Pre Wedding Depression: Triggers and Strategies
Disclaimer: So yeah, I’m going to talk about depression (pre wedding depression, specifically), and I know that word can mean different things to different people and it can cause lots of very strong opinions, but I just want to recognize that everyone’s journey is unique to them and I only speak for myself. Cool.
Scotland, April 2012
Throughout my year of wedding planning, I was well aware of and well equipped to handle post wedding depression. I had read about it, had heard firsthand experiences about it, and had personally experienced the feeling of loss that can overtake one after something exciting ends (in my case, when a show I was performing in closed, it always left me a little sad). I was doing everything right to combat post wedding depression. I kept my friendships active, I planned for events post wedding, and I reminded myself that there would be many exciting life events to look forward to with Mr. Sword.
Fortunately, I don’t feel any post wedding depression. (Yay!) I loved our wedding day; I’m grateful it went so well, and I’m happy to be married to the love of my life. But it turns out I was preparing for the wrong thing…
If you Google “Pre Wedding Depression” you can find articles that talk about it. They mostly go on about brides being so stressed out planning their wedding that they turn “blue.” This is not what I felt. I can handle stress. I can handle my anxiety (poorly, but I can), and I can handle being “blue.” What I felt in the last few months of planning was painful.
It probably wasn’t evident from my blogging and it didn’t affect my job as a nanny, but in my downtime I was apathetic, lonely, pessimistic, melancholy, and just plain sad—that’s how my pre wedding depression manifested. My mom says when we have many changes in our lives our chemical balances can get off, and whether that’s true or not, that’s what I felt. Mr. Sword was traveling every week for work, and I had way too much time to be alone, and to think. I was agonizing about all the upcoming changes in our careers, our location, and our relationship. I was feeling overwhelmed at the responsibilities of being someone’s wife, as I suddenly thought I wouldn’t be enough. And I was scared of failing at, well, everything.
So of course I picked fights with Mr. Sword. I had lots of emotional breakdowns on the phone to my mom, sister, and best friends. I spent a few Saturdays in bed too depressed to move.
Sure, there were a few factors that helped contribute to my low mental state: the holidays were over, the winter dreariness was just beginning, and the thought of hosting the biggest event of our lives seemed so overwhelming that everything else in life looked equally as daunting. Whatever the trigger, I knew I was not feeling like myself. I knew something was off.
At first it became apparent that I was a wreck every other weekend, and so I began dreading every other weekend. I thought about seeing someone outside of my family to talk about my pre wedding depression with, but eventually we decided to go the holistic route and stocked up on herbal pills and extracts to help aid me in positive thinking and lower my anxiety. These things worked…slightly? Or perhaps they were a mental trick. Either way, I was working on feeling better and I was glad.
Soon enough, both January and February passed, and by March I was starting to feel like myself again. I was still nervous for the big day (hello, control freak), and I was still prone to emotional breakdowns (but what bride isn’t?), but I was happy and positive. It was a relief to be excited for the future again instead of dreaming up worst case scenarios.
Looking back from the other side of pre wedding depression, I feel blessed to have had so many amazing people in my life that listened to me when I needed that, or made me laugh when I needed that, or acted excited about the wedding when I needed that. Mostly I’m grateful for having a partner who will discuss anything with me no matter how crazy I sound, whom I can trust with my worst and most personal fears, and who loves me even when I’m not feeling 100% like myself.
Muah! love you baby!
(all photos personal)
Treading carefully here, does anyone else want to share their pre wedding depression or post wedding depression experiences? How did you get past the low moments?