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Kat
11-12-03, 17:27
I'm going to a friends wedding on saturday and i'm starting to really freak out. I'm mainly worried about being in the church and having a panic attack. It's the dreaded 'what ifs'. What if I can't get out, what if I ruin my friends big day, what if everyone looks at me.
I've been having panic attacks for a year and I'm trying really hard not to let it rule my life but saturday looks impossible to get through!
Does anyone have any suggestions of how to get through it and enjoy it!

Lottie32
11-12-03, 17:45
Firstly Kat, weddings are fun, and you are going to support your best friend!

However, I know exactly what you mean. A good friend asked me to be a bridesmaid, and I accepted. Unfortunately, panic got the better of me, and I had to refuse in the end. (I didn't want to ruin her big day by being a wreck).

HOWEVER I did force myself to the wedding.

Here are my tips for coping.

1. Make sure you know where you are going. Where you can park. How much parking is etc. etc.
2. If its a distance, make sure you have plenty of petrol, atlas etc. Write directions down clearly and legibly
3. Allow plenty of time to get there.
4. Sort out your outfit a couple of days before. Wear something that you don't have to think to much about - i.e. NOT shatung silk and 5 denier stockings. You will spend all day worrying about creases and ladders!
5. Include EVERYTHING you will be wearing, including underwear. Therefore if you are having a bit of a bad time of it before, and you are late getting ready as a result, you have everything you need to hand. This should include outfit, underwear, shoes, jewellery and make up
6. Sort out everything you will be taking with you - present, overnight bag, evening outfit, whatever and leave ready to go by the door.
7. If you have certain things that you need to cope, then make sure your bag is big enough to accomodate them. If you need tablets, tear off enough from the pack, and put them into a little container. You won't be embarassed about pulling a bit box out if you need them.
8. Try and have a normal day on Friday.
9. Take time out for you on Friday (even if its only to have a long soak in the bath), and make sure you get to bed reasonably early
10. Allow yourself plenty of time to get ready
11. Practice breathing techniques, so you can use them if you need to when you get there
12. Get to the church a little early so you can choose where you want to sit. If you are worried about having a panic attack, sit near the back

Remember, although you may not feel like it now, anticipatory panic disappears when you get there, and start to relax, admire your friends dress etc.

If you do feel unwell, nobody will notice you sneaking out the back - all eyes will be to the front, watching the ceremony.

Please just keep thinking positive. Weddings are one of those things where you really should go. After all she (hopefully) won't be doing it again, and you definitely don't want to kick yourself after the event that you never made it!!

Just keep thinking I am going to the wedding, I will be fine, my friend will miss me if I'm not there!

You can always leave the church at any time (but you won't need to)
You are very unlikely to have a panic attack once you are there and are swept away on the emotion of the day.
You will not ruin her day if you do become ill (which you're not going to, because 1. you can always take yourself outside 2. people hardly ever notice when a panic attack is happening 3. everybody is going to be concentration on her not you!

Please Kat, think positive and go! You'll only regret it if you don't. And it will be pretty boring, hearing all the juicy gossip second hand in the pub, cos you can guarantee, one of the uncles will have tried to cop off with one of the bridesmaids, and one of the aunties will spoil herself with too much wine.

Have fun

Charlie

sadie
11-12-03, 21:38
Hi Kat

I got married 2.5 years ago and my panics were pretty bad at the time. I was terrified that I would take a panic attack at the altar and ruin MY wedding day. Most of all, i just wanted to really take the whole day in and enjoy my day, afterall I only planned to do it once!!!

Anyway, the whole day was amazing from start to finish. I didnt feel panicky at all during the day and I remember after the church ceremony when we were signing the marriage register, our minister said we were one of the most relaxed couples he had ever wed.

I think as Charlie says, you will be so caught up with the emotion of the wedding, such as the bridesmaids dresses, the bride and how she looks, the flowers, the meal, the speeches, the 1st dance etc.etc. etc. that you wont really think about being panicky. Keep yourself occupied taking lots of photo's to remind yourself of the day and chat to the other guests, that way you wont be left to think yourself worse.

However, if you do feel anxious throughout the day.. I think just slow your breathing down calmly, think positively and maybe take some 'rescue remedy' in your bag to help calm you down. Maybe have a positive affirmation to repeat to yourself when the panic button is pressed as this will stop the panic escalating. Dont beat youself up if you do panic though, just focus on calming yourself down and enjoying the rest of your day.

Its not easy I know but you have got to keep trying to do everything that you want to do and dont let panic attacks and the symptoms dictate your life and your happiness.

