Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Struggles of Depression and Anxiety (Part 2 of 2)

Hi everyone!

As promised, here is the second part of my two-part post about depression and anxiety. As previously discussed, I have struggled with depression for the greater part of my life, and I am one of the lucky few who also gets to struggle with anxiety, hooray! If you're reading this, I can only assume that you read my last post about depression, which touched on the points that Kady Morrison presents in her article called 9 Secrets I've Uncovered About Depression. Accompanying this article is another piece Kady wrote called 9 Things I Wish People Understood About Anxiety, which is the subject matter of this blog post.

It does feel like the world is changing; more and more people know about depression and recognize it as a valid illness every single day. TV commercial breaks are littered with commercials about depression drugs and how they can help, but I feel that not enough light is shed on anxiety, which (at least in my eyes) is still seen as taboo and is discounted by those who have never felt its gripping terror. This is why I felt like sharing how I cope with my anxiety and share what it manifests itself as: to show that it is a very real condition and to go in depth with what I often feel, so that others can understand where my mind goes when it goes rogue and dives straight into fear.

Nine things that Kady wishes people understood about anxiety are as follows (bolded and italicized):

1) Anxiety does not move in a straight line

  • Kady's example of "losing your car keys" is a great one, and one that I have found myself stressing about. For my example, I will touch on the reason I carry such a large purse. Lucky me, I also have a touch of OCD! Not nearly as severe as I've seen some people have (I used to have a friend who always needed me to turn off the bathroom light for them when they came out, shut the closet doors for them before they went to bed, and plug their phone in for them so that they wouldn't have to deal with the plugging and unplugging "until it felt right"), but I do have compulsive issues that usually manifest in the following "phobias": dirtiness, dryness, oiliness, and stickiness on my body. That's right, I have to have the exact right amount of moisture and cleanliness in my skin at all times, specifically my hands. If my hands are too dry, I will have to run them under water to moisten them, however this is counter productive because water dries out your hands. The obvious solution is lotion, however I am extremely picky about lotions because I cannot have too much oil, although I have found one single lotion that I can tolerate. In fact, my aversion to oils and greases is so bad that sometimes I will wash my hair wish dish soap (even two or three times) because I feel that there is too much oil in it. What does this have to do with my purse, you ask? Well, I have to have enough room in my bag at all times to have lotion, hand sanitizer, oil blotting papers (for face), lip balm, and deodorant. I say deodorant because I am actually afraid of antiperspirant, which dries things and prevents moisture, therefore I use a natural deodorant for smell, but not for sweat. However, these tend to not work as well, so I carry one with me at all times. But what does this have to do with anxiety? Say I've forgotten my purse at home, or temporarily down sized because we're only "going to one store." I start to panic. What happens if my hands start to feel dry? What if we can't stop somewhere to get lotion? What if the lotion at the place we stop isn't one that I can use because it is too greasy? And from there, I decide that downsizing to a smaller bag with no lotion is a terrible idea, hence the large purse.

2) Anxiety is not rational, and boy, do we know it

  • One of the first anxieties I can remember developing is one that drives me (and others) up a wall: the fear that something terrible will happen to someone that I love. I always kiss Patrick and tell him I love him before he goes out on his own, because if something happens I want his last thoughts of me, or my last thoughts of him, to be positive. Any time I hang up the phone with a loved one, I make sure I tell them I love them before I do so. When I was younger, I had a boyfriend who would go to Canada often to visit his dad, and I can remember crying and begging him not to go every single time because I was terrified that something would happen to him and I wouldn't be able to get to him. Before Patrick and I got married in Las Vegas, I called my great grandmother, the most important person on this earth to me, to make sure that she was feeling okay that day. The reason behind this is because, at a very young age, I made her promise me that she would stay alive until my wedding day, and I feared that getting married would void that promise and she would be gone and it would be all my fault. Had she sounded at all sick, tired, or just generally not well, I would have called the entire thing off. Are any of these things rational? No. But do I still panic every time my phone is about to die because I'm afraid someone won't be able to reach me in case of an emergency? You bet. I have even gone as far as making Patrick email my mom from his phone when my phone has died so that she would know where to reach me in case of an emergency. It is why you will see me with my phone on me at all times, and I will panic if I cannot find it.

