Three Years Later

On Tuesday my partner and I celebrate three years of marriage.

I want to say it’s been all rainbows and unicorn farts, but it hasn’t.  Well, there have been farts, but not those of the unicorn variety.  It’s been…loving and supportive and stable and hilarious and the kind of tenderness that brings one to tears.  But it’s also been the biggest challenge in our relationship since moving out of state and having a kid and basically having our whole world flipped upside down.  And now we’re about to flip it once again with baby number two.  Woo-boy.  I’m sure glad I have him by my side for all this.

But enough about our marriage.  The anniversary gets us thinking about our wedding and all the bittersweet feelings that go with it.  I blogged about it (read it here) to help me cope at the time and then the post got Freshly Pressed, which I initially had mixed feelings about.  On one hand, getting recognized for my writing is always nice, but I was worried that the feedback I got would just make me feel worse.

Overall, the good outweighed the bad and I felt so validated knowing that many, many other people felt similar letdowns as a result of their weddings.  My comment section became a big virtual group therapy session.  We shared horror stories and shared what helped make us feel better.  I thanked people for reading and supporting and commenting.  People thanked me for writing because it made them feel less invalidated, less sad, less alone.  I am glad that I wrote what I wrote.

What interests me now, and what prompted me to write about this again, is that that blog post has been by far my most popular post.  To this day – almost three full years later – it still gets about 3-10 hits a day, on average.  Every day.  And occasionally, people still comment with their own stories.

It makes me feel so sad when I read what people have Googled to get themselves to my wedding blog post.  Things like, “my wedding was a disaster,” and “I can’t get over how my wedding went,” or “I’m depressed about my wedding.”  This sucks!  Part of me feels validated because, again, I am definitely not alone in how I feel about my wedding.  However, part of me feels like a sucker.  I fell for the whole wedding-industrial complex.  I got wrapped up around expectations that were handed to me (and that I readily accepted) by society, spent a hell of a lot of money, put tons of eggs into the basket of one blissful day, only to have it crash down all around me. What does this say about our society that this post-wedding blues phenomenon is so common?!

Would I do things differently?  A few, but not many.  I admit, even now, I still just wanted the fun, expensive party that I could enjoy with all my friends and family.

In the months following my wedding, I responded to the many comments readers posted.  Some were unsolicited advice (one of my least favorite kinds of feedback), others were words of sympathy and encouragement, and many were similar horror stories.  Because I was going through my own grieving process, I found it difficult to respond to others who were suffering as I was. Reading those comments brought up my own yucky feelings that I was still wading through (or trying to forget – depending on the day) and it was uncomfortable.  It stung.  Each new story was a reminder that I’d always look back on that day with some amount of sadness, grief, regret.  Even today, a random comment that gets posted brings it all back, just a little bit.

While responding to these comments, I found myself wanting to slip into a therapist role as I typed.  Of course, that role feels natural to me, and it also protected me because it created distance between myself and my feelings.  Now that I am much more at peace with how my wedding went and how I feel about it, reading and answering the comments is easier.  Easier, but not pain-free.

My brother made us a wonderful video from the raw footage a relative took at our wedding, and only recently did my husband and I muster up enough courage to actually watch it, almost three years after the day.  Of course it brought back some of the yucky feelings.  The grief.  But.  It also reminded me that I actually managed to have fun that day.  And the ceremony was wonderfully moving.  And I looked beautiful.  And we were so in love.  I couldn’t deny it – the proof was right there on camera!  Whew.

In all the discussion with readers about how to heal and move on from these experiences, we often talked about having a do-over.  A “corrective experience” as therapists put it.  I pictured the two of us on a beach in Hawaii with an officiant and a photographer.  No one else.  I have flowers in my hair.  The wind is whipping my white cotton sundress around.  The sun is setting.  We’re laughing and holding hands.  And no one can take away our joy.

Maybe someday.  I say maybe, because I don’t want to get too hung up on expectations.

 

Transitional periods are hard

Hello there, Psychos.

I’ve missed you.  Well, I have and I haven’t.  It [my honeymoon] was actually a very nice break from blogging, from wedding crap, from my job, from the world.

I was able [read: forced] to completely unplug whilst on a giant ass boat in the middle of the Mediterranean, and it felt good.  Wireless was crazy expensive on the boat, and the only things I used my phone for was as an alarm clock and to stitch together amazing panoramas of European villages I want to retire to (in like 5 years).

