom line – im just so worried I’m going to ruin the happy experience for him and myself.
I like the idea of writing a letter now. I might even write my fi a letter now, letting him know how I feel when im not close to having an episode.
and thank you for telling me your own experiences about the time leading up to your weddings… I am definitely going to be an emotional bride!
Post # 10
I am sorry I can’t give you much advice, just support. I am a Bipolar bride myself and am unable to go to university even. Good on you for sticking with it! You should be so proud of yourself!! I agree with PPs, just remember that you are marrying the man you love, who loves you and supports you through all the ups and downs of your illness. It will still be a wonderful day!
Post # 11
@engagedandinlove: try not to be hard on your self about the whole idea of needing to be sedated on the day of.
Think of it this way how many brides have a mimosa at the hair salon a glass of wine … men have beer and shots… they do this for their nerves
every single bride and groom is normally full of nereves i bet more then half of them have a drink or something to take the edge off, weather it be a medication form a doctor or people who have a few drinks to self medicate thru the edge a large % of people need a little something to calm their nerves.
I am not suggesting that you have a drink (mind you if you want to have a glass of something with the girls at the hair salon or in a limo or at home why not right) Just wanting to remind you yes you are bipolar but this is also a totally normal felling, so many brides worry about that too so try not to be to to hard on your self if you need medication the day because of half people self medicate the day of annyways
just make sure you take care up to the day of so you enjoy it and dont beat your self up, you are gonna have an amazing day 🙂
Post # 12
Thank you so much. I honestly had not thought of it like that. I struggle with the idea of having to take medication at all so I guess I just kind of automatically made it a very negative thing to have to do for my wedding. Im going to think of it more like you suggested. Thank you 🙂
Post # 13
@engagedandinlove: You really should,so many people need a little somethng to take the edge off. I am glad I can put it that way for you… I really hope you keep looking at it that way too b.c. its so common for ppl to need a drink to take the edge of that its a big spoof in rom coms where the bride or groom has to much … hell look at pintrest brides maids with flasks in garters, at least your meds will take the edge off with out making you sloppy like some ppl who have drinks end up…. but its completely normal to need a lil something that day ….. gosh i get panic attacks i don’t do crowds well i have taken something to be a moh b4 likely on my wedding day i will take something or at least have a nice glass of white wine and toast with my ladies so just enjoy your self and know its totally normal to feel that way
take what you need to and enjoy your wedding sweetie 🙂
Post # 14
@engagedandinlove: First off, congrats on working hard and getting into medical school. Professional schools are really tough (I should know, I just graduated from law school) and can really exacerbate any already-existing medical problems. But, with regards to pills, you of all people (as a medical student) should remember that they help with the chemical imbalance that results in bipolar disorder/depression/etc. So please, don’t stress about taking pills or let the people who try and tell you you “should” be fine without them. They don’t know what they’re talking about.
I also have another idea (from my time in law school and coping with the worsening of depression that accompanied it) that might help you: meditation. See if you can take 15 minutes out of every day for the next month (until your wedding and exams are over) to meditate. Sit, or lay down, however you’re comfortable, put a soothing peace of music on (my Fiance is partial to “Stone in Focus” – specifically the version called “Melt” on Youtube) and count your breaths, making them slower, until you’re breathing in for 5 seconds, holding for 5, exhaling for 5, and waiting for 5 between breaths. Meditation is supposed to really help with anxiety and depression, and it might help you deal with the highs and lows of bipolar disorder.
And, if nothing else, vent at us here on the Bee. That’s what we’re here for, right?
Post # 15
Wow sounds like life is pretty busy right now. Mental health stuff can be harder at times like this – whenever there’s big change and a lot of stress. I don’t have much to say except that it’s ok to ask for extra support, to take the medication that is helpful for you and suggested by your psychiatrist and also to take some time out for yourself. Your wedding day will always be special and even if it’s harder to manage the emotions at the time, you get to marry the man of your dreams and the difficult emotions will pass.
I hope you get some time out – take a nice long bath, get your nails done or do whatever helps you wind down and feel special 🙂 It doesn’t fix things but every bit helps.
Post # 16
@engagedandinlove: I agree with what was said above.
Just keep reminding yourself to breathe and remember your Fiance has seen you at your worst and still loves you. I know it doesnt feel like it and I totally understand because we all stress about our wedding days – but it is just a day.
Hell if it doesnt go the way you want – wear your dress again and do a great vow renewel just the two of you.
I don’t think this will happen though – I think things like this have a way of working out. Plus, its your wedding day. So it will be special just for that reason. Nothing else matters.
Just dont psyc yourself out. Stay faithful to your medication and appts with your psychiatrist. Just keep remebering to take care of yourself, relax…deep breaths…