About a Wedding
I spent most of yesterday in bed, sleeping, in an attempt to recover from my exhausting weekend. But oh, what a weekend it was! On Friday, I drove my husband and my mother 7 hours to Savannah, Georgia to attend my nephew’s wedding. From the moment we got there, it was a non-stop whirlwind of activity and celebration up until (and after) we left Sunday. We stayed in a breathtaking 2 story loft type residence inside an old cabinet making business. I loved the exposed brick walls, 15-foot ceilings, industrial-looking pipes everywhere-it was very urban and modern and funky. We had a downstairs apartment with 2 bedrooms and a kitchen and a huge great room with pool table and 50″ flatscreen TV; my sister and her husband and my niece and her boyfriend stayed in the upstairs apartment, which was just as hip plus had a fireplace and a balcony. Savannah is an amazing old city. In case you’ve never seen the movie “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”, I’ll tell you that Savannah is gorgeous.
The Savannah Historic District is one of the nation’s largest; this city is just a beautiful old Southern coastal town with beautiful architecture and gigantic shade trees dripping with Spanish moss, and 22 different parks with fountains and old statues and cobblestone streets complete with horse-driven carriages. There’s a waterfront area where artists set up their easels and paint and artisans sell their crafts and street musicians perform. There are delightful little cafe’s and pubs, and my husband and I found our way to a few of these Friday afternoon. The wedding festivities began with a rehearsal dinner Friday night. I didn’t attend that, but it was my responsibility to get my mother dressed and do her hair and makeup. After everyone left for the rehearsal dinner, I was able to breathe easier, and my husband and I went off on our own and walked the streets of downtown and had dinner at an eclectic little place which offered $2 beer. After some sightseeing, we headed back to get ready for the pre-wedding cocktail party, held at a fancy old restaurant/bar. I intentionally skipped all my meds just so I could drink at the party. And drink I did! I think I was trying to make up for my lack of Xanax. After several drinks, my brother-in-law brought me my own bottle of champagne, every drop of which I drank…and then a second bottle appeared. I drank and danced and smiled and pretended to be at ease, but truthfully I was a nervous wreck. For a person with Social Anxiety Disorder, this was the ultimate test: It was crowded and noisy and I was surrounded by hundreds of strangers, all of whom seemed young and thin and beautiful. But I hung next to my husband and my mother, and so I felt somewhat shielded from the dangers of the reality outside my little bubble. It was so wonderful to spend time with my big sister, whom I rarely get to see as she lives on the other side of the country. She introduced me to someone as “her beautiful sister” and I took that as a sarcastic comment but my husband said she was being sincere. It’s not that I think she’d try to be mean to me, it’s just that I’m paranoid by nature and always assume the worst. We stayed for a good long while, long enough for me to see my 83-year old mother drink and dance with several young men, including her grandson (the groom). I was thrilled to see her having such a good time, and she said it was the most fun she’s had since Daddy died. After she was too tired to go on, my husband and I took her back to where we were staying and put her to bed. There was another party to attend, but I didn’t think I could handle another crowded social function, so instead we stayed in and my husband made me margaritas (my sister stocked our kitchen with snacks and our bar with liquor!) and he opened a bottle of Captain Morgan’s and we did some more partying by ourselves. I got so drunk that I ended up hugging the toilet for a good part of the evening. Oh well, it was totally worth it.
The next day was hectic and entailed a breakfast get-together where I consumed much champagne and orange juice. I intentionally skipped my meds again so I could enjoy all the champagne I wanted.
I LOVE champagne. After breakfast, everyone scattered to do their own thing and my hubby and I went sightseeing. We walked all over town and ended up in a frozen drink bar. From a wall of colorful assorted frozen drink machines, I chose the blue one. I ordered my drink and then saw the sign which proclaimed that the drinks are made with 190 proof pure grain alcohol and are much stronger than regular bar drinks. Needless to say, I thought that drink was going to put hair on my chest! We headed back to the apartment to prep for the wedding. I helped Mom get dressed and did her makeup and hair and Mom left to get wedding pictures made. Husband and I had an hour to ourselves before we had to leave for the wedding. Which means that I was ready on time, but that there was enough time for me to get very anxious. I stuck some Xanax in my purse but really didn’t want to take any because I wanted to drink at the reception. Well, once my husband and I were all decked out in our formal attire (he looked so snappy in his bow tie!) we headed down the street 2 blocks to catch the trolley which my nephew had hired to take everyone to the church. The wedding was beautiful and afterwards we headed to a mansion for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Servers clad all in black milled about with trays of food and wine, and there was an open bar which we took full advantage of. I admit, I didn’t do any mingling. I knew no one but a handful of relatives there, so I wasn’t comfortable talking to anyone. I put Mom in a chair and got myself a Cosmopolitan and spent the next hour or two chatting with my husband and trying not to have an anxiety attack. It seemed to take an eternity, but at last it was time for dinner, and the wedding party filed into the ballroom and everyone went to their assigned seats. I was so relieved to find that we were sitting with my mom and sister and niece. I had a cocktail with me, then a man came around and poured champagne, and then after that a man came around with 4 different kinds of wine. I chose white. The dinner was ultra gourmet–filet mignon and a single gigantic shrimp served with asparagus. It was much fancier than I am able to describe. I ate very little but drank plenty. After that there were speeches and toasts and dancing and general merrymaking. I can’t remember how I got back to the apartment… it seems that my husband and I did some more drinking that night and I guess I passed out at some point; I woke up in the wee hours of the morning wearing my clothes. There was no sleeping in that day, for we had to make the journey home. I stumbled into the kitchen to make coffee, then started packing my suitcase. For a 3-day trip, we had a ton of luggage. Plus a cooler filled with drinks and plastic bins filled with snacks and all of Mom’s medical equipment…it looked like we were moving. I think it took Husband 20 minutes to load the car. It was raining the day we left, and that seemed to match the mood of everyone as we said our goodbyes. It was sad-Mom cried. The drive home was long-about 8 hours-and exhausting. I kept having to stop to throw up, presumably from all the drinking I’d done the night before. Finally we pulled into our driveway. I hated that our trip was over but was also glad to be home. Then I saw the evidence of the stress of the trip. I found that my legs had been picked at and scratched at and were all bloody and raw. My upper arms were also covered in sores due to compulsive skin picking. I don’t remember doing it but it’s obvious that it was a reaction to stress and the pressure of being around so many strangers. I skipped all my meds for 3 days and went “all-natural” -something was bound to happen. And so I dealt with the anxiety by drinking too much and picking at my skin. Also bit my nails but not as bad as it could have been. In retrospect, I don’t think I could’ve had a better time. And I’m so proud of myself for not freaking out during all the excitement. My doctor had warned me I’d probably dissociate during the wedding, but I don’t think I ever did. I remember the ceremony. I remember the reception. I got a little floaty and distracted during dinner, but I think I successfully stayed in my body for most of the whole event… Wow! This weekend gave me not one, but two things to celebrate.