This is a blog about depression. If you are easily offended or take offence to my very sarcastic humour, please do not read any further. Mental illness is not a joke; it is not something to point fun at and I fully understand that. BUT…when the going gets tough, sarcasm and humour is my defence and so I will be parading it around all over this blog.
If you need help, please get it. Whilst I hope this has a happy ending, I don’t know yet and given I’ve not been able to fix myself, I really don’t want others using this as a ‘How To Be Happy for Beginners v2.0’
I wake up at Friends AI and BI feeling ok. Given the wine flight last night I’m somewhat surprised. Friend AI is going to the hairdressers to have her hair done but now I’m on a strict budget a bit of DIY will have to suffice. In fact, Friend FH should feel incredibly lucky, my hair is getting washed 2 days in a row. That’s a first since this ‘blip’! I start doing ‘full’ makeup. Most women will know what I mean when I say this. A woman normally has ‘day makeup’, ‘subtle makeup’, ‘work makeup’ and then, the ultimate ‘my best makeup’. Today, for only the 3rd time since hospital, I’m going all out for ‘my best makeup’. I’m fat, spotty, have split ends and my dress is just 1 inch too tight but, I’m going to try my best to turn up looking ok.
If I’m being 100% honest, in the car on the way to the ceremony, I’m wishing I could go home. It’s nothing to do with any of my friends, it’s just a feeling of not being ok. I think we’ve all learnt that my ‘not ok’ feeing means I want to shut myself away at home. It’s bloody frustrating. I love a good wedding and this promises to be just that yet really, I’d like to be at home. Or. There is an or. Or, at least 1 stone lighter, not this unfit, not this spotty and preferably with a plus 1. Friend AI is driving which means two things:
1) We’ll be travelling at break neck spread yet…
2) inexplicably be late!
Friend AI must work on the same clock system as Sister. Much to my (and everyone else in the car) surprise, we’re here with 18 minutes to spare. No stress you may be thinking but no, that would be too easy. Paying for the parking takes ages and I’m trying not to show it but I’m feeling very panicky. I’m trying to hide my breathing technique whilst stood on the pavement. It feels painful how long the parking is taking to sort out. It’s no ones fault, it’s a crazy payment mechanism but oh my days, please can we be sat in the church in silence asap.
We take a pew, literally, and sit to wait for the ceremony to commence. In walks the bridesmaids and then, the absolutely stunning Friend FH. We were really close at uni but drifted a little since the bugger that is real life decided to interject. Today though, wow. Just wow. I’m so pleased she’s found her lobster (if you don’t get that reference you need a good education in the 10 brilliant series of Friends!). After they are officially married it’s time to hit up the genius ice cream van. On a day where the thermometer is hitting 29, ice cream is definitely hitting the spot. I might be feeling fat and frumpy but since when has that stopped me from indulging?
The drive to the venue is quite long and when we arrive, I want to hide in my room and hurry up and be outside with the other guests and harpist all at once. I suffer from monumental FOMO. Other guests are already outside in the sunshine but equally, I want to check in and layout, in order, my face creams and pjs. Obviously Happy the elephant has come with me so he needs to be tucked into bed ready for me later. We do dump our bags but Friend AI and SA seem to take an age before they are ready to head down. I know, logically, they took no time at all but my brain is in overdrive with all these strange people. I *may* have rushed them. I can’t stand ‘missing out’. Today is hot and I don’t mean English weather hot, I mean Mediterranean hot. I think I might be melting. Friend FB (notice the subtle change of the H to B!) is somehow remaining cool calm and collected whilst all 100+ guests huddle under the 1 tree offering shade. The canopies and bubbles are free flowing but not any ice water. This is a mistake. Person C + bubbles + heat – water = headache tomorrow! The photographer has a great idea of getting all the guests in a huddle in the sun for a group shot. Thanks dude, really appreciate you capturing me as a hot sweaty mess. Friend BI is doing remarkably well to keep his jacket and tie on. Come to think of it, Groom/ new husband TB is doing incredibly well to still be in his 3-piece suit! Hats off to you.
We get called through for the wedding breakfast. The room is beautifully decorated and I am in love with the flowers. They have mint and blackberries in them! Genius. If ever my day comes, I am going to copy that. We start with speeches and that’s when my happy smile starts to wobble. First up, Father of the Bride. Events like this are bittersweet. I am so happy for Friends FB and TB but, I’ll never have this moment. I’ll never have a father of the bride speech whilst dabbing away tears (just like Friend FB). Even if my relationship improves with Father, he wouldn’t be able to reference anything after 7 years-old or before the time we sort it out! This also stirs up my anger that Sister and Brother-in-law had to elope. Finally, weddings really do remind a person just how lonely singledom is. Speeches done and time to put my sadness away. Friend FB, I love you, I really do, but this is not the menu to be serving on a boiling summer day! Soup, followed by beef wellington and then sticky toffee pudding. All three things I love but when I’m already suffering, this is probably not the light refreshing meal I wanted – I later found out that Friend FB was so convinced it would rain, she wanted something warming! As with all wedding breakfasts, the wine is free flowing. I can’t tell how many glasses I’ve had as I have topped up before getting to the bottom.
Once the meal is over, we head outside for a bit whilst we wait for the room to be converted into the dance floor and the cutting of the cake. It’s getting a bit cooler so it’s nice to hang out on the grass whilst chatting. We make it back in to see the cake cut and the first dance. Friend FB wasn’t joking when she said her first dance was to Elvis. It’s lovely! I don’t feel I can go up an dance though so I watch from afar.
