Have to go to a wedding soon but I don't think I'll be able to :(

My cousin's wedding is about 2 weeks from now, and my mother and I have to go shopping to get me a dress and shoes for it. A couple months ago when they invited us to the wedding, I was actually looking forward to it. But something happened with me during this summer, I'm not sure what exactly because I can't admit it even to myself so I have no idea what it was, but something broke inside me and my anxiety has gone through the roof. I cannot be around people anymore. Yesterday I tried to go clothes shopping with my mom, literally the second I entered the mall, all bright and open space and sooo many people everywhere, I felt faint and like I couldn't walk, so incredibly dizzy like I was going to fall down. I grabbed my mother's arm (I'm 20 btw) and held on for dear life, I literally only spent 20 minutes there, bought something I really needed, didn't even take a look at dresses or shoes for the wedding and begged my mom to leave. I had to be somewhere 40 minutes later and my mom asked me: "what are we supposed to do now that we have so much time?" I didn't know what to say, I just wanted to cry. Today I went to visit my doctor and I was sent to have my spine checked as apparently neck problems can cause vertigo, but I know all of it is in vain as my problem is certainly all in my head. My family doesn't know about all of this. I barely survived today having to sit for 10 minutes in an almost empty waiting room at the doctor's, I don't know how I'm supposed to survive a whole wedding. I need to go back into therapy, I know, and I am going to, and I also need to slowly get back into society at my own pace but I'm worried my family will never understand, as they never understood my problems before. I don't know what to do :( should I not go to the wedding? I know my family will feel disappointed because they don't understand, and I will hate myself for missing it, but I don't know if it's worth all the suffering I'll be going through at the wedding. My symptoms are horrible, and when they strike, I am always 100% certain I am going to faint and make a scene in front of everybody so I tend to act really weird and everyone starts looking at me and it just gives me more anxiety. :( I am just wonderin how I could go to a wedding, with absolutely no chance of leaving early (my father will say that I am embarrassing him, he always does when I leave family gatherings or don't even show up at them) when I can't even go outside during the day when there's people, or to the doctor, or clothes shopping without having a total meltdown. I feel beyond miserable. :(

38 Replies

  • Hi Sweetlolly11, get your dress and dancing shoes on. You will be going to the wedding. You are not the first person that we have helped get to an occasion that they had feared going to. We will be your support team in the next 2 weeks as well as the day of the wedding. If you can see a therapist before then, that will give you some foundation. I have been through each and every feeling and symptom you described including having a mother who was like your father worried about my embarrassing her. That certainly doesn't help the issue. We will all teach you little tricks of the trade that will help you get through the evening. You may be worn out the next day but it will be from dancing :)

    At one time, I went from feeling like you did in the mall, to actually working in the Customer Service booth, center court, watching all the people go by. It's a matter of turning our negativity around and becoming as positive as you can. I think I can turned into I knew I could. :) It starts with today, have a better day. x

  • Alright, well, I need those tricks though. And I will not be seeing a therapist before the wedding day. I have read someplace online that it's not worth going if you will suffer too much. I literally have an ongoing panic attack for hours when I am outside or with people, and it drains me so much I literally almost fall asleep while sitting up straight, my eyes just start closing. I am just scared of going, knowing I cannot leave before my family decides to leave, and if god forbid something happens with me I will not be able to leave.

  • I more than understand Sweetlolly, and only you know how much you can tolerate. I have been in your shoes so many times. I've missed a lot of family events because of my fear but the ones I did push myself to go to, I was fine once I got there. You can't go for your father, you must do it for yourself. If it's not possible then you don't go. But you don't feel guilty about the decision. An "I'm sorry, I'm not up to it" is all you need to say.

