How to get through your wedding with severe anxiety?

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How to get through your wedding with severe anxiety?

Postby SurrealistScone » October 23rd, 2013, 4:45 am

Hey guys,

I normally love being the center of attention. I'm a performer and love being funny in front of people or playing characters but, for some reason, get terrified when I have to do something in front of people as myself.

I'm getting married in two weeks and I'm terrified. Not of being married, because I love my future wife very, very much, but of the ceremony itself. I am scared of any or all of the following things happening:

1) Being so nervous that I cannot even walk to the officiator
2) Fainting during the ceremony (I've never fainted but I feel like I might here)
3) Not being able to say my lines (It's a Jewish wedding but the Rabbi is just going to say some lines in Hebrew that I will then repeat. I'm terrified of even doing that.)
4) Vomiting.

So here's what I think is concerning me.

Weddings are so filled with patriarchal bullshit that I personally find abhorrent. A lot of traditional things we are not doing such as throwing the bouquet, throwing the garter (Look up the history of that practice. It's disgusting...), or a first dance with our parents (Neither of our fathers are really in the picture so we don't want to draw attention to the parent thing). Everybody knows that we are approaching marriage and our relationship as equals but there's still a pervading sense, I feel, of how the man needs to be the leader of the family.

My fear is that somebody will do something or say something to feed into this patriarchal system, even in a joking way, that will make me so uncomfortable that I will have to leave. We found progressive Jew blessings for the ceremony that don't mention the patriarchy, but I can't control things people may say to us, jokes people may tell, referring to her as a "ball and chain".

But that's just my issue.

For everyone with severe anxiety and who did get married, how did you get through it? What was going on in your head before you went out there? Do you have any strategies or tips to get through it? I am currently not on any medication for anxiety but do take Valerian Root every day which relaxes me and puts me in a better mood. I'm planning on taking valerian each day until the wedd and increasing my work-outs.
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Re: How to get through your wedding with severe anxiety?

Postby Rant Casey » October 23rd, 2013, 10:14 am

Hey,

I recently got married and although I wasn't going through anxiety and panic attacks at the time (which i am now) my now wife, then fiance, has dealt with it for a long time. One of the things that we worked on was shifting the focus from her on herself and what she would be doing, to me and vice versa.

I know that you think that a lot of attention will be on you, and it will somewhat, but the bulk of the audience will be focusing on your bride. After all it is "her day". Trust me, you will be nervous, you might even feel extreme anxiety if you don't shift your focus from how you are acting or what you are doing, to your bride to be.

I'm not saying that my solution is the best, I just know what worked for my wife. She had a blast and remembers our wedding with fondness.

Good luck and I hope that you can work through it. Also something that has helped me tremendously is an ap called Relax Lite with Andrew Johnson it's amazing for general anxiety and it's free. There are other aps that he puts out that have saved my life. One is Don't Panic and another is Deep Sleep.

I highly recommend these aps and i use them once a day as part of my meditation.

Good luck to you and I hope that you can enjoy your wedding for the wonderful day it is.

Rant
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Re: How to get through your wedding with severe anxiety?

Postby talkthedog » October 23rd, 2013, 12:12 pm

Have you thought about getting married by a JP before hand? Maybe it would be less stressful if you were already secretly married. It could be like your own little secret between the two of you that you can joke about through out the day.
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Re: How to get through your wedding with severe anxiety?

Postby kitkat » October 25th, 2013, 12:25 pm

I don't have any advice, I am just here to say I am going through similar worries. My boyfriend and I got engaged back in April and since then, it has just been anxieties and we haven't even set a date. Family wanting this and that, and meeting people's expectations. I said right off that I want a small wedding, and so does my fiancee, but, well, I have a big family, and the only way to do that is to not invite my whole family, not to mention family friends. I just want immediate family and a couple friends, that's it. But I am afraid I will disappoint my family's (aka, my mom's) idea of what my wedding would be like. You know, I want my mom to feel proud and get that motherly feeling of seeing your daughter get married in front of everyone. But that's not what I want. I want something so small, and I know even something small will give me anxieties beyond belief, but it wouldn't be anything compared to walking down an aisle in front of people I don't know/like so much. I've gotten panic attacks just from being in a bridal party where all I had to do was walk and stand there. I can't imagine all the, ugghhhh. We have already agreed to no "first dance" because it's just awkward. And as casual as possible.

Despite all that, I still want something. There is still a part of me that's a huge sap and wants to have that "special moment." I just don't want it in front of everyone, and I just want to avoid panic attacks.

