#RealBloggerBeauty…The Story Behind My Smile :D

Real Blogger Beauty

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I’m so excited to be participating in #RealBloggerBeauty today!!  Maya of Charmingly Styled came up with the brilliant idea to rally her fellow bloggers and encourage us to share something real and beautifully imperfect about ourselves, providing a platform for support and encouragement for one another and giving a “behind the scenes” to the bloggers they follow.  When Maya approached us with the idea, the first thing that came to mind was the story behind my pearly whites you see today….

Make yourself comfortable…this is a long one!

Back in grade school I couldn’t have imagined my smile being something I would one day shed tears over and want to hide. I was often teased by my peers that I smiled too much(which I personally do not think is possible!!). But fast forward several years and my days of ear-to-ear grins were long gone.

It was my sophomore year of college and I began to notice my teeth withering away right before my eyes. Having been diagnosed with anorexia at 13, followed by bulimia in high school, the 8 years of depriving my body of nutrition and vomiting multiple times a day was taking it’s toll on my mouth. My front teeth were becoming extremely sensitive and the bottoms of my front top teeth were becoming transparent from the acid erosion caused by the vomiting. I became self-conscious about people noticing and found myself smiling less and mumbling in an attempt to hide my teeth when I spoke. I knew something had to be done, but I was hesitant to see my dentist since my last visit revealed 10 cavities.

I didn’t want to face my him again knowing my teeth had only gotten worse. I finally scheduled a visit and was told one of the best options would be to apply porcelainveneers to the front of my teeth. My two front teeth were the worst, and at $1,250 a tooth, two were all I could even think about affording at the time. My parents generously helped out with the cost (even after putting my twin sister and I through braces…twice), so I was thankfully able to get my front two fixed up. While I wouldn’t say they were perfect, they were much better than what they were and I felt comfortable and confident baring my grin again. I told myself that “this was it. No more restricting, no more binging, no more purging. Think about all that money Mom and Dad spent, what you just spent. Enough is enough, I need to stop.” But I didn’t stop.

Fast forward another 3 years and my teeth continued to deteriorate. By this time I was engaged to my husband and popping pain pills day and night in an attempt to keep my mouth pain at bay. Steve finally convinced me to go see a specialist and after receiving multiple opinions, it was determined that two of my teeth had rotted away so much and that they would need to be pulled. I was devastated and relieved. I remember very vividly getting them pulled and how the pain of getting them out was almost pleasing compared to the pain I had been in when I still had them. Because one of the teeth was my last left molar, I was told I only needed to have a dental implant one (which was a huge relief considering the $5k price tag). To add to it all, Steve and I were set to be married in just a few months and the timeline needed to complete the implant went beyond that timeframe. Thankfully I was told I could have a temporary tooth molded that would fit in like a retainer. I wasn’t going to be toothless for my wedding!! Or so I thought…

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It was 1:50pm on the day of our wedding. Steve and our photographer were picking me up from the hotel I was staying at in 10 minutes to take pictures around Chicago prior to the ceremony. As I was pulling my last items together I realized I was missing something…I didn’t have my tooth! I checked by the vanity where I thought I placed it, but it wasn’t there! I started to panic and called on my bridesmaids to help me as we frantically searched for my tooth…but it was nowhere to be found. We didn’t have much time to spare, so I had no choice but to leave for our pictures…minus the tooth. I was devastated. The photographer ensured me that she would edit the photos and no one would be able to notice the missing tooth, but it was my wedding day, and the last thing I wanted to do was be self-conscious about smiling. Thankfully, the one phone call I was hoping for came through. My cousin had found my tooth in my Mom and Dad’s hotel room!! (I had forgotten I even went up there!! #scatterbrain) My Mom wrapped up my tooth in a tissue and left it at the front desk for me to pick up …something I’m sure happens all the time at hotels, right? Aside from the slight lisp the tooth gave me, the rest of the evening went on without a hitch..and I was all smiles. That night I told myself, “this was it. No more restricting, no more binging, no more purging. I am starting a new life now. Enough is enough. I need to stop.” But I didn’t stop.

