mental health · wedding

The Post-Wedding Blues

white and green flower arrangement
Photo by Dmitry Zvolskiy on Pexels.com

I feel that there are experiences in life that nobody prepares you for. Some of those are small and seemingly unimportant. But when you are the one going through them, it feels a little frustrating that nobody thought it was worth mentioning that hey, this patch of life is going to get a little bumpy.

One of those things for me (and like I said, it can seem unimportant) is the concept of post-wedding blues.

Having now experienced this for myself, I think there are a myriad of reasons people don’t talk about it. One, some people may never feel this way, and that’s great! Two, people may think it’s “just me” who is going through it, so there’s no thought to even warn anyone else. And three, since it’s such a first world problem to complain about, people are embarrassed and refrain.

I knew enough about myself to expect an emotional free-fall after my wedding last May. My nature is to anticipate things – and live through those things – so intensely that I feel a little depressed afterwords. For example, January is always tough for me once the holiday season over, and in the past few years, I usually hit a funk after a family member or close friend got married. Somehow, I managed through most of the summer not reaching that temporary depression. Looking back, it was because the first two months are still the “honeymoon period” of getting back photos and videos, and reliving the day. In August, we had another close friend’s wedding, so it filled that void temporarily.

Then came September.

I guess it was the turn of the seasons that did it for me. When it was still summer, I was able to stretch the memories out over three months. It was still socially acceptable for me to talk about the wedding with everyone – when we’d meet up with friends, they told us their opinions and experiences from the big day. It was still a fresh topic of conversation for everyone. But as we moved into the autumn months, my brain processed the end of that chapter of our year, and it was rough.

I know it may seem silly to obsess over a single day. I also know that my marriage is more important that my wedding; it’s not about that. It’s about understanding that when you plan an event for 18 months, especially one with emotional significance, you’re going to get attached to it. You spend all that time preparing and dreaming, and even if it comes to life perfectly (I might even argue, especially when it comes to life perfectly), it goes by incredibly fast. At least that part, most people warn you about.

There is almost nothing I would redo about my wedding day. The biggest things to go wrong were thankfully very minor. I’ve told people it was like living inside of a dream – I had envisioned it and pieced it together over the months, and to see all of the decor set up exactly as I saw it in my mind’s eye was an experience I cannot forget. To top that, having all of our family and friends it one room was incredible. We had the time of our lives.

Writing about this made me feel immensely better, because yes, even in January when we’re closer to our anniversary than to our wedding day, I’m still feeling waves of sadness about it. Creating mental and physical touchstones might be my way through it – creating keepsakes from wedding cards, putting stationary and other mementos into shadowboxes, and watching the videos (which is exactly why I wanted videography in the budget).

As part of this process, I’ve decided that since I wasn’t active on my blog this time last year, I will be sharing details this year as we hit the anniversary of each event. It actually works out well because my bridal shower was in March, my bachelorette party was in April, and my wedding was in May, so the wedding-related posts will be nicely spaced out.

Do you get the post-event blues? If you’re married, did you feel them after your wedding? If you aren’t married, have you felt them after other big life events?

Goals

Belated 2019 Goal Setting

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There is nothing more telling about where I am in life than a post about 2019 goals midway through January. I blame my January 8th birthday – it’s exactly one week after New Year’s Day, so I always continue that weird holiday “suspension of reality” until my birthday is over. Honestly, what’s really happening is that I am just continuing to live my life flying by the seat of my pants, which is a trend I actually hope to put a stop to this year.

Every January, I pick one word to live by along with a few supplementary words – called ways of being – that kind of jive with the main word. I discovered this ritual from Stratejoy and specifically Holiday Council, but I feel like it’s becoming more mainstream across the internet and social media. Having a word or a general theme is far less intimidating than setting specific many goals that may or may not pan out, especially for someone like myself who lacks discipline. It’s easier to refer back to a word, or a feeling, instead of a laundry list of to-dos.

That being said, here’s what I came up with for 2019.

My theme for the year is Discovery; my additional ways of being are to be truebe focused, be lightbe alive, and self-love.

I chose the word Discovery because, to be frank, I need to figure myself out. For too many years now, I have pushed everything inwards and opted for ignorance, hoping that I would wake up one day and ~magically~ function like a normal person. I kept avoiding the hard work, and now it’s caught up to me.

