I wanted to start by saying that the past three years have been a whirlwind for me. I have been nothing more than a hard worker, a daughter, a sister, a Godmother, and a fiancé. On the outside, I’ve shined to most people. I’ve grown my blog and have gotten the opportunities I couldn’t dream of, being being able to inspire people with my fashion sense and for some even my blog posts have inspired you. I am so happy to have this platform and to be a voice for people when they feel like they don’t have one, but what many of you don’t see is what I battle internally on a daily basis. In the past three weeks I have encountered so many women who have opened up to me because they felt a connection to me. To the people I’ve met in the last few years who have opened up to me this letter was inspired by you. For all my readers, it’s time I open up pandora’s box and talk about something most people wouldn’t dare. Its time as a union that we bloggers step away from the comfort zone of what we think makes us beautiful and write what is real, raw, and sometimes dark. I’m writing this open letter for all of my brides, my readers, and my supports who battle daily with disordered eating, anxiety, depression, and body dysmorphia. I hope you read this and feel normal, I hope my story and journey inspires you to be a voice, to speak up when needed, and to seek the help you need to free yourself. I hope you love this article because as I type… my heart goes out to each of you.
I can’t remember a day I wasn’t anxious. I can’t remember a day when I looked in the mirror and saw what people told me they saw about me, and I certainly can’t remember a day I rolled out of bed and felt accomplished in anyway. I’ve battled a long history of disordered eating, body dsymphria, depression and anxiety since I was a kid. In fact, I can remember the exact day I had this awful image of myself in the mirror and how since that day, I’ve never seen the light of day. I have never felt “normal”, I grew up in a family of small women. I never fit in with most girls and I’ve certainly never had a ton of friends. As I grew up and my stress got harder my Monster who I envision to be this big purple ugly demon also grew.
I started Thestylepath in 2013 as a way to destress from work and everyday life. I knew the one thing to make me happy was always clothes and I felt that through my outfits I could tell a story. I quickly realized that this wasn’t the case, I began to obsess over my weight, my hair, makeup, and people’s feelings toward me. The whole blog actually felt like High School all over again. Everyone’s eyes on me, waiting to be perfect. The more pictures I took the more I fell down the rabbit whole of my deep secret.
In 2014, My Goddaughter Michaela was born and I knew I needed change. I had to become the role model I had once envisioned myself to be. I knew that deep down this little baby would be my own saving grace. So I enrolled into therapy… again and began to get my shit together.
When Mike proposed to me, it was the happiest day of my life. I remember that being one of few days I felt my best, I was overjoyed. I was in a good place and happy to spend the rest of my life with the man I love. It of course didn’t take long for my Monster to click in and fill my head with negative thoughts. I could never be a good wife for this man. I could never be skinny enough to walk down the aisle in couture, and I would never be pretty enough to love any pictures I would have to take. And than it hit me, there would be 300 + people staring at me all day. This quickly became my worst nightmare.
If you have struggled with any of the above, I hope you know now you’re normal and there are so many people who feel your pain. I wanted to write this blog to help all of you reading who consider yourself broken and I wanted to share what triggered me and what helped. It wouldn’t be Thestylepath’s blog with out helpful tips and I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t try to get you to feel normal. I want all readers to feel like they belong. It’s okay to be fighting old demons as long as you are working to improve them in order to have the best day and the best life. It’s normal for you’re wedding to be your trigger but it should also be your motivator. A motivator to get healthy and happy.
The worst thing someone can say to me is “ Why are you so sad/ stressed? This is the happiest time of your life”! Woah, what a trigger that one line is. Happiest time of my life? This process has been an emotional beat down and some people have the nerve to ask me why? Though that sentence aggravates me to no end, I’ve learned to just not share my wedding details with the general public. The less I talk about my wedding, the better I truly feel. I’ve said this before but I think keeping more details to yourself is truly the best especially if you’re struggling and dealing with your own internal demons. The less people have to judge the better.
The Dress Fitting/ Diet:
If one more person dares to ask me about a wedding diet, all heads are going to roll. Lets get something straight any girl who is on a low carb, air breathing, vegan diet for just their wedding is setting themselves up for pure failure.
