Monday, February 21, 2011

One Shell of a Wedding! : The Day Before

(Alternative Post Title: I Totally Have an Anxiety Attack)

It was the day before the wedding. At this point, things are starting to get pretty unbelievable to me. Bridesmaid Ashley arrived that morning (so all my girls were there! yay!), Mr. Seashell kept texting that the hotel was filling up with our guests, and there was just this general buzz in the air that the show was on the road!

We were off for manis, pedis and a Bridesmaids Luncheon. Since we practically filled the salon (Angel Nails on Wayland Square for you locals) I let my girls go first. I ran back and fourth to Starbucks a few times to keep everyone fed and caffeinated. Frankly, I was also trying to jog off my nerves on my laps around the corner. This was it! This was the wedding weekend!

Next, I was on deck next with Mama Seashell, Auntie Brenda, and Holly (Bridesmaid Carrie's Mom). At this point, I was happy and excited but also slowly unraveling in my bridal anxiety. Part of me is jumping out of my skin with thoughts like, "Dude, this is your pedicure for YOUR WEDDING!" And then my stomach would make this massively creepy noise.

After our manis and pedis we headed just a few doors down to Red Stripe restaurant. I was initially planning on hosting this "Bridesmaids Luncheon" but just a few weeks before my lovely sister sent out invites indicating that she was the hostess! Too cute!

I took the opportunity to present my lovely ladies with their bridesmaids gifts. They liked them.

{I started chugging water thinking it would calm my nerves. I should have gone for chugging wine.}

{Sister Seashell painted me a picture! A seashell!}

So, we had a lovely lunch. But during this time things for me went south. Literally. I was in and out of the bathroom no less than 7 times. My stomach was a mess, and so was my head. I'd never had an anxiety attack before but I'm pretty sure I could say I did that day. When someone was talking to me I could engage in conversation, but then when I was listening my mind was just buzzing. It literally felt like my brain was vibrating inside my head. When I'd turn my head, it took a minute for my vision to catch up. Everything was fuzzy. I. Was. Losing. It. Heart racing, sweaty palms, the whole she-bang.

After our lunch, I hugged my posse goodbye. They were off to the hotel to relax and then get ready for the rehearsal. I had an appointment to go to the hair salon to get a blowout and have my hair "prepped" for the wedding. Mama Seashell joined me and had her hair done as well.

I got situated in the chair and pulled out all the therapist tricks I could recall. I tried to ground myself in the present: "You are sitting in a chair. Your feet are pressed firmly against a bar. Your hands are on your knees. You are calm and safe..." I took a normal breath in, and pushed a loooooong breath out (to engage my sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous systems). I talked myself through my thoughts and feelings. I meditated. I reminded myself of all the things that were set into motion and going beautifully thus far.


I could not calm my mind and body down. My heart was not racing, it was fluttering. Flutter, flutter, flutter. Dizzy. In that moment I learned a valueable lesson. When you're dealing with something physiological, it might not be possible for your mind to overpower the body. I was just straight up freaking out. (Side note: the next day when I came back to the salon the staff joked with me that they thought I was on the brink of fainting. Thanks guys.)

After my not-at-all-relaxing blow out I got in the car with my Mom. With tears in my eyes I told her that I was unraveling. Worst of all, I just simply wasn't having fun - I couldn't. All my friends were here, it was the day before the wedding, everything was happening, and I wasn't even able to hold a coherent conversation. I was looking forward to the wedding more than anything and I was terrified that I was going to be a ball of nerves and not have a moment of enjoyment. Additionally, I felt so odd and lightheaded that I was starting to question my ability to make it through the night.

In a shocking, out of character move my Mom said she "might have something for me". The woman rarely takes a tylenol for a raging headache. This was serious business. Without hesitation I said, "bring it on".

Next up: The state of Miss Seashell at the rehearsal!

Previously in The Seashell Wedding:
One Shell of A Wedding! : Two Days Before


  1. That painting that is supposed to be a shell looks like a pile of poo.