It’s been just over a year since we got engaged and while it’s been extremely exciting, I spent a lot of 2017 battling with my anxiety. I spent spending endless nights googling ‘anxious and engaged’ and discovering hardly anything except for a few people discussing how it means I shouldn’t get married… Really people? Is that still where we are when it comes to mental health? Based on those words I read alone, I really wanted to share how I’ve been feeling with you, just in case you feel this way too.
I debated writing this post all of last year and as I write, I’m still unsure if I’ll post it. Major life changes trigger my anxiety at the best of times so adding the pressure of planning a wedding to that was always going to be tricky, I just didn’t know that my anxiety would consume me in the way it did.
After all the engagement hype was over and the champagne flutes were empty, I got straight into planning mode for our wedding and for a few months everything was fantastic but in March 2017 I was a bit of a mess to say the least. I knew I was entering a bad patch but I thought it would go away if I ignored it. I’m not sure why I thought that approach would work this time as it’s certainly never worked before.
Everyone is affected by anxiety differently but I tend to get overly emotional, reclusive and snappy – a winning combo I’m sure you can agree. I hate the person I am when I’m anxious and I really don’t like anyone else thinking that’s me all year round, which in itself creates anxiety, oh the joys!
I found that my anxiety was stunting my ‘engagement bliss’ and after waiting all my life for this moment I couldn’t help but worry about how it could potentially end up ruining my wedding too. It was at that point that I decided to come clean about how I was feeling to Jonny and my family, by this point I felt more positive but I still had to figure out how to fix it.
I didn’t want to turn to tablets, as much as they have helped me in the past, I didn’t want to deal with all of the negative side effects. So I took a new approach and started seeing a therapist, she literally changed my life, I’m not sure why I waited so long to do it if I’m honest. After two months of weekly appointments I felt so much better, we’d talked about my triggers and I learnt some coping techniques which I’m trying to use on a day to day basis. I’m still having bad days but I am able to enjoy this really exciting part of my life and I know you will be able to too.
I wanted to share this with you because I want you to know that I’m going through this too. Engagement isn’t a cure for anxiety, it never will be but anxiety has no right sucking the fun out of this special time too. I wish I’d realised there was no need to feel ashamed that I wasn’t happy 100% of the time just because I had a shiny new ring on my finger (although it does help). It’s just about finding ways to ensure we still enjoy all the good bits, the dress shopping, the cake tasting and even elements of the planning stress.