Relating: Everything Blue
I first felt its suffocating power via a brief wave of woe two days before the
honeymoon ended. By the time we landed at Philadelphia International, it was an all-consuming, fighting-down-the-lump-in-my-throat reality: The wedding and honeymoon were officially over. I was officially depressed.
During the cab ride back to our Center City apartment, I turned toward my brand-new husband to see if I could guess what he was feeling — because I was pretty sure that I was supposed to be overjoyed at this momentous homecoming, when we returned to Philly as husband and wife. But my thoughts were too clouded with any one of the following: Having to go back to work tomorrow. Having to call every friend and family member to rehash every detail of the wedding. Having to be a wife and not a bride-to-be.
To my relief, my husband’s frown and wrinkled brow said it all: He wasn’t happy either. Maybe what I was feeling wasn’t so strange.
And yet, three months later, long after the initial return-to-work dread was over, the thank-you notes were written and album photo selections complete, long after my husband was back to his usual, happy-go-lucky self, I was still miserable. I felt a void, like there was nothing to look forward to anymore, except the next weekend, when I would hide from friends, eat cereal for dinner, and work on further carving my butt imprint into my TV-facing sofa (not to mention that said butt was rapidly restoring itself to pre-wedding-workout size). On top of all of that, I felt guilty for not being elated about being married. Wasn’t I supposed to be floating around like Katherine Heigl or Eva Longoria — or like some of the other recently married and bubbly girls I knew?
When I decided to really look at what was wrong, it seemed to make sense: I had spent the past year of my life consumed with wedding details, always having to-do lists to complete, always having a reason to call my sister-in-law or a friend to ask an opinion, just drifting past real life (and all the stresses that come with it), distracted by my wedding-planning life. Then, suddenly, after a year of living in the clouds, reality smacked me in the face.
I had the Post-Wedding Blues.
I responded by telling everyone at work about my state, thinking they would cut me some slack for my forgetfulness, slouching posture and messy appearance. I reached out to friends in the same, new, rocky boat. Janine, my friend from Society Hill whose wedding was six months before mine, agreed: “It was a busy time, and a year-long engagement provided plenty of time for anticipation to build. So, like after any climactic event, once you’re there, the only place to go is down.” Janine even admitted to me that for months after her Big Day, she would still buy and scour wedding magazines — keeping it secret from her new husband.