My Brother’s Wedding

I was very nervous about my brother’s wedding on August 23rd, 2015. I wanted my brother’s wedding to go well and not have my adrenal insufficiency flair up and draw attention to myself. The focus should remain on the bride and the groom.

The Engagement Party

In the months leading up to the big day, I had to sit out on many activities. I could not attend my brother’s engagement party. After extreme frustration, a panic attack triggered by my abusive husband, and many tears, it was decided that I would spend the evening quarantined to the couch with my cat while he ventured to the party alone.

I was distraught. I saved up energy so that I could attend and show support for my brother and his beautiful fiancee. But in the end, I lost. I was a crying mess left alone on the couch. I sent my brother a very disappointed text message informing him I would be a no show. His response was perfect.

Encouraging text message interchange.

“We do not want you to waste energy feeling bad about it.”

My brother knew I supported him, and that’s what mattered. I had to continue to remind myself of that fact during the entire wedding weekend, as I would randomly decline participating in social activities due to health. I had to leave the rehearsal dinner early because my social anxiety grew to an uncontrollable level.

“You look healthy!”

Weddings are also opportunities to see many people that you haven’t seen in a while. My brother’s wedding was the first time for several guests to see me since my own wedding in March of 2014. They kept repeating to me and my family how I looked healthy.

Smiling and spreading joy while living with adrenal insufficiency.

Visiting with an extremely close family friend.

In the chronically ill community, we grow very frustrated with the phrase “But you don’t look sick!” I find the phrase “You look healthy!” completely different. These were close family and friends who saw me when I looked very sick. They remember looking at a pale, listless, bag of bones. They remember hearing stories of the multiple hospital stays and ER visits. Some of them were even at my side during the various hospital adventures. When they tell me I look healthy, they mean I look healthy. It’s an exciting thing for them to see.
A bridesmaid with adrenal insufficiency stands proudly beside her parents at her brother's wedding.

I love my parents.

I am doing well. And I look healthy. The weight that I have re-gained has made me look healthy.
A bridesmaid with adrenal insufficiency stands proudly beside the bride at her wedding.

A picture of me with the beautiful bride.

Towards the end of the night, my brother approached me and told me that I handled the weekend perfectly. Suddenly, all of my insecurities about being chronically diseased did not matter. The only thing that mattered was that my brother was proud of me. And I am incredibly proud of him.

A bridesmaid with adrenal insufficiency stands proudly beside her brother, the groom, at his wedding.

He shall always be my little brother.

To the Mr and Mrs

May your friendship and love for each other continue to grow and deepen daily.
May you always be able to share a laugh together, even when times seem really, really scary.
And may you never ever forget that you have me supporting y’all, always.

Love, your older sister.

A family smiles for a photo after a wedding.

Welcome to the family, sister.

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