Friend FB comes to say hi and decides to show us the honeymoon suite. It’s stunning but, she wants to call it a night. It takes a lot of persuading to drag the bride back down to the 100+ guests (and her new husband!). Ah Friend FB, you’ve not changed a bit. This is exactly how uni nights would go! You’d want to fall asleep before we’d even left. Bride in tow, we head down. This is when I realise I’m feeling totally overwhelmed. I lie to my friends (sorry) and tell them I am heading to my room to change my shoes. The honest thing would have been to tell them I’m feeling overwhelmed by the whole wedding and loving family thing and I think I need to go hide.
I’ve managed most of the wedding. I’ve seen them walk up and then down the aisle, I’ve ‘grudgingly’ (aka very happily) had the free 99 ice cream at the church. I’ve supped champers and had the 3-course wedding breakfast. I’ve seen the cake cut and the first dance. But. Yes, there is a but. It’s 21:50 and I’m not sure I can face much more. It’s been very hot today and mixed with the wine with the meal and a G&T, I think I’m done. I Know Friend FB will understand. I’m not sure if Friends AI, BI and SA will though. I lied. I told them I was nipping to my room to change my shoes but I’m actually sat here in pjs and munching through the wedding pick n’ mix. I don’t think I can face going back down. I’m hot, sticky and feeling overwhelmed. My happy smile is starting to falter. I’ve had a run of good days and whilst I don’t think this is a downhill moment, I think the most sensible thing would be to call it a night. I’ve had a great streak of good days and I’d love tomorrow to be another one. I’ve done my best. I’ve worked really hard to be ‘Normal’ today. I think my book, Happy and I now need to say night night.
Friend AI messages to see if I’m coming down. This freaks me out. The truth is, probably no, but can I tell her the truth? In the past, Person C would have ignored the message as a way of dealing with it but, Person C is meant to be doing things a bit differently now so, why don’t I just message the truth, I need some time out. From my spot on the bed, I have great acoustics of the band and I’m getting to rock out in the privacy of my room. I lied though. Again. Whilst I did say I needed some time out, I said I’ll head down soon. I’m not sure I will head down soon. In fact, I’m already in pjs, sat on the bed eating the wedding pick n’mix. I fall asleep before I can even think about getting dressed again and heading down.
I wake up at 0700 but decide to roll straight back over. I finally peel myself out of bed at 08:40. Whilst I was by no means drunk last night, I can feel the few I did have. Not a hangover per se, more a foggy haze. Friend FB should feel exceptionally honoured, whilst I haven’t showered this morning – 3 days in a row would be far too good to be true – I have applied a base layer of make-up. I can count on 1 hand the times I’ve worn make up since mid-January so this really is exceptional.
The others aren’t up yet when I arrive for breakfast so I end up sitting on my own at a table laid for 10. Excellent, just what I wanted. Thankfully the Groom is on hand to work his charm and ask how I am, did I have fun etc. The, Friend FB makes an appearance. Phew, I feel less like a loner now. Finally, Friends AI, BI and SA turn up too. I’ve
We pay – I’ve budgeted to put this on credit card paying most off this month and the rest next week when I get my salary – say our good byes and then head off. On the drive home, I fall asleep, I’m pretty sure it was with my head tilted and mouth wide open. There is talk of going to the park for the afternoon. I don’t know how I feel about that. Friend AI asks if I am up to it and I want to say no. I want some time out preferably in a cool and well ventilated place. My mouth doesn’t cooperate with my head though and I say yes, sure, sounds great! Once back, Friend SA heads straight off and it would appear I am going to go along with the idea of a picnic in the park. We head to a supermarket for supplies and I don’t know how to tell Friend AI that I am already over budget for the weekend. I hadn’t anticipated Friday’s lunch or supper being quite so expensive. This is really embarrassing. I know Friend AI couldn’t care less about what I earn, how much I spend etc. but admitting you can’t afford a picnic, well, it’s a new low for me. We get to the till and as I’d feared, a few crudities and snacks has suddenly totted up to £48. I offer to transfer money to Friend AI but she waves her hand away. I feel incredibly guilty.
Once at the park we find a place in the shade (for me) but with areas of sun (for Friend AI). I read and try to enjoy being so ‘Normal’. Unsurprisingly, once I am outside, it’s better than I thought it would be. There are groups of people dotted around the park, some BBQ-ing and others just relaxing. I did not make the most of this park whilst at uni that’s for sure! It’s no to a tan for Person C, I stay in the shade! We stay longer than I am ‘comfortable’ being outside. I kind of wish I was going home to the solitude of cats and duvet land. It’s nothing to do with Friends AI and BI, it’s just that I feel social-ed out from this weekend. I don’t though and I know, deep down, deep deep down under the longing to be locked away, this is good for me. Friend AI and I have a heart-to-heart, which I hugely appreciate, before heading back to their house.
We have the rest of picnic for late supper and now I am going to shut myself away in the spare room. I am tired and a bit headachey from the sun and lack of water. Looking back, I’ve had an amazing run of ‘good’ days. I’m not going to assume it will continue but I’m also not going to sabotage them. They’ve been great, precious, special even. This is progress. This is the tangible proof I wanted that I am moving in the right direction.