I used to want to write.

When I was younger, I used to want to write.

I spent hours writing. Everything and anything, I was actually a fabulous creative writer.

I struggled a fair bit with my unmedicated mental illness as a younger person, and writing was like therapy to me. It was my way of being mindful, I guess you might say, ignoring the fact that writing a story takes you away from reality and away from the moment. It was how I coped, focusing on my next word, or my next sentence, rather than crippling anxiety about sitting in a classroom or being alone at home.

As I got older, my passion for writing faded. It just wasn’t the same anymore, I was also medicated and in therapy.

I guess I realised, as I went back on Lexapro this time around, that being medicated stifles my creativity. It removes my ability to write, to put a story together. Not only am I not capable of writing a paragraph that makes sense, I am also virtually incapable of sitting there and thinking about what comes next.

I don’t know if I feel like I don’t have a story to tell, or if I have no imagination left.

My creative abilities didn’t just disappear, I lack the ability to put sentences together in a clear and concise way. I often find myself having to explain what I meant the first time around, to my partner, to my colleagues, to my friends.

Here’s why none of that matters:

When I am medicated, I am free. I am happy, I am loved.

 

And that’s all I need.

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Day 4.

 

I went to the doctor yesterday to come up with a solution to this problem, it was obvious that Valdoxan wasn’t working for me. The doctor I saw put me back on Lexpro, asked me if I needed a note for work and hurried me on my way, I was very obviously in the middle of a crisis when I burst into tears in his office. I walked away with no advice, no reassurance after I told him about my anxiety, and no referral to see a mental health professional. Merely a prescription for a drug I stopped taking because it made me fat.

A little over a month ago, I saw a different doctor who took me off lex, suggested I try duromine, and switched me over to valdoxan. I think in my excitement that I would be losing weight in time to get married and fit into my dress, I didn’t think twice about the fact that this doctor was clearly out of his mind. My history with eating disorders is well-documented in the computer system and, when I went back to talk about how the valdoxan was going, a different doctor was very concerned that someone had suggested duromine.

At this point, valdoxan was working great, I was doing wonderfully (having just stopped my lex completely the night before). This was last Monday. Eight days later, Tuesday morning and I was barely able to move for panic.

So, the reason I stopped taking lex was because I had gained 10 kilograms in 12 months. The wedding dress that I fit into perfectly eight months before, no longer fit me and I was desperate. I had done everything I could to stop myself, but I just kept getting bigger, my clothes weren’t fitting me (and they still don’t fit me well), and I was afraid to go shopping because I never knew if I would find something that fit. Like I said, I was desperate.

I thought this new medicine would be an amazing new wonder super fantastic drug that would change my life. Before I went to see the doctor, I agonised for days about switching. Lex turns me into a completely different person, a functioning person, normal. Or what I imagine it feels like to be normal.

Without medication, I am a complete mess, totally unable to live any kind of normal life. I can’t do housework, have a conversation, eat, shower or sleep most of the time. It’s mostly just a lot of crying, begging for my fiancé to pick me up off the floor and watching Netflix. It sounds cliche, but it’s safety to me. In short, I knew that switching medication was a really dangerous experiment that could jeopardise most, if not all, of my relationships and destroy what I have worked so hard for.

The experiment went about as well as the Titanic’s maiden voyage.

So now I begin the two week wait for lex to kick in and work again. I had the most intense sweats and vertigo while detoxing from this drug.

Today started off great, but ended terribly. I had my dance class in the morning and came home all ready to do some costuming. By the time I’d eaten lunch, I needed to lay down, under a blanket, in a hole, where no one could find me, and by the time 4pm was here, I was barely holding myself together. I couldn’t stop crying long enough to make more than a squeal.

I tried to hide this from my fiancé. At this point, I am just coming across as pathetic and stressful. I need him to hold me, tell me he loves me and that he won’t let anything happen to me. And he does, but the problem is that I need it every ten minutes. I can’t go a whole day at work without needing to hear his voice, touch him. I am not coping.

He leaves to go overseas on the 10th of April and he won’t be back until a week before our wedding. I am scared. I am not dealing and I don’t know how to be without him.

I don’t even know if anyone’s listening. Please tell me I’m not alone. Please.

 

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I’m about to get real.

I have to break something down for anyone living out there in cyber space and actually paying attention to me.

I started this blog as a way of telling a story, about getting married, being married, and (eventually) becoming a mother.

I guess I got too busy to be able to dedicate any time to it and forgot about it even existing.

My bad.

I am here though, to talk about something real. Real for me anyway. I spent a good majority of my day at work trying to hide the fact that I was crying and physically unable to move.

