This blog is a collection of a young woman's random thoughts, many tangents, and occasional
short stories and novel excerpts. Stay tuned for plenty of bull and brief moments of brilliance.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Are We There Yet: A Summary of The Past Year

Today we’re less than one month to the wedding and as the recent weeks have started passing, almost everyone is asking me the same thing, “Are you getting nervous?”

It’s a loaded question. Am I nervous to marry Luke? Lord, no. Am I nervous about the wedding day? I mean, vaguely, in like the “I hope it doesn’t rain because it would make the day easier” and the “I hope I don’t break out a couple days before and that my dress looks bomb.” But because of my anxiety disorder, anticipation is my worst enemy.

This is one of the big reasons I insisted on getting everything done months in advance. Short of finalizing seating charts and printing a couple signs, everything was done for the most part by mid-June. Luke has to take a couple boxes of wine and some signs to my parents this weekend, and I’m getting my last haircut before the wedding this weekend as well. My bridal shower and bachelorette party were last weekend and Luke’s is this. After that, we’re more or less waiting for the days to pass.

This summer has been an odd one, and the past year has just been kind of a fucked up series of events one right after another. Last year during Labor Day weekend, I had some jaw pain and went to my then dentist, who said I needed a root canal even though there was no evidence of needing one on my x-rays. Following this like a week before Luke proposed, I had the root canal but the pain never went away. I spent that fall being over prescribed amoxicillin and going from specialist to specialist, until they found out it wasn’t a tooth problem but TMJ disorder and started me on physical therapy.

Shortly after I started the therapy to loosen my jaw, the over prescription of amoxicillin essentially ended with me being poisoned in the early winter and my being in the hospital until the day before Christmas Eve. The early part of 2016, January-February, was me getting not one but three reinfections. Another specialist was thrown into the mix and nearly every morning that I woke up, I was coated in a thick layer of fear. I lost a lot of weight, weight I still haven’t gained back, and the stress made my TMJ worse. In April I had a really bad bladder infection that led to another ER visit and months of following bladder spasms (all of that happened days before my best friend’s bridal shower and bachelorette party I had planned in Iowa).

Around this time as well I noticed my hair was starting to fall out, and likely was due to the extreme illness at the beginning of the year. Almost 6 months after not being sick, I’m still losing hair on a daily basis and while others can’t really tell, I can feel my ponytail getting smaller. I have about another 2 months or so that I should expect hair loss as new hair is slowly growing back in and am just desperately hoping nothing too extreme falls out before the wedding. I hope my hair stylist on Saturday can give me good news. My best friend’s wedding, for which I was the maid of honor, was also at the end of May. During this entire time as well, I was working to get everything wedding related done as quickly as possible for my own wedding and experiencing a doubling of my workload at work.

June 1st I came home to find out we had to move suddenly from a house I loved. The next weeks were spent finding a new place (which I do honestly love more), trying to figure out money in the midst of recovering financially still from being sick and paying for a wedding, and packing. In July we moved, and shortly after Lucy got sick again. After a month and a half of medication and follow-up tests, luckily she didn’t have stones and finally got better. This month has been last minute minor wedding things and attempting to relax.

The entirety of this year, my anxiety has been on high alert. I can start sobbing at the drop of a hat and my body dysmorphia, as previously expressed, has also been all over the place. I find myself visibly tensing at the most mundane things and can go from happy to freaking out with very little transition. Things are starting to settle in the past month, but it’s almost like after a thunderstorm when you see the random pangs of lightning in the distance even after the storm has passed. Some days are still challenging.

So no, wedding planning has been fine, if anything it’s been the one nice distraction in an otherwise shit year. The one good thing I’ve had to look forward to is this goddamn wedding. It’s kept me going. I chuckle to myself when people assume I’m going to be stressed about the wedding, because knowing my personality I can sort of see why people would think that, but I’m not. I think a fair number of people thought I was going to be a bridezilla as well, and I don’t think I have been. Honestly, I’m too tired and beaten down and exhausted on a daily basis to give enough fucks to worry if the linens are going to be placed in the right array on tables. I told my bridesmaids recently, “As long as everyone doesn’t look like garbage warmed over on the day of, I’m fine with it.”

That’s the truth.

Next weekend is Labor Day and while it’s been an entire year since all of this insanity has started, it feels like it shouldn’t be here already. My wedding shouldn’t already by only four weeks away and I shouldn’t be picking up my dress in two. I don’t want to say I didn’t have the time to enjoy being engaged, because that’s life and that’s a tad whiny even for me, but there are bits of truth to that statement. Stressor on top of stressor has brought Lou and me closer together, but obviously not under the circumstances I had hoped. This summer was hot almost every step of the way, and living in homes with no consistent air conditioning didn’t exactly help my mood. Day in and day out, I tried to stay positive, smile, and find good spurts. When I think back on the summer though, I don’t have as many great memories as I did with last year’s. I remember crying a lot, being scared at everything, and being worried I was a bother. I’m just starting to enjoy this year in the past three weeks and now I feel like it’s almost over.

It’s been one of those years where you fight to breathe, fight to stay healthy, fight to keep your sanity, fight to smile, fight anything you can find to fight. After fighting though for so many months, the main feeling I’m left with is exhaustion. And yet, l I feel hopeful that the remaining months of this year will be filled with positive rather than negative.

I guess in summary I’m not nervous for the wedding, not even a little. Getting married to Luke in a couple weeks has been the one glimmering bit of hope I’ve had. If he hadn’t been here for me the past twelve months, I don’t know how useful of a human being I could have been to society. In a weird, unintentional way, it’s been one of the best tests if this is the right thing to do. Getting married at 25 is relatively young for my generation and even if you aren’t actively questioning your life choices, you wonder if this is the right time. Thirty days to go and I do not doubt a thing. Nothing has anything ever felt as certain as this.

If 2017 could be a more upbeat year for me though, that would be great.