What Happens When I Feed My Anxiety
It’s 4 o’clock the morning before my wedding. What’s the first thing I do when I realize I won’t be going back to sleep any time soon? Check the weather.
I’ve been checking the weather since our “Big Day” crept into the 10-day forecast. Before that I watched the days leading up to it like a kid watches the street on a hot summer day, waiting for the ice cream truck she heard on the next street over. It’s coming my way, and I’m ready with two dollar bills gripped in my sweaty palms.
A typical conversation with my partner sounds a lot like this:
“Look babe! The rain blob is shifting! It’s shifting earlier in the day! We could be so good. Wait, is that another rain blob coming in after? Nononononooooo. OK, I’m not worried. Just let me refresh this here, there could have been another update.”
I think I’m starting to understand the multiple components comprising precipitation percentage. It means that 50 percent chance of rain hovering over my outdoor ceremony tells me absolutely nothing.
There is little return for the great effort it takes to search for answers where none will be found.
Still, I search, mesmerized at Weather Underground’s interactive precipitation graphs compared optimistically to the Weather Channel. Because, why wouldn’t I obsess over things I can’t control?
All of my vendors are paid. All of our timelines coordinate. I’m envisioning my hired guns and I all synchronizing time to the watch strapped securely to my ankle, tucked beneath layers of ivory tulle.
We are solid. I have absolutely no worries about anything going awry. Except for thunderstorms threatening to send us from our lakeside pergola into a cramped dance floor ceremony.
Yes, yes, we love each other. We’ll be happy to get married anywhere. Whatever.
But (cue whiny voice) That lake was the selling point of our venue choice. The beach was the seed of our courtship. It’s where he proposed. And so, I suppose, this is my bridezilla thorn. I want the outdoor wedding. And for this, I cannot pull strings to make it happen.
I’ve rested my trust in our caterer, our minister, our seamstress and musician. I say out loud, rain or shine our day will be wonderful. Yet this inability to truly be at ease has drawn the spotlight onto my classic anxiety trap. Uncontrollable forces are the waves that keep my brain alert when it should be recovering from another day packed with to-do lists.
At 4 a.m., when I should remind myself of the gratitude I feel as our loved ones pour in from around the globe, I search the forecast. I seek reassurance in meteorological dictionaries and the anecdotal tales from my vendors. “Last weekend it was 80 percent chance of rain right on the hour of the ceremony and it didn’t rain a drop,” my exuberant photographer said. “It’ll be gorgeous!”
But this is how to feed anxiety. Search for answers where they can’t be found. Sure I can find the weather predictions, but I can’t find contentment in the weather outside. Ease of mind comes from acceptance for whatever situation arises and that comes not from the radar, but from within.
Anxiety photo via Shutterstock