    We're still here for you and support your decision. x

  • But it's crazy, I don't even feel bad most of the days but then I go outside and feel so much panic and anxiety my whole day is ruined and I just get into this bad mood and feel so worthless because I can't even do the most mundane things in life. I don't know where to start fighting this, or how, I was thinking of getting tipsy before leaving for the wedding and then just staying drunk all night in order to feel better, so if I do fall over or something, people will just blame it on the alcohol. I wanted to go to this wedding for months now, I started planning on what to wear, how to style my hair and makeup etc. back in April, but I didn't feel so bad then, it all started just recently and I don't leave my house unless it's dark outside and no one is around. Back in April I wished for this wedding to come as soon as possible so I can dress up and have a good time, but now I find myself secretly wishing for it to not even happen (selfish and disgusting, I know).

    My parents would never tolerate me saying "I'm not feeling up for it". They have literally dragged me with them as a child everywhere, even when I felt sick - one time I had a horrible case of heat stroke that left me feeling sick for 5 whole days, and they traveled with me like that. My parents are extremely traditional, especially my father, and they always want me to go to family gatherings, and this has nothing to do with age whatsoever, my brothers are both around the age of 30 and they must attend these events too or else my parents get mad.

    I could probably explain it to my mom somehow, but my dad... no way.

  • Boy, your family sounds just like mine was. Except my dad was understanding and it was my mom who was the Matriarch of the family. Family was the most important thing. You're right, it didn't make any difference what age my sister and I were, it was our duty to be at every wedding, funeral and baby/wedding showers. It's hard not to feel we disappoint people when we have a disorder that can't be seen as to what we are feeling inside. Saying "no" to parents who don't understand had caused many arguments. Like you, there was a time, I would be so excited about seeing the extended family and going to events. But once the anxiety took hold, I dreaded when I saw an invitation in the mail. My anxiety would start to rise weeks in advance and didn't calm down until after the occasion. It was unbelievable to be like this. I felt bad when I wrote for you to get your dress and shoes cause you'll be going to the wedding and enjoying yourself. The last thing you need is added pressure and I wasn't trying to do that. I just wanted so much to help. Well, you have 2 weeks to figure this out with the help of the forum. We will be by your side and do what we can to calm your nerves. Stay well. xx

  • No, no, you didn't add pressure, if anything, you made me think. Since I haven't bought a dress, today I tried on one of my mom's dresses and it was so beautiful and it fit me just right. So, I don't even need to buy a dress now, only shoes. I know if I don't go to this wedding, I'll feel bad about myself, as I am my own biggest critic. Also, I'll feel sorry because I REALLY wanted to go :( I just wanted to dress up and look nice and have some new, nice family pictures all of us together, just as always when there's a family gathering. On the other hand, I have absolutely no idea how I am going to feel once I come to the wedding - will I be anxious all night long and just crash at one point, or will I be anxious one part of the evening and then just relax and enjoy, I really have absolutely no idea and that's what bugs me the most! Yesterday I read this post about a guy who went to a wedding, dreading it and planned on staying for 15 minutes just to congratulate the newly weds, and ended up staying the whole night and having a good time. I simply have no idea how this is going to go - sometimes I go out and take a walk by myself and feel absolutely fine, sometimes I can't manage to walk for longer than 5 minutes without freaking out. There is really no telling how I'm going to be. One minute I'm all "there is no way I am going to that wedding", and the next I feel like crying and am all "but I really want to go, I really do". It's just horrible :(

  • I totally understand the confused feeling. It's those darn "what ifs" that get us everytime. What if this, what if that, has kept me from the good things in life.

    Well, you have the dress, now just the shoes. And if they don't get used, there will be another time, another event. :) x

  • I really like what you said there in the end, it made me feel really relaxed. Thank you for baring with me. Is it ok if I message you sometime? x

  • Anytime, I'm on throughout most of the day and late into the evening. x

  • Thanks xx

  • Hi Sweetlolly It is all the "what ifs" that take joy out of life I find the more I used to dread something the more when I got there I enjoyed it and was fine

    Anxiety /panic attacks only have a short life they always die down and although they make you feel awful they don't really do you any real harm Its not the wedding you are dreading it's the feelings If you can look at these feelings and think they have only got there because you have done the "what ifs" If you went there with no thoughts your body wouldn't let you down you would be comfortable and enjoy it

