Help me enjoy my wedding (and keep from freaking out beforehand and the day of!)
September 13, 2012 2:31 PM Subscribe
What can I do to manage my stress and anxiety (about being the center of attention, the logistics, and getting married itself) on and leading up to my wedding day? And do you have any other advice to help me enjoy and appreciate my wedding?
So I'm getting married in a couple weeks, and besides being super-stressed about logistics, I'm starting to feel spikes of anxiety poke through that I imagine will get stronger as the time comes closer. I'm an anxious person in general (have been in therapy but not currently, and have never taken meds for it), and have some social anxiety about being the center of attention as well as some mild to moderate anxiety about getting married itself. (Not because of any red flags, he's a wonderful guy and we have a fantastic relationship, I'm just a really indecisive person who's always worried I'm not making the "right" choice... it took me forever to decide to marry him because I worried that it would be a mistake because I wasn't giddily head-over-heels, and although I've been surprisingly at peace with the decision during our year-long engagement, the "maybe I'm making a terrible mistake" feelings are slowly starting to ramp up again.)
I'd love suggestions about how to deal with my anxiety (both ways to prepare and to approach the day itself) as well as other suggestions for how to really enjoy and appreciate the experience. Practical tips, psychological techniques/mantras/etc, and substance-based suggestions (alcohol, meds, etc) all welcome.
As for the latter, I've been considering having a drink the morning of the wedding-- which has usually been pretty reliable for my social anxiety, at social occasions I generally go from being nervous and clamming up/overthinking every word before a drink to loose and more talkative and enjoying myself-- on the downside, I'm a lightweight and there's a pretty small margin for error between relaxed/buzzed and tipsy, and I really don't want to be drunk during my wedding. Would Xanax or something like that be better? (I've never taken a benzo, what's it like?) I've never had a panic attack and am not particularly worried about having one, but I'd love something that could take the edge off my anxiety so I can enjoy myself (if necessary) but without the potential downsides of alcohol. (But are side effects with meds just as bad or worse? I read things about people feeling really out-of-it, having memory loss, etc.) I want to truly experience the day and not have it be muffled or distorted by the effects of anything I'm taking... but I also don't want to be totally anxious and miserable.
Also very very welcome: stories from anxious brides and grooms about how their day went. There's a lot of talk about worries magically melting away on your wedding day-- does this actually happen for people with anxiety? And/or what did you do to manage yours that helped? Any self-talk/mantras? Any practical/logistical advice?
Also, how do I make sure I get enough sleep? I'm a bit of an insomniac to start with, and the stress and anxiety doesn't help. (I got prescribed something called hydroxyzine but I'm reading about lots of people being totally exhausted the next day after taking it-- obviously I'd test it out ahead of time, but I've got so much left to do that the idea of taking myself out of commission for a whole day worries me and stresses me out even more trying to think about how everything would get done. And I just recently tried melatonin for the first time, but while it made me feel more exhausted it didn't shut up my brain to help me sleep, and it seemed to actually disrupt the latter portion of my sleep.)
And any other general advice about what to do/not do leading up to the day and on the day itself to make the most of it? I really want to enjoy the experience and my time with with all these special people (many of whom I don't get to see very often.)