Last week I opened up about some of my core issues on my guest post at VMac and Cheese. The positive response was overwhelming, including gracious comments and heartfelt emails. So ya’ll, this blog is about to get real. And when I say real, I mean I am going to be honest and forthcoming with you. If you have been following along with the Buckets and Bunches, you know I had to change my wedding date because of “life.” Life this year included hitting rock bottom with depression, anxiety, self-harm, and an eating disorder that I have been struggling with almost my entire life. It was almost exactly a year ago when David made a call to my parents and they began staying with me while he traveled and together we started looking for a solution (again). I lived in terror of the world and myself. Looooong story short, I checked into an inpatient program near Philadelphia at the end of February and began a difficult journey to recovery. I stayed in Philly for six weeks, spent another four weeks in a day program in Dallas, and finally returned to Houston for an Intensive Out Patient program focusing on dialectical behavior therapy. And somewhere around the end of the summer, I began to see changes. Or rather, I began to make changes.
the dreaded dress fitting
I picked out my gorgeous dress soon after getting engaged. My mom and sister came into Houston and we spontaneously went to check out dresses, not expecting that I would find my dress that day. When we did, I was over the moon happy. When I returned from treatment, however, I sobbed thinking about how my body would ruin this dress. I had gained a substantial amount of weight since October 2010. I don’t know how many times I said that I thought people would say, as they watched me walk down the aisle, “Oh, what a pretty dress. It is too bad she looks disgusting in it.” In case there are other readers struggling with eating disorders or bad body image, I will leave out some of the nastier self-talk and just say that countless therapists have told me negative body image is one of the last things to go in recovery. So, since June 2011 my dress had been sitting in the bridal boutique waiting for me to come in for my fittings. Here is how I handled it, and here is what I would do differently:
When terrified of trying on your wedding dress DO NOT:
- Put it off for months. Seriously, I stopped sleeping and gave myself endless amounts of anxiety.
- Force your best friend to look at your arms on a daily basis and tell you if you could really wear a sleeveless dress. Sorry, Michelle.
- Stay up until two in the morning in hysterics only to buy a Canadian arm toning system promising to give you “Michelle Obama arms.” Though, now that it has arrived, I’ll admit I’m curious.
- Torture everyone around you with your procrastination.
When terrified of trying on your wedding dress DO:
- Call the salon, and express your fears. Honey, they have seen it all.
- While on the phone with the salon, make the damn appointment for the fitting.
- Have a support system with you for the day of the fitting ( I took my mom, and she was fabulous; “No Chelsea, you are not going to throw up in the salon because you are nervous; but if you do, it’s going to be ok”).
- Think about the situation you are in. You are about to marry the love of your life. YEAH! How exciting is that?
In the end, my dress fit! It needs alterations like any dress, but the whole experience was fairly easy. I slept straight through the night afterwards for the first time in months. If you know the realities of your situation and don’t think the dress will fit, don’t freak out. Tailors that work on wedding dresses are amazing. They can work wonders. If that silhouette isn’t flattering or you are scared of your arms, make a plan B. Knowing that you can quickly get a dress that you would feel comfortable in is reassuring. I know it was for me.
So good luck brides, future brides, or anyone facing a fear. Sorry to bombard you with my own thoughts today; if this is not what you want to see over on this space let me know. Email me if you want to know where to find fabulous back-up dresses. xo