Just over a year ago I was invited to a friends wedding. My partner was in the wedding party and I didn’t know many people who were attending. For those of you who don’t know I have been dealing with anxiety and depression for most of my life and in the past 5 years have taken many steps to become a happier and healthier person.
At the time of the wedding it had been about a year and a half since my last anxiety attack. I was really excited for the wedding since I love weddings, but was worried about being out of my comfort zone. A lot of my anxieties revolve around social situations, food (since I have many stomach issues) and drinking.
My anxiety was at bay for most of the wedding until it came time for dinner. I was sitting at a table with 9 other people I barely knew while my boyfriend was up at the head table. I couldn’t lean on him for the support I needed and I didn’t want to ruin his night. We had barely eaten all day so when the buffet was open I went and filled my plate up with things I was not sure I could have. I started to inhale my food and within minutes I felt sick. I tried to loosen up a bit by having a drink but that only made things worse. I excused myself from the part and went upstairs to the room we had rented at the hotel. I was sick and tired so I decided I would go back to the party at let my boyfriend know. Before the elevator doors could even open I knew I was not going to be able to return to the party. I went back upstairs, took some anxiety medication and slept for 2 hours. I later returned to the party once my anxiety had subsided and ended up having a great time in the evening.
Once returning to work the following week, I had 3 more anxiety attacks and had to take a week off work.
Since then my anxiety has been better, of course I still have bad days and starting a new job has been challenging at times. But what I am really proud of has been the past two weddings I attended.
In november I was lucky enough to be part of one of my best friends weddings, and this past weekend I was the maid of honour at my best friend’s wedding. With being the maid of honour comes having to make a speech. Luckily it was me and the other maid of honour doing the speech so I was not alone. But I got up there, took a deep breath and talked about how much I love this amazing couple in front of 100 people.
I’ve come a long way in just over a year. I don’t think I would have been able to make a speech in front of my friends and family a year ago, and I did it. Of course I was anxious, who wouldn’t be, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t accomplish something. And so I wanted to mark this occasion with a piece of art, to remember that you can overcome fear with a little bit of courage.
INHALE COURAGE, EXHALE FEAR.