Last week, I met my mom, my future mother-in-law, my sister-in-law, and my closest friends for brunch and then for an appointment at the bridal boutique. Yes, brunch did require mimosas and yes, I needed more champagne for the actual appointment. The thought of what I was about to do sat on my mind the entire morning. I heard my friends talking but wasn't really hearing what was being said. I did my best to push down the panic that kept rising up inside of me and to breathe away the anxiety.
Earlier in the week I had an actual breakDOWN. I had an entire day of crying and anxiety attacks and just sheer terror, probably brought on by all the wedding talk and dress obsessing. All the "what-ifs" began taking over and then before I knew it I had convinced myself that getting married is a huge mistake and I was a horrible mother and doomed to live my life alone, not healthy enough to be ever be with anyone. I was a disaster.
I'm lucky enough to have a support system of friends to turn to, one for every aspect of my life. One friend has gone through my situation and is the one I turn to when I have these attacks (and she to me). We have somewhat of a pact to talk each other down, and when she talks I believe her because she knows exactly what I'm thinking and what I'm going through at the moment, yet is in the sane, calm place where I need to be. She helps me recognize that this is just the fear talking. That I love Mr. Wonderful and couldn't live without him. Slowly I calm down enough to get through the rest of the week until therapy.
Once I'm with my therapist, I decide to just unleash it all on her. Here's EVERYTHING I think during a panic attack, and I know it sounds crazy and makes no sense but in the moment it has total control over me. She listens and then says this:
"No relationship is perfect. You guys are going to have problems. There will be personality clashes and issues. But you love him for his character. You KNOW his character and that he is a good man, and you wouldn't have let him into your lives if that weren't the case. All the problems can be worked through, brought here."
It was really all I needed.
So while wedding dress shopping was a little anxious for me, I held tightly onto her words. They really were all I could think about. And when I went into the dressing room with my friend who talked me through the freakout, and she zipped the side of the dress I'd been eyeing, it was tears of joy, relief, happiness, hope, and love that immediately came to my eyes when I saw myself in the mirror as a bride. We looked at each other, tears in her own eyes as well, said "This is it!", and I walked out to face my friends and family as a bride for the second time without any fear or trepidation whatsoever.
I know him, I love him, and the rest can be worked out. That is all that matters.