Anxiety

I was in a wedding – Facing anxiety

Have I ever mentioned that I have serious anxiety? Yeah, probably. 😉 I really can’t imagine you didn’t know.

My emetophobia is intertwined with my anxiety. So, two things happen. Stick with me. If I get nervous, I feel sick. If I feel sick, I get nervous. It perpetuates itself until I give up and walk away. I deep breathe until I hyperventilate and I get so hot, I fear passing out. For some reason, standing in one spot when I have no way out, makes these things worse. Oddly enough, the shower is a spot that causes these things to kick up, as does being in the pew at church. Sometimes standing in line at the grocery store will set it off.

I’m sure I’m about to sound wacky, but I’ll lose myself in my thoughts: Am I going to be sick, am I going to pass out, is it really hot in here, what if I move, what if I could adjust my body, would I feel better? By the time I center myself again, I’ve spiraled into the anxiety/emetophobia cycle. So, I always try to stick with situations with an out: The end of the pew at church. I’d never be in choir (and not just because I can’t sing). I always make sure I have a distraction in the grocery line. At the very least, I always try to make sure there is somewhere to sit.

So, there are situations that I try to avoid. Being in weddings is definitely one of them. I’ve been in several, but I always just white-knuckle my way through it, don’t enjoy it and spend the entire time praying for it to be over. When my cousin asked me to be in her wedding, I was worried about this anxiety. Was it worth it? But I wanted to do this for her and, even if I had to white-knuckle it, I’d make it through.

But guess what? I was fine. Totally fine.

Her ceremony was short, which meant I didn’t have a ton of time to convince myself that I was anxious enough to die right there on the altar.

I felt good the entire day. I wasn’t nervous at all. I felt good. I was excited to finally wear my dress. The rehersal had gone well so I knew exactly what to expect. The day of the wedding, things were moving along, we got downstairs, lined up and took our spots. And waited. So here I am, in one spot, waiting. And then the room gets hot. It was just hot. It was nearly 98 degrees outside and the chapel was just not staying cool.

But I stopped. I told myself:

“STOP!”

Apparently as much as I hated congitive behavioral therapy, some of those techniques actually stuck with me.

Me hanging out with the bride

I focused on the fact that I felt fine. I focused on the fact that I had plenty of water and food that day. I focused on the fact that I was just plain excited. I focused on the fact that I had put a GoPro in my bouquet and I was looking forward to seeing how that all turned out.

I laughed with the people around me. I acknowledged how I felt. I anticipated how my cousin probably felt.

I was fine.

And the video was so cool!

https://vimeo.com/440863903
Here is the wedding as captured from a GoPro in my bouquet.

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