Anxiety.

I’m not talking about the kind of anxiety that happens before I get up on a stage and perform, or even the kind of anxiety that stops you from spending time with your friends. This kind of anxiety is crippling, it gives you one goal. Stop it. Stop it by any means necessary, even if that requires stepping into traffic.

This is the kind of anxiety that makes you afraid to be alone, because you actually might take steps to end your life. The kind of anxiety that leaves you foggy. The people around you think you’re being difficult, or you’re distracted, but you’re trying so hard to keep yourself together that you’re simply not able to concentrate on any one task.

And they just don’t ‘get’ it. They don’t understand that ‘mindfulness’ doesn’t work for you. that you can’t even remember a time in your life that you didn’t have anxiety about something or another.

And it’s like your body needs it. If you aren’t anxious about one thing, you’re anxious about something else. As if your body and mind don’t know how to not be anxious.

Before you know it, you’re in full-blown panic mode and you can’t speak.

My only comfort is the man I’m to be married to in 2 months. The only thing that makes it stop, is being in his presence. I am calm, I can move, I can speak and I can do. Like a halo, a blanketed protection from anything that can hurt me.

I get so angry about this all of the time, because not only is it not fair to him, but it isn’t fair to me. I have been sick with this my entire life, I don’t know a time when I wasn’t sick with this. Countless different drugs, so many different therapists, there is no cure for me.

There is no saving me.

I have to live like this.

This isn’t a life.

I don’t know where this is supposed to go, I just needed to talk it out, even if there is no one listening.

 

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There are a few things that happen when you get engaged.

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When I got engaged, my life suddenly became very different. I belonged to a new family now, my fiance was my new family. I suppose that the effects of becoming engaged vary depending on who you ask and what order they did life in (kids, buy house together, engaged?). That kind of thing isn’t unusual these days, my mother met her husband when I was three, had a kid with him when I was six and married him when I was fifteen, long after they bought a house. There are a few things that are pretty universal when you get engaged though, and by the time you actually get married, you’re mostly wondering why you didn’t just do it in front of a judge.

People you haven’t spoken to in years are suddenly your best friends.

I will never understand it, but for some reason when you become a bride, people are obsessed with being your bridesmaid. I’ve never been a bridesmaid, but I will admit that I was one of those people. When my friends got engaged, I would have loved to be in their bridal party.

It’s different now, I’m planning a wedding of my own and I know exactly what it’s like to have to talk to vendors, plan parties, meet with florists and celebrants. Honestly, I’d rather wear my best dress to your party and eat for free. I think I didn’t really understand exactly what being a bridesmaid involved, and it’s a lot of work. Your bridesmaids are your closest friends or family, but they are basically slaves – with only the promise of getting to be seen walking down an aisle seconds before you arrive and steal the limelight as a potential pay off.

It just doesn’t make sense to me. Who would want to volunteer to spend all of that money (seriously, the bride chooses everything and you just pay for your dress, hair, make up, shoes, her hen’s night, buy her a gift for the bridal shower and basically make sure she doesn’t have a meltdown for a year and a half) for two seconds of having to walk down an aisle in an ugly dress? And the dresses are always ugly.

Everyone is a wedding expert.

I’m not kidding. Every single person I come into contact with has some advice that I didn’t ask for. Get a videographer, wear your hair up, spend at least this much money on alcohol, do your own flowers, you have to invite this person. Sadly enough, they kind of have a point, your wedding isn’t about you. Your marriage is. If your wedding was all about you, you wouldn’t have 150 guests, you aren’t close to 150 people.

But you also don’t have that kind of money. Weddings are expensive and the industry is ridiculous. As soon as the word ‘wedding’ comes into it, prices jump into the stratosphere. Hey, if they are willing to pay, you’ll include a petting zoo and jumping castle, right?

The more choices you have, the less you know what you want.

I’m going to admit a little thing I did here, amidst talking about how expensive weddings are, I’m going to tell you that I bought two dresses. I guess my mistake – and one that is a lesson learned – I bought my first dress online. I’m not talking about going to stillwhite.com and buying a second hand dress. I had mine custom made, online, from China. But I kept looking. I kept finding prettier dresses that I wanted more.

It’s a beautiful dress, and it’s perfect, but it’s just not for me. As it turns out, I had to have it altered anyway, which was going to cost me 2.5 times what I actually spent on it. In the end I bought a Mia Solano for $1000, after I spent a whole day at a bridal store trying on dress after dress. I came out of the room smiling, it was so perfect.