3) With anxiety, some days are good days, and some days are bad days

  • I find that the hardest anxiety/fear of mine to explain to people is my aversion to dogs. Yes, I can find pictures of them cute. Yes, I can even find them cute in person. I even had a dog growing up, and I can sometimes go as far as petting a dog. However, that is not always the case, and the majority of the time I can't get away from them fast enough because they are unpredictable and that is what my anxiety chooses to latch on to. Are cats unpredictable? Yes. Do I love cats? Yes. Do I fear cats? Nope. My last job was one where I tackled angry cats with nothing but a large bath towel and a pair of heavy duty welding gloves. My arms are covered in scars from cats, but I am still not afraid of them. However, I am usually terrified of dogs about 90% of the time. As previously discussed, anxiety makes no sense. I'm very well aware, and repeating to me over and over again that I have nothing to be afraid of doesn't help. Actually, it can make it worse, because then I begin to think of exactly all of the reasons I have to be afraid (and believe me, I can come up with many). The worst part is that people don't take this specific anxiety seriously because there are good days and bad days. If someone with a dog sees me stand next to that dog one single time, it is suddenly assumed that I will always be okay with that dog, which isn't the case. It's also not helpful to say "But how can you be afraid of dogs, they just love you!" Yes, and that is one of many problems I have with them, along with your blatant disregard for how I feel for them because you think that your positive feelings outweigh my negative feelings. I don't need you to understand it or agree with it, I just need you to respect it.

4) Anxiety is physically painful

  • Just a few nights ago I was awake in the living room when I found myself on YouTube watching videos. I watched one where one of my favorite Youtubers tested out a product. I got through the entire video with no problem, and then I scrolled down the comments, where I saw that apparently there had been some paranormal activity that I had missed. So, stupidly, I re-watched the video and heard the "voice" everyone had been describing, which even the girl in the video later admitted to not knowing where it came from. It was then that I realized several things: I was sitting in the semi-darkness, Patrick was asleep, and I was terrified. I was so freaked out that I had to get off of the couch at a run, turn on all of the lights in the house, go back to the couch, turn off the light that I had been sitting with, then proceed to try to get to our bedroom unscathed. Irrational? Yes. However, one of my worst fears is things grabbing at my ankles (one of the reasons I can't swim in bodies of water other than pools, and even then some pools are a little too adventurous for me), and I was convinced that something was hiding in the two inches between the couch and the floor, and it would get me if I got off of the couch. When I finally got to bed, my entire body ached from the tension that had built up in it during my anxiety attack. Similarly, anyone who has ever had a panic attack will tell you that not being able to breathe is one of the most terrifying, exhausting, and painful experiences that they have ever been through (obviously not counting severe trauma or childbirth). 
  • Even when my anxiety is not physically painful, I will get heart palpitations, the muscles in my neck will start to tighten (from my jaw to about where you would expect a choker necklace to sit, but sometimes all the way across my shoulder muscles and down to my collar bones), my hands will start to sweat, my limbs will start to shake, and my breathing will increase rapidly-- which sometimes leads to a panic attack. Panic attacks, for those of you who don't know, feel very much like someone has sucked all of the air out of the room. Even if you can get a deep breath, your lungs have been working very hard to get air. Much like you would feel after a long run, your breathing doesn't slow down immediately because your diaphragm is used to moving at a certain speed and your heart is used to pumping your blood faster than usual. For me, there is definitely a difference between having anxiety (feeling anxious about something but having a certain amount of control over it, which can be always, sometimes or occasionally), having an anxiety attack (feeling anxious about something and having no control over it, which leads to some of the symptoms I described and possibly more, depending on the person) and a panic attack (the mother of all symptoms, which can be avoided if you are able to calm your symptoms, but this is sometimes impossible). Regardless, if I have an anxiety or a panic attack, once I calm down I am immediately exhausted to the point of falling asleep wherever I am. Again, these are only my "stages" and symptoms, but I imagine they are similar for others as well.

5) Not all anxiety is created equal

  • Some people are anxious about things that are completely different from my anxieties. Some peoples' symptoms are different from mine, and more or less severe. This is so important to understand, because just because it's not the same as something you've seen before does NOT mean that it isn't just as real and important. I actually see this sometimes in more than one persons who have anxiety but fail to understand each other's anxieties, resulting in disbelief of them even they know what it is like to have anxieties that don't make sense. It is imperative that you never discount what someone is feeling just because you don't understand it.