    What happened in the mall could have been an inner ear infection or something It was so awful for you that you have dreaded having a repeat of it

    The pressure too from your family isn't helping but having said that if you don't go it's giving into these panic feelings and will keep the fear going Try and read as much as you can about fight or flight it will make you realise it's there to protect you and will not harm you

    These feelings are only that -feelings they go Try to let them come wash over you but not pay too much attention to them Lose your fear love your life

    We are all here to support you 💕💕

  • Recently I went to a family barbecue, and I made myself go with a positive attitude and I did, I really did! But after only a few hours i started feeling really drowsy and so worn out and tired. I wasn't even dizzy or anxious as much as i was just tired, even though I didn't do much besides eat some barbecue and talk to some family members I haven't seen in a while. I am scared to be outside during sunlight because I can't really see, my vision is very blurry and also the sun bothers my eyes a lot, and I also get extremely tired after 8 pm, feels like I'm about to fall asleep sitting up. Those are my fears and they are legit, they aren't irrational because that IS what happens to me and it all, in the end, makes me feel bad and prolongs the suffering. I am trying to read up about all of this but I can't seem to figure out how to work out my situation as most of the sites recommend you asking yourself a lot of questions to figure out how irrational your fears are etc. But I do not find them irrational at all. I get tired, drowsy, I have no control over it and my family notices and they always ask stupid questions like "how can you be tired you didn't even do anything" and end up being annoyed with me.

  • Have you been checked out for tiredness? It must be horrible for you That's not irrational at all and there could be a simple medical answer to it I have a friend who doesn't have anxiety and is tired all the time The sun is horrible it does affect your eyes I'm so sorry your family are not supportive to your health problems Tiredness is no joke I think you have to think of yourself more and not let them feel you are making a fuss about things Good luck

  • I have had my thyroid checked, and my iron and everything is okay, I am waiting for my cortisol level results to see if my adrenals are working okay and soon I have to have an x-ray of my neck because I also have horrible vertigo so I need to see if that's it. I was also thinking about it maybe being vitamin D deficiency or magnesium or something... whatever it is i really need to focus on getting better and my family knows I am suffering currently and all but they just don't seem to care. At one point I was even called a hypochondriac.

  • I do hope they find the cause of it all and you can get it sorted and get well So sorry about yoor family but you think of you Take care

  • Thank you for your kind words, x

  • Hi,

    I was in a similar place not long ago at my brothers wedding.

    The worst part was the journey there and although I'm not a huge fan of safety tactics and safety exits (As i believe it just reinforces the fact I should be afraid of something without them) but I sat near the back so I could sneak out of the ceremony and the reception was a little overwhelming as haven't "done" outdoors and social for a long time. But the feeling when i got home- kind of triumphantly exhausted- was worth it. It's been up and down since but better than I was.

    We can be here to chat to you too if you do HU on your phone:)

    Best wishes to you. X

  • Ps I never did need to sneak out. :)

  • I really like the sound of this. What are your usual symptoms during panic attacks? Are they as bad as mine? And did you take anything before the wedding, like Xanax or something?

  • I'm more of a freeze person... in the flight fight freeze sense. First thing is the breathing, heart goes nuts then spinning head the worse part my legs and arms go weak as though I'm just going to drop to the floor. I start shaking visibly and I get this weird vision thing almost like tunnel vision. It's absolutely horrible.

    It's been (touch wood) a good few months since I've had an attack, I suffer mostly with the general anxiety eating away at me now. But the attacks took a bit of investigating about why panic makes me feel so physically terrible and how it literally is only saving my life. I also do lots of relaxation exercises.. still a work in progress but definitely getting less afraid.

    I didn't take anything, I didn't have a drink either while I was there, just juice. But if meds will help you then definitely try it. X

  • Also, the fainting feeling.. it does feel as though we are gonna drop! It's never happened and wont happen because bp rises high enough in a panic to not let that happen.