But this kind of thing doesn’t just happen to dresses. This will happen to everything you do. Your venue will be booked for a decent 10 months before you find a new place on a whim and die to get married there instead. You will paw through pictures and scour the internet for ideas on how to set your centrepieces, or what kind of bouquet to design, and you’ll become less and less sure of what you want.

You will have to repeat your wedding date to the same people, constantly.

Possibly your own parents. More than once. You’ll have to repeat your wedding date so many times that you’ll start lying just to see if they actually do remember or not. The reality is that they are just asking to be nice, they don’t actually care. Which brings me to my next point.

No one cares about your wedding as much as you do.

And why should they? It’s natural to want everyone to be happy for you, and for a time they will be. For various reasons. Engagements tend to be contagious and when one couple gets engaged, at least one of their friends will get engaged before they get married, so some women hope that they will be next. Some people are excited because they haven’t attended a wedding before.

I guess the reason isn’t important, because the point is that people quickly get tired of hearing about your wedding. Nobody actually cares that you found your bridesmaids dresses, no one is interested in your cake, or your venue. I’m guilty of that myself. I have friends who are getting married before me, and I actually don’t care that you attended a bridal fair or got your ring cleaned. Keep it away from Facebook, because people will slowly stop talking to you if it’s all you post about.

You learn to say ‘no’.

Weddings are supposed to be a celebration of the couple. Not just the bride. So, you have to compromise with your husband-to-be on some aspects. Early on, I sat down and decided about the things that were absolutely non-negotiable to me, and the things I didn’t feel strongly about one way or the other, which has worked out well. Not only because the things I didn’t really care about coincided with the things he did care about, but also because I was able to include him in the planning of our wedding, which is extremely important to me. But it’s important to remember that everyone is an expert on weddings.

Your parents always know a guy who is a photographer, who will do it for free (And with photography, you really get what you pay for, and if you want to splurge on anything, it’s the photography). Sometimes, these things can be useful though, every girl knows a hairdresser or make up artist and paying for hair and make up for the bride is expensive enough without having to add mother of the bride, mother of the groom, sisters, grandmothers and bridesmaids into the mix. You can ask everyone to pay for their own, or you can find a friend who will do it cheap. Of course, if you have the skills to do your own makeup and hair, do it yourself. Always do it yourself. The hairdresser might be good, but there’s no guarantee that what she produces is what you want.

So, learn to say no. Say it loudly and say it often. The second you sign up for a website to help you plan, vendors start calling or emailing you, relentlessly. I don’t know how it isn’t considered harassment.

People give you gifts, congratulate you and give you discounts all of the time.

This part is fantastic. You can be engaged for over a year already and someone will show up with a bottle of champagne because they feel bad for not coming to your engagement party.

People find out I’m engaged and still congratulate me, when store owners find out I’m engaged, they give me small discounts all the time. It does make you feel like a little bit of a freeloader, and not all discounts are actual discounts. I paid $1000 for my dress, and I got a $700 discount on it. Feels like a great discount right? No, prices on wedding paraphernalia are inflated ridiculously. The price was $1000, but she told me it was $1700 to make it look like a better discount.

But you can look at it like this. Wedding vendors are easy to manipulate if you look like you might say no, or walk away. They are prepared to throw things into a deal – we got a three tier cake and night in a hotel from our venue because we were still unsure after viewing it. Sometimes though, things are just too expensive and you need to know what’s important.

 

After all, the most important thing about this wedding is who you are marrying.

 

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One, The endless amount of ‘Wedding Crap’ on my list.

Matt and I just celebrated our two-year dating anniversary, two days ago actually, and the 12 month anniversary of our engagement – we didn’t do anything too special, just dinner and a cocktail and early to bed.

It was nice to be able to spend some time with him on a special day. Matt owns two companies, so he’s always working, even when he isn’t in his office. A dinner I couldn’t finish and two margaritas later, we were on our way home and in our jammies watching the latest episode of Fear the Walking Dead. You know, where Jesse McCartney has a barely credited guest role and gets shot in the face before eating his own brother.

We’ve had a lot of wedding rearrangements going on lately, with Matt being so busy with business, and the loss of my maid of honour, it got me thinking that it might be easier to start a blog to sort out where exactly I want this wedding to go.

 

Plus, I’m excited to be able to share with you guys the kind of cool stuff that I get to look at all the time while I’m still trying to work out what I want in my own reception and ceremony! I found myself looking up all of these types of articles for the problems I was facing when planning my own wedding, bridesmaids problems, dress problems, venue problems. It was better to have someone who had been there, done that, to be able to tell me how to constructively deal with these problems head on.

So this is my first post, I had no idea what to say, but I think you’ll get a better idea about me in the future!

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First blog post

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