This weekend was full of weddings. First of all, my cousin got married on Saturday. Watching her walk down the aisle looking like an angel was so happy but also sad. For years, I viewed my cousins as role models and wished that I could be as beautiful, smart, talented, and mature as them. Over the past few years, though, they have reached out to me. Suddenly, they have become more than my cousins; they are good friends.
Anyway, she will be moving away into Canada. Part of me aches for the growing friendship. However I am also very happy for her. Holding back me tears was difficult but I managed to do so because I was a reader. My heart was full of so much bittersweet joy.
Then today, I helped host the bridal shower of my best friend growing up. Over the years, Ruth has been so faithful to me. When I was an awkward child with no other friends, she came alongside me. Many other girls chatted with her and wanted her attention. However, she never forgot or overlooked me.
Seeing her ready for marriage is rather jarring. Although I am ecstatic for her, I also know that I will miss her greatly. Becoming a wife and a mother is going to make her busy schedule even more hectic. Whatever happens, I know that we will remain dear friends. Never will she leave my heart and I will always be thankful for her loyalty.
However, I am writing this post mostly to support people as well as those who struggle with eating disorders, aspergers, social anxiety, etc. Here is why: weddings are wonderful events but they can also be very stressful. As a younger girl, my parents often dragged me to weddings screaming and crying. Just as often as I grew older, they left me alone at home. Often, I became sick because my anxiety was so bad.
I am not alone in this fear of weddings. People crowded into a small place, sitting at a table having to make small talk, loud music throbbing through the evening – this is a nightmare for many people who struggle with aspergers or anxiety. Even if we wish to go, the stress of it might keep us away.
So here are a few tips for support people or for those of you who struggle at weddings:
- Take breaks whenever they/you need to. Just being at the wedding is showing how much you care for the bride and groom. Do not feel guilty about sneaking away if needed.
- Establish a safe place or a safe person. This is somewhere that you can go for quiet or someone who can sit beside you. Having both of these is ideal.
- Do not pressure yourself or your loved one. If they cannot stay for the dance, let it be. Yes, you can challenge yourself but remember to be gentle and not overdo it.
- Return the focus on the bride and the groom. You are there for them. If you cannot eat the meal peacefully, then excuse yourself for a bit. It is better to leave for awhile than to make a scene.
- Celebrate little victories. For some people, just attending the ceremony is stressful enough. Remember that is a step in the right direction.
Last night and today were stressful but ended up being positive experiences. Although weddings still cause me great anxiety, each one I attend becomes a little easier. Maybe one day if I get married, I can make it through mine without leaving early. We’ll have to wait and see.