OK, so now that I got that out, I'll just say that you're not alone in this. And, logically, you should know that everyone there is there because they love you, and even if you threw up everywhere and passed out, they would still love you and they would wait, get you back up, and you could try again. Just remind yourself that as much as you can.

Also, being Jewish myself, I have been to my fair share of Jewish weddings, and I have seen people mess up their lines or start giggling at the "walking around the bride" bit, but everyone else would just smile too because it was just kind of endearing and everyone is already in a happy mood. At the end of the day, all you have to do is stand there and look at your new bride and remember what it's all about.

I hope you have an amazing time! I understand how anxiety inducing it can be, but, whatever happens, you'll still get to spend the rest of your life with the person you love, even if you're too nervous to walk :)
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Re: How to get through your wedding with severe anxiety?

Postby Cinnamon » October 26th, 2013, 1:54 pm

We all make too much of the Wedding as Performance and Status....

Have you talked to your bride about this? and did she run screaming for the hills or say, Hey, me too but lets do it anyways.

You are marrying her, the rest are audience and those that love you won't mind a bit of nerves and those that don't love you don't belong there (but tell them to leave the gift before they leave)....

Its not social politics or someone else's expectations that you will need in life, so smile, look over their shoulder as if they are not important and say hmmmmm and nod like you didn't even hear and walk on
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Re: How to get through your wedding with severe anxiety?

Postby beachdog » November 4th, 2013, 8:53 pm

Hi there

I know Paul is a big fan of this book, if you haven't read it it may help
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle

When I first read this I was like OMG this is amazing!
btw its not like the title sounds, read the reviews on amazon
but of course it takes work
basically it is about being IN THE MOMENT, not thinking about the future seconds or the past seconds
with practice this works, if you are in the moment, right now, everything is ok

http://www.amazon.com/The-Power-Now-Spi ... 1577314808

All the best
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Re: How to get through your wedding with severe anxiety?

Postby ghughes1980 » November 5th, 2013, 10:42 am

You are supposed to be anxious ok, it can be a big expense, generally a large crowd and ceremony. Who wouldn't be anxious. To expect a stress free wedding is setting yourself up to have panic. You should have friends and family there, lean on them for support, chances are you will have married friends attending they are your best resource.
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Re: How to get through your wedding with severe anxiety?

Postby SurrealistScone » November 23rd, 2013, 7:09 pm

Friends,

Thank you so much for the help. We got married about two weeks ago and it was amazing. It was perfect. It was exactly how we wanted it to be.

The entire wedding was such a high and it sucked going back to reality after it and the honeymoon.

To kitkat -

That was the precise situation we had. Small wedding ambitions, big family reality. Don't let your mom invite anyone you're uncomfortable with.
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Re: How to get through your wedding with severe anxiety?

Postby kitkat » November 24th, 2013, 1:49 pm

I'm so happy to hear everything went well! Congratulations! :dance:

And thanks for the advice, I appreciate it. :D I'm slowly learning to put my foot down, but it is hard. Hopefully they'll still enjoy the tiny wedding I'm planning. :)
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Re: How to get through your wedding with severe anxiety?

Postby Brooke » November 15th, 2014, 12:38 pm

You are such a wonderful man, not only because of the respect you have towards women, but also because you are so protective and loving towards your wife. I personally hate weddings. Sure as a little girl, I've dreamed about "my prince" and everything, but after I got my depression, I could not tolerate the thought of having to go through all of that work and be the center of attention. Why would I go through that torture and spend my savings on it on top of that?! It seems like you are not opposed to the ceremony itself, but I feel for the vast majority of men out there who have to endure weddings just to please the bride. I think a lot of men are totally fine not having one or just have it be a small, casual thing. Personally, I think it's all about a girl who wants to brag to all of her friends how happy she is and that she gets to be Cinderella and a star for one day. It's all fantasy. It has nothing to do with the actual marriage itself. I think the more lavish the wedding is, the higher the expectation the bride will have on their marriage. Don't know the exact stats, but aren't half of the population getting a divorce? Call me cynical, but it's kind of funny (sorry) to see these lavish weddings and then have them get a divorce a few years later... As a woman, it's hard not to be a little cynical about it. I know exactly why women have weddings and the industry is taking full advantage of it. I can't even sit at a wedding and see all of the gushing and bragging that goes on, knowing it's not reality... Sorry, I'm sure your situation is different and some weddings are very pure and humbling. I saw a video of a wedding sent to our family by our extended family member and it scarred me for life. I've never gone to a wedding (and plus, you have to pay them to brag about their love) and didn't have my own and saved that money for our actual marriage. I'm so sorry that I've ranted about my cynical views on weddings. I hope your wedding was fantastic and filled with love and joy (I seriously mean that).
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