6) Anxiety and depression are linked

  • Not for all, but for some, depression and anxiety are linked. This is true for me. When I am having a depressive episode, I will often find that the feelings that are all locked up inside of me will explode all at once, geared directly towards something I am feeling anxious about, and I will have an anxiety or panic attack. Similarly, when I am feeling anxious about something in particular, it will push me down into the pit of depression and I will not resurface until my anxiety is under control, which can take hours, days, or weeks. 

7) Unless you've been given explicit permission, when it comes to someone else's anxiety, you should probably listen instead of talk

  • Patrick is great about "humoring" me when I'm feeling anxious, however he and I have both figured out that is better for him to let me vent to him and freak out, rather than for him to make suggestions or comments about it, because my anxiety is something he cannot fully understand. It baffles him that I can't just go out and do things without preparation, and that's okay. As long as he is there for me when I need him, he doesn't have to understand, he just has to be supportive.

8) As frustrating, infuriating, agonizing, and exhausting as it can be, our experiences and struggles with anxiety are part of us, and we wouldn't be the people we are without them

  • My utmost worst source of anxiety is the fear of being a disappointment. I was a fantastic child, and anyone who helped to raise me will tell you so. But why? Because I intentionally never got into trouble. I was, and still am, always so fearful of being yelled at or being a disappointment that I hold back in every single aspect of my life to make sure that I will never have to be in that situation. This is still true to this day; Patrick will just do things without thinking about them and I will freak out because "WHAT IF WE GET IN TROUBLE?!" Things like that don't bother him, but what kind of person would I be if I suddenly decided to fly off the handle? I don't believe I would still have the same relationships I have with people because that person is not the person they signed up for. 

9) And, finally, the most important thing I wish everyone knew about anxiety, and about mental health issues in general: if you know someone with anxiety and you want to help them, ask them what would be helpful, ideally during a time when they are calm and non-panicked

  • This is something that I have never actually thought about dealing with, however I have done it before and just hadn't realized it until now. When I first moved in with Patrick, we had a small talk about what to do if I ever had a panic attack, which is actually a method that I learned from my same OCD friend who also had severe anxiety. No one else, not even my several psychologists and psychiatrists, ever offered me a reasonable way to teach others how to calm me down when I was hyperventilating. We've also learned how to work together to ease my anxiety, and he knows that I need to be distracted in order for me to stop focusing on that one particular thing, whether it be watching a show together, playing a game, or going for a walk. I have to focus all of my energy on one thing so that there is no more room for the other thing. But if we hadn't had those talks, we would be in big trouble when it came down to it and I was in the middle of an anxiety/panic attack, because I can't exactly tell you what to do to help if I cannot think or breathe. 
Anxiety is something I still struggle with, but I have learned some tips along the way that do help. Unlike depression, anxiety is something that has never engulfed me 24 hours a day, instead just in short bursts in different situations, and I have yet to learn how to control it. I take Xanax or Buspar if I can get my hands on it and my anxiety is too high (having no insurance, i.e. no prescriptions, is great), or I try to focus on something else so that I have no choice but to forget what I was anxious about. Although I was able to conquer my depression and I do know how to tackle it once it rears its ugly head, I haven't learned how to control my anxiety. It's possible that I never will, and I will only ever know what to do to fight it. Only time will tell.

I hope this two-part blog post helped to put depression and anxiety into perspective for those of you who don't understand it all that well, and I hope that it made those out there with the same issues feel not so alone :) Depression and anxiety are both a very long journey and require a lot of self discovery, but it can be done. Depression can be controlled and anxiety can be fought, it just takes time, and knowledge is power. Please just remember that both of these mental illnesses are just that-- illnesses, that sometimes we cannot control. Cold medicine cannot cure a cold, but it can help you ride the storm until you feel better... Until the next time you get a cold. Mental illness should never be discounted as "just a phase" or anything other than what it is: a battle that you cannot understand until you've been through it yourself.

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Struggles of Depression and Anxiety (Part 1 of 2)

Hi everyone!

If you're taking the time to read this, then please know that it is an extremely personal post. Yesterday, I read a fantastic article called 9 Secrets I've Uncovered About Depression by Kady Morrison and the accompanying article that she wrote called 9 Things I Wish People Understood About Anxiety. I hope that you will take the time to read these because they are fantastic articles and really help to put into words what depression and anxiety feel like.

Because these hit so close to home with me, I thought I would share with you how her points about depression manifest in me personally, which I know may not be super exciting but is important all the same. My next post will be about how her points about anxiety manifest in me, but in the interest of not putting you to sleep I have decided to split the posts in two.

