Goals · mental health

March-ing On

snow ice winter cold
Photo by Valeria Boltneva on Pexels.com

I can’t tell if February passes so quickly simply because it’s a short month, or also because it follows January, the longest month evvvver. Either way, here we are in March, where I always breathe a little internal sigh of relief.

Winter agitates me. I’ve been learning this the hard way over the past few years. I don’t really get depressed (this year I did, but it’s not common). For me, my anxiety just ramps up. I’m anxious about snow. I’m anxious about people having the stomach flu (hi, lifelong emetophobe over here!). I’m anxious about being anxious in all of the social situations that come up around the holidays. And for some reason, my body reacts worse to the cold than it does to excessive heat.

Once we turn the calendar to March, it’s like a light at the end of the tunnel. I can see spring on the horizon. We may still have snow and frigid weather, but it’s almost over. That’s part of the reason I always wanted a spring wedding – as much as I do love summer and fall, spring is refreshing and comforting to me. It doesn’t have the oppressive heat like summer does, but you can still enjoy being outside. Spring is like the Friday of seasons to me.

Unfortunately, I didn’t really tackle my main goal of setting schedules for myself this month, so I’m carrying it forward into March. The other big goal is to make a doctor’s appointment and get blood work done, because now it’s officially been Way Too Long since I’ve been to the doctor. My reward for making the doctor’s appointment will be to take the day off when I get my blood drawn – I’m not afraid of needles, necessarily, but I am freaked out by the process of drawing blood and often hyperventilate and get lightheaded. My doctor’s office does blood work on site and has appointments Friday mornings, so I promised myself once I get it on the calendar, I’ll take a vacation day and have a three-day weekend.

I did get a lot of small things done in February. There were some nagging to-do list items around the apartment, like reorganizing a few storage bins so that they make more sense and decluttering some clothes. I had friends over mid-month, which is always a nice kick in the ass to clean everything up. I finally mailed a donation box of some bras and toiletries to my local chapter of I Support The Girls, which is a great organization because they actually take gently-worn bras, and I had a ton.

I’m also enrolled in Reclamation, which is a 10-month program through Stratejoy that helps you examine yourself and your life, and February was our first month. I’m only a little bit behind (no surprises there), but it has been so helpful to be held accountable for taking time to focus on my thoughts and emotions, instead of just ignoring and numbing everything.

March always feels so bright to me, and so hopeful. I can’t wait to really get to work on making these improvements to my life.

What is your favorite season? Does winter stress you out too?

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?