But it’s interesting, because now that I am back, I want to write, I feel the need to write, but I don’t know what to write about.  I also want to put a post between me and my last one…so here you go.  I just started typing to see what comes out.

So I started this post several days ago, and just last night I got a surprising email – my Post Wedding Blues post is going to be Freshly Pressed, and my first reaction was not excitement.  I think my first worry was that I’ll get all this unsolicited advice about how I need to look on the bright side and how I shouldn’t dwell on the wedding, it’s the marriage that’s important.  (A side note about advice like this – I find it very interesting that many people in our Western culture have a hard time tolerating sadness, whether it’s their own or someone else’s.  We’re taught very early to act like everything’s fine or to cheer people up rather than just accept and deal with what is.  Perhaps this is a post for another day…) I’m wondering if dealing with all the FP-ness is going to hinder or help my fragile mood as of late.  Being FPed is an honor and a part of me is excited – maybe it’ll give me that push to start really writing again – but it’s also a vulnerable place to be.  I’ll get a lot of exposure from all different kinds of people and that can be awesome but it brings about just that – the feeling of being exposed.

My depressed mood hasn’t all been about wedding stuff.  I had a lot of fun on my honeymoon, and I was able to just be in the present for the vast majority of it, but we came home to a hurricane of an apartment and it’s driving me crazy.  We registered for crap for a house we don’t yet have, and that crap is now piled and shoved into our tiny two bedroom apartment.  Right now I feel like I am drowning in stuff – the walls are closing in.  More importantly, B and I both came home to jobs from which we’ve learned all we can, and we both feel that it’s time to move on – professionally and personally.  At this point, before we’re able to actually make these major changes, I am not sure how I am supposed to keep this feeling of unrest from eating me alive.

The only answer so far has been for me to clean, organize, pile, and give shit away like a maniac on speed.  I obsess over what I can give away next, or how I can maximize my closet space beyond what I’ve already done.  In my calmer moments, I am also able to reassure myself that this period of my life is transitional, it’s temporary, and I will get through it.  Plus, now I have an amazing husband to get through shit with, and that’s the best part.

My descent into oblivion

I swear, you guys, I’m totally sober right now.

At least I think I am…I’ll let you know once the room stops spinning with joy…or is that nausea?  Hard to tell sometimes.

Ok, so this is my official hangover-Freshly Pressed post, only there’s no wolfpack, it’s just me.

Thank you to the Freshly Pressed Gods and thanks to everyone who clicked and read and commented and followed.

Welcome new readers!!  From time to time I’ll refer to y’all as Psychos or Babblers or Hey, You!  Just know that I say it all with love.  And cheese.  Also know that I hope I won’t disappoint you for a good few months or so.  No promises, really.

—-

I was warned before this all happened- that being Freshly Pressed was gonna be a whirlwind of comments that may be exciting and ego-boosting but also may or may not be annoying.

Allow me to describe my hero’s journey through the land that has been pressed ever-so-freshly, kinda like the Shire after the orcs are done trampling through.

Now I know how Johnny Cash felt.

Now I know how Johnny Cash felt.

Before being Freshly Pressed, it’s this innocent and hopeful time.  I’m just focusing on the music, you guys, and I am doing this for the fans.  You know, whatever flows, I just let it be what it was created to be.  Sure, I’m just scraping by and hoping for the best, but I just wanna stay true to my craft.

And then came the email, like a record label hearing my jam for the first time and telling me that I had something.  This is my big break!  Am I good enough?  Will my indie fans accuse me of selling out?  Will I get hoards of screaming fans to rival those of The Biebs?  Let’s just ride the wave and see where it takes me…

And then, it happens. The Big Break.  The freaking Ed Sullivan Show.  It feels sublime, like my first taste of black tar.  I’ve been jonesing for this…..and I deserve this, but I’m still humbled by this…..and I knew the band was always gonna make it, you guys, and FUCKYEAH, let’s get shitfaced and trash a hotel room after I’m finished ear-humping you sweaty masses with my sonic genius!!!!!

The next day, the buzz is starting to wear off, so let’s invite some new groupies back in, slip me another jeffrey, and put on some Johnny Mathis (he always gets me pumped up).  This ain’t over yet, babe!