Kady's nine secrets that she has uncovered about depression are as follows (bolded and italicized):

1) Depression is a liar

  • Yes, yes, a thousand times YES. Depression lies. It tricks your brain into thinking things that just aren't true, such as "You don't matter," "Everyone is judging you,"  "Anything you do, in the grand scheme of things, doesn't matter," which are common lies that my depression likes to tell me. These things are simply not true, but for someone with depression, these lies are what we come to believe about ourselves, and it is debilitating. 

2) Depression is a bully

  • Number one and two are very closely linked. Because it is your brain vs. your brain, depression KNOWS what your triggers are and it will use them against you. Just like a playground bully, if depression knows you are uncomfortable or anxious about something, they will push that button. Repeatedly. When I am feeling depressed, my brain likes to latch on to embarrassing moments or anxious situations that I have experienced. There is a big one that I will dwell on, which is needing to tell someone something. Once upon a time, I needed to tell someone something that I felt was very important, however they felt that me and my information were not important enough to waste their time on. When I get depressed, I will have nightmares about trying to chase this person around, trying to tell them something. There is literally no relief in this situation, as it is over and done with, but it is a situation that haunts me and one that I cannot cope with well when I am having a depressive episode. It can sometimes be all I think about the entire day (and again when I sleep).

3) If you think you might be depressed, you have to tell somebody

  • When I was younger, this point was especially hard. Having lived in both California and Michigan, I can tell you that the area of Michigan I was from was an area filled with people who just don't understand depression, and brush it off like it is a cold that you will simply get over with time. This isn't true, and it's very harmful for people to think this way, as it makes people with depression feel as though they cannot share their condition with others. I kept my depression a secret for a very long time, because no one seemed to understand it and no one seemed to give it any credibility. Living in California, I am much less depressed nowadays and I feel like I have many more people to talk to who are educated on the subject because they, too, have struggled with and conquered their depression.

4) Suicidal thoughts aren't always part of depression, and even when they are, they're not always active suicidal thoughts

  • I'm very glad that Kady touched on this point, because it actually links with my last point. No, depression isn't always about suicide. Even when it is about suicide, it isn't always active. When I'm having an "episode," as I like to call it, I have lots of thoughts of death. Even at my worst, I would never follow through with anything of the sort, but I know that when I am feeling low, I will have thoughts such as "Wouldn't it be easier if I just didn't wake up tomorrow?" It's important to know that these thoughts aren't the same as active suicidal thoughts, which are ones with plans to follow through. However, when I was at my worst, living in Michigan, I always felt that because my depression wasn't actively suicide-inducing, it made my condition less important, because I was only suffering and not at risk of self-harm. That isn't true. Just because you aren't on a suicide watch does NOT mean that you aren't important, and it's important to tell someone who is going to do something about the situation to help you.

5) Depression and sadness aren't (always) the same thing

  • If any of you are people who I went to high school with, you will know that I was a terrible, hateful person, and today I am incredibly regretful of this. Depression isn't always sadness, but it can be. Sadness isn't always depression, but it can be. However, my "sad" depression didn't start until I had graduated from high school. Instead, I was just mean. I was judgmental and rude and I had very few friends who were willing to tolerate me because no one wants to be around someone who only ever complains or is angry. Depression can be sadness, anger, or any one of a whole slew of negative emotions. Often, my depression is numbness, in which I have a hard time dredging up the will to do anything because I just do not feel. It's not that I don't care, it's that depression has stolen my emotions and will not give them back. 

6) You can be depressed without knowing it

  • It took me years to figure out that I had depression, and the most unlikely person was the one to point out that I needed help. I had been hanging out with a guy I was interested in at the beginning of my junior year of high school, and one day he shocked me by saying something along the lines of "You bring me down. I like to feel lifted by the people around me, but you can't do that." It felt like I had been slapped in the face. Granted, I think this guy was and is a terrible person, but I will say that how he treated me woke me up. He changed my life, and I have to at least thank him for that. From that point on, I was aware of my depression and I began counseling and medication and I made an effort to change how I was. 

7) Depression can be visible

  • While this may sound obvious, it isn't. When I'm really low, my entire appearance suffers. I won't shower as often as I normally do, I won't change out of my PJ's, I struggle to keep up with house work (which I actually love doing on a regular day), and my makeup will sit untouched for weeks. Depression is sometimes obvious if you look at someone and examine their appearance. Is their appearance lacking the normal amount of effort? Maybe they are having a hard time with things and they could use a helping hand.

