Last week was my friend’s wedding, and it was beautiful. She looked stunning in her dress, the groom looked handsome in his suit and it was a gorgeous summers day.
I’ll ask permission from the bride when she gets back from her honeymoon about whether I can post a picture of the day on here because apart from the fact that she’s such a brilliant friend, her wedding was so pretty!
I bared my upper arms. I thought I’d be nervous in the run up to the big day but the anxiety only kicked in the night before. I was more worried that everything was going to go according to plan, as my friend had worked hard to get every little detail perfect.
Not being well with IBS the night before the wedding (I won’t go into any more detail, don’t worry) It started to sink in that in a matter of hours I’d be walking out before the bride in front of her friends and family. Then I reminded myself what everyone does at weddings when the bridesmaids walk out – they try to look around them to see the blushing bride. With that in mind, I just kept reminding myself that although showing my arms was a big deal for me, it wasn’t a big deal for anyone else. People were there to see two wonderful people get married, and finally, finally I stopped obsessing about my arms and focused on the task ahead.
With the possibility of IBS occurring on the day, I took my tablets and tried to eat a little bit regularly. I took myself away to a separate hotel room before the other bridesmaids arrived to start the process of getting ready and did a ‘grounding’. A grounding is a form of meditation, as when a person because stressed about something, their thoughts can become muddled. Doing a grounding, becoming aware of myself and my surroundings has really helped when my anxiety has become overwhelming. The thought of being centre of attention before the bride appeared had me freaking out, so I led on the hotel bed with Katy Perry’s Wide Awake (I’m loving that song at the moment) in the background and became aware of my body. Then I started to pick apart the day into more manageable chunks – first, hair. Second, make-up. Third, dress.
I offered to help relax the bride as she was also anxious – obviously, it was her wedding day! – but she calmed down when the other bridesmaids arrived.
The wedding itself was beautiful, we walked outside to a gazebo and witnessed the marriage. It was the perfect place to get married, and the bride and the groom looked so happy.
After the pictures were taken and I sweated off my fake tan (no joke) I slipped on my bolero. I am so thankful that I could put a cover-up on for the reception.
In conclusion, I totally did it! I showed my upper arms to people for the first time in … I don’t know, maybe a decade? Probably longer. I’m really proud of myself, and I don’t think I’ve actually meant that before. I’m proud of myself because I did something that, to me, was difficult. Showing my arms means showing my weight, I wasn’t able to hide. It’s showing my problems, everything I despise about myself, and you know what? It didn’t feel as terrible as I thought it would. I was self-conscious, yes, but I was still able to enjoy my friend’s wedding as two people in love getting married.
So, I’m happy.