Just relax and enjoy yourself..let us know how you got on. I think you will do fine.



sadie

nomorepanic
11-12-03, 21:59
Hi Kat

Some great advice from Charlie and Sadie there and not much more for me to add.

I would definitely sit near the back so that you can quietly sneak out if you feel unwell. If anyone asks you why you left then just say you had a hot flush or felt a bit dizzy or something. They will probably not question you.

You will be fine and you CAN do it - keep telling yourself that.

I had to be a godmother for my niece when I was at my worst and I had to stand out the front of the church etc. I just kept telling myself that I HAD to do it for her sake and you can do that for your friend.

Let us know how it goes.



Nicola

Lilith
11-12-03, 22:13
All I can say is, sit near the back, on the end. And have fun!

diana
11-12-03, 23:31
Hiya Kat,

Welcome aboard, I think all of the suggestions that could be given have been given here. Just try to stay positive, keep telling yourself you will be fine, and you will!!!! If it makes you feel more secure certainly sit in the back close to the escape route LOL.... :). As just knowing you can get out with ease if you need to can be quite relaxing. Do post and let us know how you get on. We know you will have a grand time.

Take care,

Diana xxxx

Laurie28
12-12-03, 09:32
Hiya Kat,

I hope u enjoy the wedding when you get there. Anticipatory anxiety is awful!!!!!

Talk positive to yourself and let us know how you get on

Love
Lucky

Kat
13-12-03, 01:07
Thank you everyone for being so kind and supportive. I have everything ready for the morning, i've had a nice relaxing bath and i think (dare i say it) i'm actually looking forward to it now!
The advise and positive messages everyone has given to me has really helped me get through the last couple of days.
Now its off to bed so I get up in time!
Thanks again and i'll let you know how I get on.

twister
13-12-03, 01:09
you go girl - enjoy yourself - and no snogging the best man![}:)]

Emily

Meg
13-12-03, 16:35
I was just wishing you well and hoping it's is going well for you right about now Sat pm sometime.

Meg

Kat
15-12-03, 15:03
I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!
And it wasn't the worst day of my life but one of the best!
My friend looked gorgeous and her boyfriend (now husband) didn't scrub up to badly either.
I didn't have to leave the church and didn't once feel the need to. My hands did start to shake when we were singing the first hymn but my boyfriend pointed out a funny hat which took my mind off it. I felt a bit nervous during the ceremony but I focused on typing 'I did it!' on this site.
All my friends were surprised how relaxed I was.
Thank you so much for the advise and kind words you all gave to me. It really did make a difference. Since i've been having panic attacks (a year) I haven't spoken to anyone else who has them. My family and friends are supportive but they don't understand what its really like.
My boyfriend also wants to thank everyone. He enjoyed the day much more when he saw how relaxed and calm I was.
I've been smiling to myself all weekend!
Hopefully I can use my experience to help others.
Thanks
Kat

twister
15-12-03, 15:09
I am so happy for you Kat!

What a great thing to have achieved as we go into 2004!

Emily

Laurie28
15-12-03, 15:10
That's great Kat. i'm glad you had a great day

Love
Lucky

Meg
15-12-03, 15:50
Another brilliant success.

Well done you Kat !!

Keep it up


Meg

Watch your thoughts, they become your words...
Watch your words, they become your actions... Watch your actions, they become your habits... Watch your habits, they become your character... Watch your character, it becomes your destiny...

Lottie32
15-12-03, 16:17
Well done Kat

We've all been there, and are all smiling whilst we read this remembering how that elated feeling when you have challenged yourself and won!

I'm so glad you made it, I've lost count of the number of times I've not done something, and really regretted it afterwards, by which time it's too late!

Keep up the good work, and remember, we are all here for you should you ever need to discuss anything again!

Well done babe

Charlie

diana
15-12-03, 20:56
Hiya Kat,

Kudos!!! you did it, You survived too. I am glad to hear you had a great time. Keep on smiling and keep challenging yourself, so there are no regrets later. Keep up the great work.

Love Diana xxx

sadie
15-12-03, 21:57
Hi Kat

I am so pleased for you...you done amazingly well. As charlie said we all know of times when we have felt just like you but chickened out of going as we were too scared. But you didnt you went and had a lovely day...keep up the good work. Things can only get better for you as you now know you can do it. we all had faith in you!!

Take care

sadie

nomorepanic
15-12-03, 22:07
Hi Kat

Nice going - and you even enjoyed the day which is even better.

We were all waiting with anticipation and you came back with a great success story for us - so we are all very pleased.

Pat yourself on the back and feel very pleased with yourself.

Nicola