There are many, many things I could write about how my mental health has effected me over the years. How I kept getting in and out of black holes. How my life somehow always inexplicably ended up in a disaster and like a Phoenix I would rise up again only to burst in to flames days, weeks or even months later.
No one ever had a name for what I had. Mostly as a child I was called overdramatic, too sensitive. As an teenager simply hormonal and as an adult depressed. No one ever had a name for my condition, right up until my wedding that was.
I think it’s worth mentioning at this point that all I’ve ever dreamed of throughout my entire life was my wedding, as a small girl I would obsessively draw pictures of wedding dresses and play weddings, so when I finally found a man who loved me despite my many, many issues and he proposed it was a dream. I excitedly planned, prepped and obsessively made arrangements (as only I can!).
Finally the day arrived and I was ready, ready for my dream to finally become a reality. It was stunning, everything was beautiful. We said our vows and went on to the reception and that’s where the dream turned in to a living nightmare. One off-beat introduction from a guest in the toilet was enough to send me in a “black out meltdown”. I apparently spent the next three hours plus screaming and crying hysterically about how ugly I felt, how everything was wrong and my new husband didn’t love me….and those are just the pleasant things.
I remember coming round a bit towards the end of the reception sat alone on a muddy step of the grounds behind the venue. My vision coming back to me, like someone had switched the lights back on one by one and as I slowly started taking stock of my dress (which by this point was in tatters), with my hair strewn across my hot sticky face. I had spilled something down myself and as I tried to swallow the burning lump in my throat I thought “what have I done” followed quickly by “I need to kill myself”. Had it not been for a handful of wonderful people taking it in turns to piece my fragile self together at that point onwards I would have thrown myself in the river next to the venue.
I credit those guests with saving my life although I haven’t told them because no one, especially not me, has spoken about the wedding. I think some people who didn’t know me thought I was a horrible monsterous drunk, others too upset to talk to me about it. Others like I, just lost for words and my poor poor husband and how hurt he was. The feelings of self loathing and suicidal ideation continued well in to the honeymoon and beyond and I’m finally pleased to say I now have the help I need and the diagnosis I so desperately needed over a decade ago.
If I could describe my breakdown as anything it would be like I was blown up like a balloon and that evening I burst. I’m so lucky and grateful everyday to say my husband has stuck by me and supported me through my illness. And all my family and close friends who worked so hard to make our day special have been as understanding as possible. As we swiftly approach our one year anniversary I can’t say I’m fully recovered and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to get past the hurt and guilt I feel about that day. But as my beautiful, amazing husband says the wedding was in the church Laura, the reception was just the afterparty.
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