8) Depression responds to routine and structure

  • This is the point that really swung me into action and made me want to write about this subject, because it is something that I have recently discovered about myself and I realized that some people may not even realize this about themselves. Routine is so important. When I was working 2-3 jobs and had no sense of routine, I was at my worst. Nothing mattered to me, and I was just going through the motions. However, when I moved to CA and established a daily routine, I began to wade through the darkness and somehow came out on the other side. Even the smallest thing, like cleaning the kitchen in the way that I always do it, can help me struggle through the rut. I have hesitated to say this because I never wanted anyone back home to think that I don't want to visit them, but any type of vacation or time away from home and away from my routine severely messes me up. As soon as I leave for Michigan and for weeks after, I struggle to get back into my routine, and sometimes I go to a very dark place that I have a hard time getting out of. Even trips to Disneyland can do more harm than good if we stay for too long. This last trip to Michigan was so emotionally draining and routine breaking that when I returned home I would look at Patrick and not hear a word he was saying because I just couldn't bring myself to care enough to register his words. When I am depressed, nothing matters, and I start to lose my memory. I've found that it helps to have someone to recount things with-- someone who will sit down with me and go over what we did yesterday when I wake up in the morning and what we did today before I go to bed. I am pleased to say that as of a few days ago I am finally back into the swing of things, however the numbness of depression set me back quite a few weeks and does every time my routine is disrupted. 

9) Depression is not the end of the world

  • It may feel like it when you're at a low point, but depression is not the end of the world. You can make it out of there. It took me years and a move across the country to do so, but I'm finally at a place in my life where I can say that I am not hindered by depression. I spend probably between 85-90% of my life with my head above water, but for almost ten years I didn't know if I would ever be able to look at life from the other side. You can do it. 
When I first realized I had depression at 16, I began counseling and medication. At one point I was on the highest dose of Zoloft that my doctor would prescribe, and they had to couple that with Abilify, which is normally an anti-psychotic but is used quite frequently in patients whose depression is stronger than the antidepressants that are used. At first, I couldn't believe how much better they made me feel. I was on top of the world.

However, after a while, it seemed like my body began to adjust to the drugs and I went back downhill. I also began to notice just how much I relied on the drugs. I remember having a really terrible day one day and I was lashing out at everyone. When a friend confronted me and told me I was being awful, I then realized that I had forgotten my medication the night before. When I voiced this to her, she thought it was ridiculous, and that missing one single pill couldn't possibly do anything. I was really hurt by her words, as I was sure that this was the reason I was feeling so terrible. Later, when I talked with my counselor about the situation, she confirmed what I believed: that antidepressants have to be taken so regularly that if you miss just one dose, it can set you back pretty far. I was faithful about my meds after that.

When I was 19, I started to realize that the medication seemed to be doing more harm than good. I was tired of feeling numb. A different kind of numb from depression, being on too high a dose of an antidepressant can numb you from feeling sadness or any negative emotion, and instead you only feel mild happiness all the time. I remember being at a funeral and being unable to cry, and that is when I decided that enough was enough. I did an incredibly dangerous thing and "weaned" myself off of my medication much too fast, but I struggled through it and refused to take any more of the drugs. I was tired of being controlled by depression and antidepressants.

I somehow made it out of the other side and struggled with my depression until I left for California, where I established a routine that helped me out of my dark cloud. Today, I am medication and counseling free, and I very rarely struggle with my depression.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Why We Eloped: The Decision Making Process

Patrick and I eloped in late October of this year, as I shared in my previous post. I hope you'll all read this post thoroughly before making any judgments or remarks regarding what he and I know was the right decision for us and what will result in a long and happy life together.

Let me be clear and start out by saying that I am not pregnant. This is not the reason that we eloped and postponed our "big wedding." I am including this only because I have had at least two people ask me this question and I would like to get the presumptuous curiosity and speculation out of the way. If you would please read on, you will see the story and reasoning that lead up to our decisions. 

When Patrick and I got engaged in February, I was so excited to start planning the wedding of my dreams that would end with my marrying the love of my life. We began to make phone calls, reserve vendors, and invite people to be a part of our special day.

By March or April, we had almost everything planned out and ready for the big day. Everything was in order and only needed execution. We had reserved and paid for the venue in full, we had our wedding parties set up, our invitations designed by our dear friend, and I had been in contact with a caterer in Livonia which I had had high hopes in.

