This past weekend it was my best friend’s wedding day. We have been friends for over 22 years and she is my best friend, she has always been there for me and is the constant in my life.
As much as I love her this wedding has caused a great amount of emotional turmoil. Getting a bridesmaid’s dress, going to dress fittings, watching the other girls shrink, being the “fat friend”, having to not only be in front of a lot of people but have photos taken of this body has been incredibly difficult for me. I love her, so I endured all of these things but it was a very rocky road at times.
As hard as the lead up to the day was the actual wedding day went really well! I got my hair done, lounged around for a bit, got dressed and headed over to the church, all the while with flashes of my own wedding day following me – it was lovely. I was nervous for the ceremony because she had asked me to sing but it went very well, the number of people who came up to me complimenting my voice and saying they had no idea I could sing like that was overwhelming – I felt so wonderful. Photos went well, my friend knew exactly what shots she wanted which made it all really easy. Dinner was fantastic and I danced the night away. I was able to eat as much as I wanted, purging urges surfaced but I was able to push them away. Dancing was such a great experience, I danced because it was fun and didn’t feel the need to keep moving in order to burn calories – a major turning point in my recovery.
In preparation for the wedding I told the various members of my treatment team that I thought I would be fine emotionally the day of the wedding, but that when pictures started coming out that would likely change. I was able to steer clear of mirrors for the most part and tried not to focus on how my body looked in my dress. I find that I am terrified of what will happen when the pictures are ready. I know that I have a choice about how I react to the photos but I am really worried that I will look exactly as large as I think I do. Putting the photos from my wedding day (16 months ago) and my friend’s wedding together will not turn out well, I feel as if even thinking about comparing the bodies in both photos will break me mentally. I can’t stop thinking about a post I made last week about recommitting to recovery.
Is comparing the bodies something I should do? No. Is looking at my body in the photos a good idea? No. Will it be possible to look at the photos and fondly remember the day, the memories I have of my best friend’s wedding? Yes, it will be difficult but I can do it.
My friends love me for who I am, big or small. They love me for who I am to them in their lives, not for what I look like. The wedding was a LOT of fun and a really wonderful day, am I really going to let a few photos of my body the way it is now dampen the whole day? That seems pretty ridiculous.
So, I am trying to focus on the good. The memories from the day and not the appearances. It will take a lot of self-talk and distress tolerance but I know I can do this <3