This weekend my dear friend got married to the man she loves, and I was very honoured to be a part of the special day. However, as anyone with a chronic pain condition will know, events like this come with an element of fear. As one of four bridesmaids I was adamant I was going to be able to walk down the aisle without a limp, dance all night to the cheesiest pop classics, and schmooze with the wedding guests all night long.
As it turned out, a number of things went wrong.
First off I got The Fear. I was so worried about being sore (and as a result, in my mind, useless) at the wedding that as the big day approached, my pain increased. That was annoying.
Next, I got immensely sore about half way through the reception and decided the only way to survive was to drink and drug myself. That wasn’t at all annoying. In fact, it was completely successful… until the next morning. When I woke, not only could I not walk too well but I couldn’t turn my neck or use my right arm. That was pretty severe.
Then, the next day, I went into melt down. The anxiety hit. I thought about all the things I did wrong at the wedding. Things that would have made me a better bridesmaid if only I’d not been, you know, me. I stood on her veil. Fail. I didn’t quite walk down the aisle at the right time to exit the church. Fail. I didn’t join in with the Irish dancing at the end of the reception. Fail. Maybe I talked too much in the car with the other bridesmaids… maybe I should have made more of an effort talking to friends and family I hadn’t met before… maybe I should have taken more photos for her.
And it’s around this point that I slap myself – metaphorically. You see, I may have a tendency to panic but I’m also capable of acknowledging when I’m being a bit ridiculous. In actual fact: I stood on her veil because I was crying with happiness as I walked down the aisle. I didn’t walk down the aisle at the right speed because I wanted to get outside and scream ‘congratulations!’ at my newly married friend. I didn’t join in with the Irish dancing because I had joined in with forty thousand other dances, so it seemed to make sense to rest and sit one out. I jabbered in the car out of sheer excitement and I talked to strangers and I talked to friends and I took 268 photos and most are crap but some are wonderful and… and it was a completely fantastic and heart warming day. My friend, who has been through so much with her dear husband, has married the man she loves. Plus, I happen to love him too. (It’s such a relief. Don’t you hate it when your friends marry idiots?)
Big events can be particularly difficult for people like me. The pressure and the stress can override what we should be feeling. God help me if I have ever to go through my own wedding day. Can you imagine the aftermath?!
See, in my crazy little world there is anxiety and pain, and that can be a bit tough to cope with from time to time. But I am so often reminded of the bigger world in which I live and love with friends and family, and it’s important to bring yourself back to the bigger (and real) world as often as you can. See, in my world, a number of things went wrong that day but in the bigger world one thing went very very right. And all the neck pain in the world can’t beat the happiness.