I’m in a bad place right now. I have to go to a wedding next Saturday. It’s actually a three-day event (Friday, Saturday, Sunday), but I think I’ve managed to find good excuses for the other two days; but even still, I’m feeling really bad about it. I dislike the groom and his family because they’re all very outgoing and seemingly don’t understand people who are shy and quiet, let alone people like me who can’t engage even in the simplest of conversations.
I tried working on some CBT earlier, but what’s the point when I’m feeling so depressed? There’s this constant voice in the back of my head saying, YOU WILL FAIL. I counter it with- “I’m going to be all right. My feelings are not always rational. I’m just going to relax, calm down, and everything will be OK” and a load of other coping statements .. but that voice is still there.
Next weekend I will fail. I’ll be flooded with anxiety and won’t be able to say anything, let alone smile. I’ll have to hide in the background, hoping no one notices me, relying solely on my girlfriend to help me through conversations.
This wedding will ruin the rest of the this week and probably the week after. I’m scared. Wish me luck.
Are you all right?? I had a similar experience about attending weddings, so let me talk briefly about it. My sister got married in September, and I was scared to death to attend her wedding ceremony. I actually did not want to, but one day my parents came to my apartment and demanded that I show up. Their visit happened totally out of the blue, so I was constantly shaking while we were talking. We were talking at the entrance of my apartment, and I never let them in because I feared I might kill them with my bare hands. I’m thinking of writing about this incident in the near future.
Anyway, I did go to the ceremony. I thought I would definitely screw up, but I didn’t, although I kept feeling tense and anxious. I somehow managed to say hi to my relatives. I didn’t really engage in any conversations, but I got through it somehow. I know how terrified you must be feeling right now. It’s totally understandable for you to find it difficult to benefit from CBT because you’re going through a lot right now. I’m glad that your girlfriend can go with you so at least you can have some company at the wedding. I want you to feel the feelings you have right now and express them as honestly as you can. You’re more than welcome to e-mail me to get your worries or fears off your chest if you like. Please remember you always have someone with whom you can communicate when you need it. Take care!
Hey- I’m actually feeling a lot better. I felt pretty bad most of the day, but something just changed within me a few hours ago. I’m feeling much more optimistic about the situation. It won’t be easy and I probably will have to rely on my girlfriend and I probably won’t be able to converse with many people .. but I’ll get through it somehow. Your post really helped, thanks!
I can imagine this is very scary, but you have a lot going for you. You know the people getting married (at least it isn’t some distant cousin you’ve only heard of) and you have your girlfriend with you. Feeling stressed? Go out for a walk with her for some fresh air and come back. The family of the bride is going to be so caught up in the celebration that they aren’t going to be nitpicking you and your social habits. Trust me. I paid little attention at my brother and sisters’ weddings.
I think you can do it. Maybe you can pre-plan some conversations.
Hi. I’m so and so.
Did you find the church/venue alright?
What do you do for a living?
If they mention children, ask them about them – they will do the talking for you!
If your gf is with you the whole time, maybe she could pick up if you’re having a hard time and either fill in the conversation or get you out of it.
Just some thoughts and suggestions. I hope they are helpful! I think you can do it.
You’re right: I do have a lot going for me, and if the wedding becomes too intense, I can just go out for a walk–nobody will miss me. 🙂 I’m sure others will be feeling uncomfortable, as well. I just get so focused on how I’m feeling, and start thinking that because my feelings are so intense, others must be seeing them as well–which isn’t the case. Anyway, I’m going to continue working through some CBT and just try to take care of myself this week. Thanks for the comment! It’s hard for me to see things objectively when I’m feeling so down, but now that I’m feeling better, I can see the bigger picture again.
Hi, I’m Harriet. I’ve been reading your blog. I’m sorry you are feeling so depressed. I, too, am familiar with those bad voices in the head telling you that you are no good. Ugh. How I wish there was a way to shut them up. I’m glad you have a girlfriend for support – is she very understanding? Social anxiety can be very debilitating, and a wedding seems like ultimate test. I hope it goes well for you and that you aren’t too stressed out all week thinking about it. That’s the worst for me – the pre-anxiety. Awful.
Thanks for reading and commenting. The negative thoughts just won’t go away. I had a brief interlude last night, but they’ve intensified again. I tell myself to STOP! which helps for a bit, but they come right back when I focus my attention away for a second. My g/f offer stremendous support; she’s a therapist in training. Yup, same here: anticipatory anxiety is almost always worst than the event. Thanks again for the kind words!
I’m not sure what to offer that others haven’t by now…just sending you good thoughts.