What is the right level of emotion you should feel? It seems to be all or nothing for me. Can there be a middle ground please?
By Sara-Jane Morphew

What is the right level of emotion you should feel? I’ve been to two weddings this year within a few months of each other and my emotional response was completely different at them. It has left me wondering what is the correct response.

What is the right level of emotion you should feel? It seems to be all or nothing for me. Can there be a middle ground please?

Both friends are uni friends, very close friends, and they were my bridesmaids. But after the first wedding I was left with the feeling that I had no feelings! I didn’t cry at the ceremony, the speeches, the goodbyes. I was numb, that is the only way to describe it. Don’t get me wrong, I had a wonderful day, it was a beautiful day and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I guess I was just disappointed in my emotional response, expecting it to be a much stronger one. I really expected to be a crying mess when I saw my beautiful friend walk down the aisle, and I usually cry at speeches. And I didn’t like my body’s response to the alcohol intake.

Numb

Antidepressants and alcohol do not mix!! I did not like the feeling of being numb. Even though it’s got me through some darker times, for a day like a wedding when you really want to have an emotional response I didn’t like it. The numbness helped with the anxiety levels, the dealing with being in a different place, going to new places with new people. But looking back I would trade some calm for some emotion.

I wish I could do it all again. Its not often I feel like that, like I want a repeat. I just wish I could relive it without the antidepressant umbrella. The antidepressant cling film, which keeps everything away from me, but also holds everything in, a bit like the spanx I was wearing! Hehe.

And then…

And then there was the second wedding. By this point in the year I had reduced my antidepressant intake, partly in response to the previous wedding, partly because generally I was doing better. And also because my counsellor thought it meant we could do better work if I weren’t wrapped in cling film. There was a drastic difference in my emotional response.

I went from nothing and numbness to all the emotion! I couldn’t deal with it. It started with my first glimpse of my friend and her Dad. At this point the flood gates opened and pretty much they didn’t close for about a week! I cried when I saw her, I cried during the ceremony, I cried talking to my friends, when we had a uni girls photo. I cried in the toilets, I cried at the table, I cried in private and with my friends; and I kept apologising for my tears, my emotion. It was too much! And I just could not keep it in.

So…?

At first I was really happy that I had emotion and I had a little cry during the ceremony, but when it wouldn’t stop it just got out of hand. There was fizz involved but not too much. I didn’t over do it! I stopped during dinner so I wasn’t all fizz-induced tears, and definitely not gin-induced. After my response to alcohol at the previous wedding I tried to pace myself and I was so happy to wake up hangover free the next day. It was just an emotion hangover I had to deal with.

There were tears in the pub saying goodbyes, there were tears in the car while we drove home. There were tears again when I dropped my sister in law off and I was on my own driving. No amount of Disney sing along could sort it. I think I drove in silence in the end. I contemplated getting an extra counselling session in that week to try and deal with all the emotions. But I didn’t need it, in the end they all settled and went back in to the relevant boxes.

Middle ground please

So what is the right level of emotion? Well Option 1 would be none. Which has its place. Sometimes you need to not have to deal with the floodgates and for a time this was necessary. I don’t think I need this now, I think I can unwrap the cling film a bit. Option 2 would be all the emotion! Which also can have its issues. I would really like to perfect Option 3. Can there be a middle ground please? A place where you can shed a small tear, cry at a TV programme or an advert yet still be able to control yourself in public. I’d really like to find this level. Also where I don’t feel the anger so much, the frustration, the fear and despair. I am a work in progress and that is OK.

From Lala, with love xx


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