Anxiety ft. Prom (Before)

Good Afternoon Munchkins!

Today I will be chatting to you about my social anxiety and how I think it will be affected by my school’s up-coming prom. If you’ve read any of my other blog posts about my anxiety, you will know it’s something I’ve struggled with for nearly 10 years and that I’m not seeking attention or sympathy; it’s literally just to document it and let you know, should you be going through it yourself, that you’re not alone.

Initially, I wasn’t going to bother going to prom. In my group of friends everyone had a partner to go with who isn’t in a relationship, and we had all decided to go in two’s then meet at the venue and re-group there. There’s one couple in my group and one person that already knew he wasn’t going, so I did have a little bit of a selection, but it turns out everyone had sorted it before I asked. I just didn’t want to third-wheel everyone and think of all the possibilities of what everyone would be thinking if I was to do just that. I was also struggling with the loss of both of my grandparents (as I still am, but I’m a bit further along the line of grieving now) and it was something we had always spoken about as a three; my Granny had even designed my prom dress whilst she was staying in her cancer hospital! I couldn’t face the day without them and I didn’t want to have to cope with the dress shopping and the different fears that arose from that.

In January, I was actually asked to prom by someone who I liked and did like me back, and I actually looked forward to prom. It would’ve definitely cheered my mood up and kept my mind off my grandparents, but it turned out he was on holiday for prom (something we only found out when the date for it came out after he asked me). I guess it wasn’t meant to be and it was only a few weeks after so I hadn’t been dreaming about it for too long, but you know what I’m like: a massive daydreamer who can’t help but wish! Once again, I decided not to go to prom because it really set me back and there’s still some people that think we’re going together, so that’s kind of awkward to explain after all this time! Anyone with anxiety will understand the kind of effect this could have on someone. Despite all this, I still had an idea of prom and the dress I wanted, so, after much convincing from my friends, I decided to pay my deposit. I did have a lot of time speaking to my counsellor about this, as well, who has assured me he will get the deposit back should I change my mind again (can you tell how indecisive I am?!).

I’m now going with two of my closest friends who have, luckily, already sorted out their transport, so I don’t have to stress about that! I’m really excited to go now, because I know them and their families so I don’t need to worry about anything (these are the kind of things that really trigger my anxiety!). I’ve also seen the car we’re going in, and it’s a gorgeous vintage American car (I don’t know actual names of cars, sorry!) in a beautiful aqua blue. One thing that I knew I didn’t want to go in was a limo because I know I would struggle to get in and out of it, particularly in heels and a dress! My only fear is that these friends are like 9-10 inches taller than me, but they’re having smaller heels on their shoes than me so the height difference will decrease slightly. I am very short and it’s something that can’t be helped, but I still wonder what people will be thinking. This is added to the fact they’ve got darker dresses and mine will look much brighter than it already does next to them!

Unlike everyone else might’ve thought, dress shopping was something I was really worried about. I love clothes and I love normal shopping and I know what suits me (which isn’t long ballgowns!). However, after looking in a couple of shops I managed to find one that I actually like and feel comfortable in (and, most importantly, not too conscious of). I think it’s a loose-fitting fishtail shape, but it’s quite tight from the waist to the mid-thigh, then it flows out slightly. I did try on a loose-ish fishtail beforehand and loved it on me, so I knew I wanted something like that. It really brings out my small waist and curvy hips, which I wanted. However, you can see my stomach when I wear it, which I don’t like, so I’ll have to wear a corset or something underneath. It’s red (I was initially looking for dark red/burgundy, but this is a nice red, particularly with a tan!) so it might draw attention to me, but half the people there are going to be girls all wearing different dresses, meaning not too much attention will be on me. It has a skin-toned mesh-style side bit which is kind of like those monochrome dresses that were on trend a few years ago; they’re on the sides of the body so it accentuates the waist and hips even more. This is decorated with champagne beads and pearls, so I’m getting accessories to match that. There’s also quite a big hole hole in the back (there’s a clasp at the neck and it re-fastens with a zip in the centre of my back), so I’m going to have to go bra-less, but it has enough structure to support me. It does look stunning, but I’m now trying to tone my bum as it does look quite big in the dress! I also bought it from a place called Tiffany’s, which has a sentimental place in my heart, so it had to be!

The first shop I actually went to was way too posh for me. The lady who helped me was lovely but I didn’t feel comfortable or confident in there, resulting in me not feeling that way about any of the dresses I tried on. The fishtail I fell in love with in there was covered in too many jewels and I didn’t really like that look, so I just took inspiration from that. In the second shop I went into (Tiffany’s) I felt much more comfortable, there was less people in there and the woman was really genuine about the dresses I tried on and the one I eventually bought. I’m not going to lie, I was feeling really anxious so if I appeared stroppy or ungrateful or in anyway rude, I’m really sorry. That’s something else I fear when I’m having an anxious day, because I know I can appear that way.

So, finally, onto the day itself. I just hope I don’t trip over, I look alright, my dress doesn’t get caught anywhere, I don’t have a nip slip, no one thinks I’m putting this all on, no one looks at me for an extended period of time, no one slags me off, no one thinks I’m drawing attention to myself, no one thinks I’ve used my inheritance money just on a dress, I keep it together, I don’t have a panic attack, I don’t get tired, there aren’t any confrontations, I don’t get called on stage, no one tries to dance with me, no one asks me where my previous date was etc. Sorry if you’ve passed out from that extremely long sentence, but all that and more is what goes through my head in a second, and not just about prom! I’ll probably think of more as I get closer to the day but that’s it for now. Hopefully, if none of that happens, I’ll have a nice night!

And there we have it! I hope you have been able to take something from this blog post – I will be writing a follow up of this (hence the ‘before’) after prom just to let you know how it goes and, hopefully, prove that none of those bad things will happen if you’re worrying about the same thing. I’ve got just under 14 weeks left until prom, so that’s all the more time to worry and panic about it!

Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you Tuesday,

Rachel xx

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