lips by Dave via MorgueFile

Finding the Perfect Red Lipstick

I live with anxiety. It was completely under control for a while. The rare panic attack, but the constant worrying was ok. It was my normal so I dealt with it. I’ve taken medication for anxiety and panic attacks in the past, but I try to limit my prescription medication intake. I just don’t like taking those long-term pills because in many cases they make me feel crazier than I really am. I’m used to my anxiety, so when I don’t have it, I don’t feel normal. For instance, before I do anything, I often focus on the worst possible scenario(s). In high school, if I had to get up and walk to the front of the classroom, I would visualize any number of embarrassing episodes before I even got up. Of course, this also means I’m an incredibly cautious person, but that’s a good thing, right? It also means I’m not great at making decisions because I worry so much about what everyone else is going to think and if they’ll be happy with my decision — so I either seriously weigh my options, make someone else choose, or choose randomly. This is normal to me and luckily Jesse is willing to make decisions for me. (I feel like everyone suffers from some kind of anxiety so it isn’t like I’m not normal…anxiety is just a part of life, right?)

Panic attacks started in college. I remember the first one. It was awful. We were going rollerskating as part of an RA/RCC bonding thing and I don’t skate. It freaks me out. I’ve often joked that I have a wheel phobia (I didn’t drive until after college), but really it’s that I don’t enjoy not being in control. Roller skates, bicycles, skateboards…NO FREAKING WAY. Wheels are not easy to control (I also don’t ice skate). So we’re at the skating rink and everyone keeps asking me why I’m not skating and offering to teach me and any number of helpful things that just made me feel even more NOT in control. It was embarrassing and I couldn’t breathe and it was overwhelming and I started crying uncontrollably. I really should have sat out that trip to the skating rink.

Anyway…I say all of this because well…it was under control. Things were going well…but then we started planning our wedding. And Martha Stewart made me feel like a bad bride. And Costco didn’t have banana dippers. And a big project came up at work. And friends visiting. And summer stuff going on with lots of weekend plans and little downtime. And just life all at once. And the normal anxiety I usually handle well exploded into way more than the usual and the panic attacks started.

My family’s pretty awesome and they all know that I’m a worrier with a side of panic attacks. My family has been really great about wedding planning. But sometimes, as the bride, it just kind of blows up into a lot of things at once that you have to decide. Plus there are any number of things about the wedding that I can’t control…which is difficult for me to handle. I MUST CONTROL ALL THE THINGS. Yeah, well…not happening. People will not RSVP, invitations will get lost in the mail, my dress will be too big or too small, Victoria’s Secret will not have the strapless bra I want in white, something about the venue will come up, the make-up girl at Sephora that I really liked will transfer to another location further away, everything, nothing, something, all the things will go wrong.

So I’ve started focusing on red lipstick. I can control red lipstick. I’ve always been a fan of red lips. I can rock red. And I want red lips on my wedding day. Not brick red, not burgandy, RED. I might end up spending more on finding the perfect red lipstick than on anything else for this wedding. Currently, I’m trying to find the least smudge-able, non-transferable, but still RED lipstick because I don’t want to kiss my husband and then have him wearing my red lipstick. So far I’ve tried Yves St Laurent, Estee Lauder, NARS, Revlon, Rimmel, and Cover Girl…I’m sure there will be more to come.

This is how I deal.

Also, I’ve just purchased Daniel Smith’s memoir about anxiety: Monkey Mind. I can’t wait to read it.

How do you deal? What’s your favorite red lipstick? Suggestions?

0 thoughts on “Finding the Perfect Red Lipstick”

  1. I suffer from anxiety, too, Melissa so I sympathize! I deal with it by eating too much :( I need to find a healthy way to manage it.
    I wish I could rock red lipstick like you do, but I can only do pink. Good luck with the search!

    1. Eating is tricky. Because so much of my anxiety is caused by feeling out of control, I tend to be kind of intense about keeping a food journal. I use MyFitnessPal — it isn’t even because I want to lose lots of weight anymore, it’s just if a day gets too crazy, at least I know how much I ate. Even if I ate poorly that day, I know I can make up for it by eating better the next day. If I don’t keep track, I eat crap!

      And I’m sure you could rock red…it’s just a matter of finding the perfect shade. From my search, I’ve realized that brick red doesn’t work for me — I need bright! :)

  2. You, my dear, are nuts. Come to my house and we will use my anxiety medication. Problem solved. :) However, most control freaks don’t do well on that particular med, I must say. You know why? It makes them feel OUT OF CONTROL! You guys will get this figured out, I have faith!

    1. HAHAHA! It’s true…feeling out of control is exactly why I don’t like that med or alcohol. But sadly those things WOULD also stop my brain from thinking thus no need to be in control. It’s ugly, this anxiety.

  3. Boo to anxiety :( Just try to remember…no matter what happens with all the wedding details, at the end of the day you will be MARRIED and that is all that matters. The wedding is just details, the marriage is what matters and it’s only one day of your marriage. Like, only a half day of your marriage, really!

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