When I went back to Michigan in June, I got to work on getting my bridesmaids their dresses, I toured our venue, and I got 90% of our decorations completed. At this point, I was still as excited as ever.

Then, the trouble started. It seemed that I could not get a hold of our caterer. After trying for over two months, I ended up needing to find another one and start from scratch, and it seemed that relations between my family members were dwindling due to a very messy divorce in the family. Patrick and I started feeling skeptical, like our wedding day would end up being made about people other than ourselves, and I started to stress out to the point where I was starting to have anxiety-induced physical symptoms. We would sometimes joke about wanting to elope, because no normal person needs to go through so much stress!

When Patrick travels, I normally do not go with him, as very few people could afford plane tickets that often, but when he is able to drive to his work I am able to, and I do, go with him. Most of October was a lot of drive-to travel, and when he got the assignment to go to Las Vegas for a business convention, we decided I would go with him since I had never been.

While we were planning our trip, we joked often about how we should elope while we were in Vegas, but we were determined to have our wedding in Michigan on May 9, 2015. However, when we arrived there, we started to seriously discuss getting married in Vegas. We looked at several different venues and, once we had decided that we were absolutely going to get married there, we discussed the terms of our wedding and who we would tell and what we would do about our May wedding in Michigan.

Our final verdict was that we would get married in a small ceremony by ourselves, accompanied by Patrick's boss and his training partner as witnesses, and tell no one about the ceremony. The decision in this was that we didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings by not including them in our special day, but we felt a sort of impending doom that was cast over our May wedding because of all of the snags and bumps we had encountered at that point. We wanted to take the pressure off of ourselves and do something private, because we both agreed that while a wedding is a celebration of two people coming together as one, a marriage is for the two people who have agreed to share their lives together. Once our May wedding was over, which we still planned on having, no one would ever need to have known that we had already gotten married in Vegas because they would have witnessed our wedding in Michigan and seen us get married on that day. Our marriage in Vegas would be a private, intimate moment shared between my husband and I, and no one ever needed to know.

Patrick and I were determined to keep this ceremony to ourselves, but as you are clearly finding out about it now, things did not go as planned.

Without sharing intimate details of my family situation, let me just say that something happened that would ultimately prevent all of my family from being in the same place at once, something that I would not accept for my wedding day. Because these issues would absolutely not have been resolved within the 5-6 months that we had left before the wedding, and I would not have had a big wedding without either of the people involved in the situation, Patrick and I had a long discussion between ourselves and a couple of my family members who are close to the situation, all of whom agreed that it would be in our best interest to postpone our May wedding in order to let the dust settle and hopefully, in the future, have an amicable wedding day that everyone could enjoy.

Because no one knows when that day may be, we did decide that it would be in our best interests to tell our loved ones about our special day in Vegas, as we did not want to pretend to live as an unmarried couple for an undetermined amount of time, instead of just the 5-6 months that we had initially planned.

While I know some of my loved ones are hurt by my decision, I do hope that they respect that this was the best decision for my husband and I, and that we are both extremely happy. Of course I wish that things could have gone as planned and our wedding in May did not have to be postponed, however that is not the case, and, as I said before, I believe that a marriage is between two people and a wedding is a celebration of that with loved ones. We are still determined to have the wedding of my dreams in the future. However, we do not know when that may be and therefore our wedding is postponed until further notice, as the situation may even take up to several years to be resolved, though we would hope that it would not take that long.

Patrick and I know that you will be happy for the two of us and wish us the best, as we are incredibly happy and know that some day we will be able to have the wedding we both hoped for.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

We've Eloped!

Yes, you've read that right: Patrick and I eloped!

While on a business trip in October, Patrick and I decided to take the pressure off of ourselves and our upcoming May wedding, which we still planned on having, and get married at The Luxor Chapel in Las Vegas!

After a couple of days of deliberation, and then a day of shopping, we tied the knot in a small ceremony on October 28th, 2014.

The happiest day of my life
October 28, 2014
Las Vegas, NV

For several unrelated reasons, the original planned wedding, which was scheduled for May 9, 2015, is postponed. It is for this reason that we have decided to share our happy news with everyone.

To keep the tone of this post upbeat, please stay tuned for my next post which will explain our reasons for getting married before our "big wedding" and the reasons why that wedding is postponed until further notice.

Thank you in advance for your love and support in our decision!