As I hinted at in my last post, my life post-wedding has been oddly unsettling. It has nothing to do with my marriage, but a lot to do with who I am as a person. Being “the bride” for so long and then suddenly having to let go of that role made me realize how much I tie my worth to what’s going on in my life – not having the wedding to talk about anymore left me feeling extremely empty and unseen. It’s making me want to rush into the next piece of my life (buying a house, having kids, possibly furthering my education) simply because of the attention it garners. I recognize how very unhealthy this is, which is why I need to find the time to really peel back all of my layers, get to know myself, and find out what will actually make me happy and satisfied. I feel like, if you asked me that today, I don’t have a real answer for you.

I do have some general goals this year that I need to map out a little more specifically, but again, I like setting intentions before the actual tasks. I want to read more books this year. I want to drink more water, exercise more, and actually schedule doctors appointments. I want to make more casual plans with friends, instead of waiting for big get-togethers or events, and I want to stop flaking out because of anxiety.

This month specifically, I’m setting two task-based goals: continue my daily at-home yoga practice, and get to work on time. The first one is pretty simple because I’ve already been doing it since last January. The latter seems straightforward, but is actually fairly difficult because it requires tweaking of my entire daily schedule. As you might expect, halfway through the month I am doing pretty well with daily yoga and… not so great with being at work on time. But I’ve still got half of the month to go, and I’m trying to remind myself that every day is a fresh start, not just the first day of the year/month/week.

What is your best trick for getting up in the mornings? I cannot seem to pry myself out of bed any earlier than absolutely necessary (seriously, I wake up for work 20 minutes before I leave), so if you’re up hours before work, tell me your secrets!

About Me

Dusting off the cobwebs.

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Well, hello there.

I always find myself back at my blog at the beginning of each year, because I am nothing if not predictable. New starts are my weakness, which is very odd considering I can’t tell you the last time I actually followed through with any new habit I tried to start.

(Actually, that’s a lie. Last year I started a daily home yoga practice with Yoga with Adriene, which I highly recommend because she’s lovely and funny and doesn’t make you feel completely inept.)

Other than that, the only “goal” I accomplished in the last year was getting married. That is not something I say lightly – planning and executing the Best Day of Our Lives in a way that is budget-friendly, gorgeous, and fun as hell is not a simple task. The marriage part, in comparison, feels easy. It felt like marriage was the next, obvious step in our relationship. In fact, it felt so normal that I didn’t even cry a single tear on my wedding day. I had expected to be a sobbing mess, but I found that I was just completely, blissfully happy.

The remaining seven months of 2018… that’s another story. Still rocking at marriage, not so much with the rest of my life. But that’s for another post, or probably many posts. (I’m sorry in advance. Except not really.)

As I compose this, I don’t really have an intention for this space. I probably should have done that first, but I like to jump in feet-first and think about things later. (Surprisingly, that’s how I ended up with my husband.) Maybe it will be a place to explore some hobbies, because after all the busy-ness of wedding planning, I forgot what it was like to have free time (not spent scrolling Instagram). I will likely retroactively recap some of the creative projects I did for my wedding, since I had hoped to do that last year but failed to realize juuuust how all-consuming event planning can be. Or, maybe I’ll just ramble, like I always did in the good old days – writing to capture the memories of my life and not feeling like blogs had to have a ~purpose~ or a ~theme~ other than, here are the random happenings of my life.

I guess what I hope for here (and what I think I always hope for) is a public space to be held accountable. Having readers – even if it’s just two or three internet buddies and the stray real-life friend who wanders this way – means that somebody is listening. Somebody is seeing my goals and my thoughts, and reading my silly stories about life and reflections that don’t necessarily translate to in-person conversations. And even if nobody is reading, it still serves a purpose because I am writing as though someone is reading. Journaling is a raw, unrefined practice to get thoughts out of my head; blogging is telling a story and using some level of creativity to make my words string together nicely. It’s a baby step back into feeling more like me, because I always felt comfortable behind pretty fonts and a tidy layout.

That being said, if you somehow found yourself reading this blog, drop a comment below so we can (re)connect! Especially if you, too, are still blogging (or starting it back up, like me).