  • Thank you so much for all that information, I definitely feel a lot better. Your symptoms are actually quite similar to mine. I worry about the church part as there is a lot of standing and I absolutely hate to just stand up straight and stay as my legs feel so weak and like I'm just about to fall over. How powerful our minds can be...

    Anyway I hope this lucky streak of yours lasts and you get better forever :)

  • Thank you and all the best to you. X

  • I think you are brilliant Daisychained You are really tackling it in the right way with a brilliant attitude All the very best xx

  • Thank you thats really lovely:) I'm just waiting for the morning anxiety to wear off and that was just the encouragement I needed xx

  • It's just so refreshing to read how you are really helping yourself and doing everything you can to get well I do as much as I can too and I'm nearly there I definitely believe relaxation and losing the fear is the answer I've ordered the Dare Response book picking it up from "click and collect" later I saw someone on this forum recommended it I will try anything if I can afford it If I win the lottery I shall have all the relaxation treatments I can get !!!

    Keep up your good work it makes me so happy to find someone with your attitude x

  • Likewise! and let me know how the book is! I ordered overcoming anxiety from Amazon. Reckon we should write one too, one day 😁x

  • I think if someone like you or I wrote a book it would fly off the shelves as it would be written from experience and on a down to earth level I love writing I've written little stories for a friends community mag but nothing amazing I know I haven't got the guts to tell my story especially nowadays with social media and trolls Battling agoraphobia is so so hard but there is still such a stigma 😡

    I read a lot but never come across a fiction book with an agoraphobic character

    Let me know about your book and I'll let you know about mine 😀

    I'd really like to keep in touch on here if you would like to as I feel we are alike in our progress and approach Good to swap tips and if we have bad days we can cheer each other up and spur each other on to beat this 👍🏻 x

  • Definitely keep in touch..

    I haven't read much else apart from the Jack Reacher books in the past few years. There is one movie i remember -Sigourney weaver plays a psychologist/profiler and she is agoraphobic but can't remember the name of the movie! It'll come to me at 4am just as I'm drifting lol But haven't come across any agoraphobic characters in books.

    I know what you mean by trolls and why you'd feel wary writing online but if you ever do I'd support you 100%


  • Is it the movie called Copycat?

  • Yes thats it! Not much about her agoraphobia but the only character with it that I've come across x

  • Hi Sweetlolly11. You have what I have. It's called agarophobia. I feel the exact way that you do. It is rough. My friends and family don't really understand, but luckily my husband does. I have been experiencing it for 3 years. I can't work, go to church, go to grocery stores, be in a mall, are go to family functions, go no where, and if I do, I feel dizzy and faint. Look it up, and look up what vitamin deficiency causes this. We will get better. I was suppose to be my best friend maid of honor, it hurt me so bad that I couldn't, I couldn't even go. So I know what you mean. By you going to the wedding could make you worse. It's probably to early to venture out right now. You need to see a psychiatrist are a psychologist. Take baby steps to get back into things. Don't do want people want you to do, you are the only one that know your struggle.

  • I know it's agoraphobia, I have had it for years now. But usually I somehow find the strength to go out and about and do stuff I have to do. But this is something that came on very sudden and struck me really bad and it's been only going on for a few weeks. I am going to try and maybe get better during the time I have left before the wedding, go out more and do things and see how it goes, but if I don't get any better, I will not go.

  • I wish you the best.

  • You have an illness just like any other and the right to get kindness and care Look after yourself first x

  • Thank you so much, this made me tear up. Thank you, just thank you. I forgot to put myself first a long time ago. x

  • Especially because my family and friends make me feel like I'm too much work, and like there's always something wrong with me, I feel like such a burden to them. I joke with my mom that she should have thrown me in the nearest pond when I was born since I always had some medical issues, she thought I was joking and told me to stop saying things like that, but I feel like it's the truth.

  • Well that stops today ! Health is the most important thing if you haven't got that nothing else matters I'm sorry but your family will have to stop thinking this is all about them You are important your life and happiness are paramount

    Just take care and love yourself and feel sorry for them being so uncompassionate x

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