Day 3.  My eyes are bloodshot and I’m sleep deprived.  What city are we in?  Wait, I still have to do normal things like clean the toilet and make dinner?  Fuck that, my new blogging friends fans will keep me full of validation and wrapped in comment notifications undying love and adoration.  Keep on rockin in the free world!

Day 4.  Starting to get the shakes.  My cat can answer my dwindling fan mail while I am busy praying to the porcelain gods.

Day 5.  Hello?  Anyone there? Will someone please make the walls stop spinning?!

And now, after a few refreshing weeks at Betty Ford, I’m getting calls from Dancing with the Stars.

When you’re at rock bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up.

I. Have. Arrived.

Holy shitsnacks and crapnuggets, you guys!!

I HAVE BEEN FRESHLY PRESSED!!!

Incredulous with joy!Notice I had to black out the porn sites I was visiting.

Incredulous with joy!
Notice I had to black out the porn sites I was visiting.

I am surfacing briefly from the orgy of likes, page views, comments, and follows that is currently blowing up on my phone and browser…and let me tell you, this shit is satisfying.

I feel validated beyond any ego-stroking therapy session, so thank you to everyone who stroked my furry walls!

I got The Email on Wednesday and was then left to alternate between manically refreshing WordPress.com and stuffing chocolate in my mouth while pacing my hallway in anticipation for about a day and a half.

As soon as I read the email, I immediately felt this rush of excitement and pure joy…which quickly melted away into intense, crippling anxiety.  Holy frick!  People are actually going to read the word vomit that I splash onto my very small corner of the internets.  I quickly went back to reread the post I had written to ascertain just how humiliated I should plan to be.  Did my post contain any typos?  Was it funny?  Was I going to get any snotty comments?  As I read, I remembered that I had written this post all in one sitting while I was still suffering from the tail end of a 3 day long migraine (what possessed me to do that, I have no idea.  On second thought, maybe it was the meth).  I also realized that I was actually proud of this particular migraine-stupor-induced post.  Feeling oddly content and allowing some of the excitement to return, I sat back and awaited the orgy that I woke up to this morning.

Funny, I started this blog not considering myself a writer; I was just a therapist with an anal Freudian complex who wanted to dick around on the internet and see what happened.  And now…I guess I’m kinda a writer.  And that feels kindof awesome.

So far today, I have gotten more than 4 times the page views I got on my previously best day of blogging, which is also probably 10 times the views I get on an average day…and counting.

I hope I have plenty of lube.

There is no Island. Only injustice.

You know what?

I’m a little grumpy today.  For a few reasons.

Firstly, it was hard to get out of bed, as it’s Friday.  But today is National Donut Day, and I knew my place of business would not disappoint.  So maybe that evens out.

Sometimes I find myself lollygagging around WordPress just as the magical Freshly Pressed Gods are sprinkling out their fairy dust for the day.  I read the first blog at the top of the page because it looks funny or heartwarming or delicious.  By the time I am finished leaving a witty or kind or delicious comment, I return to the FP page and see a few more new blogs have popped up.

For a moment – just the briefest of moments – I hold my breath.

Is it there?  Is one of them mine?  Have the gods smiled on me this day – O, this day of days?

I hear the quiet whooshing sound as air rich with shame, inadequacy, and carbon dioxide leaves my body. 

Today is not my day.

And then, something catches my eye.  Something familiar.

Haven’t I seen this one blog up here before?  Yes, I did.  Just a few months ago.

The lingering shame quickly morphs into a rabid beast of rage.  I think some of the sinfully delicious fat and sugar from the donut I just consumed is also fueling this rage, to be fair.

And that’s just it.  Is this fair?  I remember once reading a blog where the author had calculated the odds of getting Freshly Pressed.  Spoiler alert: they were low. (If I remember correctly, this was a blog that had actually just been Freshly Pressed.  Oh, the irony.)  I wonder what the odds are of getting Freshly Pressed twice?

I feel like that stout, bald dude in The Island.  You know, the one who was friends with my future husband’s (Ewan McGregor’s) character while they were at work.  This guy had figured out, with very fuzzy math, that the game was rigged

I feel a mixture of the above description with the sting of injustice that induces a 5-year-old style tantrum.  Only I don’t get butchered for my vital organs and I don’t get sent to my room without dinner.

So what do I do about this injustice?  I blog, of course.

And I eat more donuts.