YOUR SUPPORT NETWORK IS VITAL
The first wedding I went to was in Romania – the wedding of an incredibly kind-hearted and amazing colleague of mine called Roxana.
Some people cry, some drink….. my biggest challenge was that I was still vomiting at that point from all the stress (I kind of don’t think I realised I was doing this as I was in a dream!) I continued to vomit throughout the weekend: at the wedding reception, in the toilet of a service station and in the gardens of a beautiful house outside Timisaora. Fortunately I managed to get through the party without vomiting but it was tough at times. I needed to find ways to cope with the fact it was a difficult situation for me.
One strategy I tried was to leave the reception multiple times to have some time on my own. That didn’t really help me personally – as I had a panic attack in my hotel room, as I listened to wedding music pass up through the floorboards.
At times, I felt desperate to speak to my friends and family. Unfortunately, this didn’t work either, as Wifi was sketchy, as were the phone lines. I was in a really bad way – sweating profusely, panicking and feeling empty and lonely. I also didn’t know whether I’d be able to stay and act normally and talk to all the wonderful people who were there.
I tried accepting that this was an enormous storm of pain and just kept moving. My heart felt black and withered, and I missed my partner incredibly but I kept moving (you have to even when you stay still) – whether a passenger in the car, on a plane or eating at the reception. I realised stopping everything and doing nothing would not work for me. So like so many days in this period, I just had to deal with it and keep going.
Weirdly, I did manage to throw myself into it (the wedding that is, not the panic attack). I danced, sat by a campfire in a beautiful garden and enjoyed feeling the breeze of the Danube river. It was a great wedding.
The moral of this story for me was – your support network is vital to you when you are low that sometimes it is difficult to be away from them. But that, when you have to, – as I did…..try and get through it and go through the motions of existing even when it hurts.
Because…if you carry on, you will keep learning, seeing new things and meeting new people. And there will be moments, even early on, when you forget the pain. Thanks, Mark, Sarah, and everyone.