Do I diet?
- Someone once told me as I cried in the fitting room that the first three words of diet were DIE. AlthoughI have my ups and downs with food, I have been diet free for almost two years. I keep a consistent clean diet with treat days in between . I try to just eat healthy and fuel my body. This is what helps me to stay mentally and physically in shape. So the short answer is, I do not have a diet!
- The day I went for my first dress appointment ever, I had a full blow melt down and wouldn’t get out of the car. I don’t like people touching me, I don’t like over used compliment, and I certainly don’t like people all up in my space looking at me in my underwear. My Matron Of Honor warned me that it would be painful especially for someone who already wasn’t confident in her own skin. After a panic attack and a lot of tears, I got out of the car and I explained to the consultant everything I felt. She was sweet, but I still wasn’t comfortable so I left. YIKES.
- On the second place I went to my mom and Maid of Honor got to sit in the room with me and boy did that calm me. Sometimes having the people close to you helps but it also helps to prep. I had spent multiple hours in my therapy session going through the motions and prepping myself to be fitted and it helped.
Attention: All eyes on Me:
This is my worst fear. Now I get it, if you look at my page you would figure I just LOVE attention. But there is a reason why most of my photos I wear sunglasses or my head is down. The focus I want is on my clothes, not me personally! So yes, if the thought of having anyone stare at you all day is a trigger to you, well than honey we are in the same boat. I don’t have a solution to any of these but I sure wish I did. I have been working closely at this trigger. I want to express that this is normal! I am not entirely too social, I don’t have a ton of friends, and I sure as hell don’t have the self esteem people think I do, but what helps me is the meaning behind my wedding. What helps me is that when its all over, it’s Mike and I and for that I work hard to find the little things that will make the day enjoyable.
I remember getting my engagement photos and how they made me feel. They were stunning, straight out of a magazine to some, but too me I couldn’t bare to look at my body. I hated it, the dress gave me a kangaroo stomach, my nose was too big, and I noticed my first wrinkles. I cried for hours about how I looked but then I did something inevitable. I sent those same pictures to my person: ( my person is someone who helped me in body dysmorphic time of need) someone who isn’t scared to tell me the truth based on what they know about me. Her reaction told my monster to shut the hell up and me to enjoy these beautiful photos. I was finally able to post them, but that didn’t mean that my thoughts didn’t stop at how people would talk about the kangaroo pouch I had. The same fear lies with my wedding photos. I am beyond terrified that I will cry and have a melt down over what I see rather than what is actually there. I am sorry I don’t have a magic pill, but I will say having a person helps. Pick someone who doesn’t know your story or even someone who does and won’t sugar coat. Having a person puts your monster in check and lets you just relax. What we see, isn’t whats there!
When I think perfection, I think big boobs, big lips, no wrinkles, six pack abs, and someone who hit the lottery. That isn’t me clearly, but that’s what I would love to look like.
What’s a perfect wedding: I have NO idea.
We all have a different version of perfect but this doesn’t mean to consume your whole life over it. We spend years searching for the perfect diet, hair color, right amount of botox, perfect man, perfect house, perfect kids… when no-one is perfect. People only look perfect on Instagram but in reality we are all one big generation of F’ed up. Trust me when I tell you not a single person has the right to judge you or make you feel anything but amazing.
To calm my mind, I started doing yoga. In my practice I have learned so much about the art of perfection and the lack there of. Maybe I am not there or anywhere near my goals but I know what is realistic and what isn’t.
As I close this open letter, I hope my story helped at least one of you. I want you all to know that my reasoning for taking three years lied in my progression to get healthy and happy. I know I will never be “ healed” but I also know that I am so much better than yesterday. I know that I push myself daily instead of throwing in the towel, and I also know that my story has made me a warrior. I challenge you to speak up, to understand that you are not alone. I challenge you to find your path of happiness before walking down the aisle and to become a better you.
This post is part of our real blogger brides series. Follow @thestylepath as she writes twice a month and shares with us her wedding planning journey.