I’m nervous about the whole process of wedding dress shopping.
There, I said it.
And this is not just because I’m literally the absolute worst at making a decision.
No, I nervous because this is really the first time in all 15 years of my recovery from anorexia that I’m actually going to have to scrutinize my reflection and the way my body looks in clothes.
Which, I know, on its face sounds absolutely absurd. Like…Come on, Caralyn. You look in the mirror every time you brush your teeth. What are you talking about?
And yeah, sure. But since adopting recovery, I have made it a conscious choice that I don’t focus on my body. It is a matter of will. I don’t own a full-length mirror, I don’t obsess over how my body looks in clothes. It is a foundation of my recovery: I will not obsess over my body.
Been there, done that. And folks, the results nearly killed me. Literally. Ask 78 pound, 18-year old me, and I’d tell ya: the mirror makes me absolutely pick apart every imperfection in my reflection.
So I have eliminated that from my life. It is a huge part of my recovery.
And I’m going to be really honest, the thought of standing on a pedestal in a bridal shop, with the spotlights and women pinning wedding dresses to fit every curve — or lack there of — on my body…I am admittedly, a little apprehensive.
This week, my mom was supposed to be in New York City, wedding dress shopping with me.
Now, if you’ve never been wedding dress shopping in New York, — it is, an event. You need to schedule bridal fitting appointments at least two months out if you want to even be able to enter the store. Many of which, cost a fee to have an hour try-on session.
So, I did that. Back at the end of May, I scheduled five appointments for the three days she was going to be in town…and over the weekend, I get a call from my parents…that they both have tested positive for Covid.
Now — first, let me say: thank you Jesus, they both have incredibly mild symptoms, akin to minor chills and a dry cough. Truly, thank you Lord that they have not had a bad response to the virus. However, this of course, meant that the trip to New York was off, and all of the bridal appointments…cancelled.
Obviously, my mom and I were bummed that our special mother/daughter adventure would have to be postponed.
But in that disappointment, at church on Sunday, I took to prayer all these “body apprehensive thoughts” I have been having recently, recognizing that just maybe, perhaps this was Jesus’ divine timing, allowing me to a) identify these thoughts, and b) use this time in the interim to “work on myself” (I hate that phrase) – or rather, prepare my heart for the intense body scrutiny that I’ll be doing when the time comes to fit a dress.
I knew this was a bigger issue than I had originally thought, when on Saturday, my fiancé and I were at a swanky rooftop pool in Manhattan. And, I don’t know if it’s because I have been looking at wedding gowns in magazines/online and seeing all these models with perfect bodies, or just being at that pool up close and personal to “high society” women who look like they should be on the cover of Maxim, with plastic “this and that” but I just got home from that pool and sobbed.
Never in 15 years have I cried over my body before, but I just felt so unwomanly.
Which, I know in today’s gender-bending climate might be taken very differently. But I just felt so inadequate that I ugly cried for a solid 20 minutes.
I don’t know – maybe this is sharing too much. But this is the “real real” of recovery. And sometimes things sneak into your “airtight recovery” that catch you by surprise, and this definitely did.
So you know, maybe this was all part of God’s perfect timing. Maybe I’m supposed to use this time to really remember who God says I am, which has been and always will be the foundation of my recovery.
Remembering that who I am is a forgiven, supremely loved child of God, made in His image, and reflecting His light. That is the source of beauty. Our outer shells are merely a vessel to house the Holy Spirit living in our hearts.
And a wedding dress…heck, I could be wearing a burlap sack and be just as ecstatic to be starting a life with the greatest man in the world.
What I’ve come to learn is this: anytime we take our eyes off of Jesus, just like Peter, we will surely sink. So, whenever I do get to be on that bridal fitting stand, Lord, help me see you standing by my side in that mirror’s reflection. And help me to see myself not with my own critical gaze, but through your eyes: eyes of love, gentleness and grace.
Thank you for your support on Patreon!! You make this blog possible 🙂
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
MAGIC TOOTHPASTE? Yes! I am in love with this superior whitening toothpaste. It keeps my smile sparkling, without sensitivity or bleach! I made a website where you can directly order this miracle product! So if you want to give it a try, you can go ahead and grab a tube for yourself. I promise, your smile will thank you!Get a tube!
Be sure to check out my affiliate, Audible. Listening to audiobooks while I cook is literally my new favorite thing. And just for you, they’re offering a Free 30-Day Trial Membership. And with this free membership, you’re going to get 2 free audiobooks! Literally. Free. It is the best deal ever. And if for some reason, you decide it’s not for you, you can cancel within those 30 days and it’s zero money out of your pocket, plus, you get to keep the 2 audiobooks. Soooo…it’s pretty much a no brainer. Plus, it’s a free and easy way to support this blog! So thank you!!
@beauty.beyond.bones – Instagram
And really quickly, I’ve had several questions concerning my Amazon link (amazon.com/shop/beautybeyondbones) — You do not need to buy one of my specific highlighted products on my page, in order for it to “credit” my account. Any purchases that you search or make from anywhere on Amazon, after first visiting my Amazon page, will credit this blog and help support this blog ministry. I am truly so grateful and appreciative to those of you wanting to do so! So thank you! Again, it is an absolutely free, and easy way for you to help keep this blog going!