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Two more years go by and not only had my remaining top front teeth become transparent, I also had a dead tooth that showed off a lovely shade of brown. After many discussions, Steve and I decided I was at a point in my recovery where it made sense to get my teeth fixed for good this time. We visited several specialists, looking for the best of the best and landed on one with an incredible portfolio and great bedside manner. Feeling ashamed and embarrassed of my teeth, Dr. Patel from Downtown Dental put me at ease, passing no judgment and making me feel completely comfortable with the process. He told me veneers would not be enough because of the damage that was done, so I ended up undergoing 7 root canals (in one sitting might I add) and had 8 porcelain crowns applied to my top front 8 teeth.  Several visits and thousands of dollars later (most of my work is considered cosmetic, so insurance would not cover it), I couldn’t be happier with the results! Since the procedure, I have had my remaining top teeth and 3 of my bottom teeth root canaled and crowned. While there is more work ahead to complete on the bottom, I am happy to report that I recently had my first clean bill of health from the dentist in over 15 years (granted I don’t have many real teeth left!). I left the dentist again in tears, but this time tears of joy.

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I know my story was long, but I felt it necessary to share. Behind all the outfit photos and fashion posts, I want you to know there is more to this stylish scatterbrain. I struggled with eating disorders, depression and anxiety for over half my life, and what you just read is only a fraction of the impact they had. This was all while going through treatment, trying different therapies, medications and having the unconditional support of family and friends. I wanted to share not for your sympathy, but to shed light on the emotional, physical and financial burden that come along with these disorders that affect millions of men and women around the world.

Today I continue to work on being the healthiest and happiest I can be. Thanks to an awesome team from Whole Health Chicago and following the work of Dr. Hyman (I will be sharing more on him and his books later this week!!), I am finally learning more about why I have struggled with these disorders and learning what I can do to treat the causes as oppose to just putting a band-aid on the symptoms of these said disorders. I’m thankful to Maya and the rest of the bloggers who are participating in today’s #RealBloggerBeauty and hope that we can continue to support one another through sharing our experiences and showing that there is more to us than what appears on our blog and instagram feed.  Be sure to head over to Maya’s blog here to check out more #RealBloggerBeauty stories!

 

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53 Comments

  • Devan says:

    How brave you are to share your story!! Real beauty indeed! Best of luck to you in your continued success in style and health! We are all rooting (oh! a pun!) for you!!

  • lowstoluxe says:

    love you & so inspiring to read your story :) you have the greatest smile and deserve to always show it off!!!

  • Rachel says:

    Oh hunny, I am so sorry for all you had to go through! I have only had mouth pain once and it was the worst pain I ever experienced, so I can’t even imagine. I am so glad you had your tooth before your wedding, I can’t imagine how panicked you must have felt! Thank you for sharing your story, I’m sure it wasn’t easy and scary to put yourself out there!

  • Jess Zimlich says:

    I think the thing I’ve loved most about these posts is the sheer honesty. No one is holding back! You have a beautiful smile and I’m so sorry you had to go through all of that.

    • Stylish & Scatterbrained says:

      I know! I have loved reading them so far!! Thank you so much, and don’t be sorry, there are people a lot worse off than I!

  • Such an inspiring story! I’m glad you are on the road to recovery! Thank you for reminding us that not everything is as perfect as it seems. Love this campaign!

    xo, Jen
    http://www.comfortably-chic.com

  • Megan, this was beyond brave of you to share… And I’m so grateful you did. I have my own set of issues, but I mainly struggle with image. (So ironic that my blog/career choice are all about it!) It’s so nice to know that I’m not alone- and that we all have our crosses to bear. And what’s left after that is really quite beautiful. Thank you!

    • Stylish & Scatterbrained says:

      Thank you so much Jennie! I know, I always think it’s crazy that I ended up in style/fashion after all these years, but I think it’s great that we can bring a different perspective:) Thanks for reading<3

  • Art Farm says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story, Megan! This is really brave, honest and powerful!!

  • You are AMAZING for sharing this story! I’m sure it was really hard to post, but once you pushed publish it felt unbelievable! You should be proud of yourself!

  • Megan, this made me cry. You are so lovely, and I never would have known you had been through all of this! I’m so inspired by you and feel lucky to call you a friend. Thanks for sharing this!

  • Laurie says:

    I adore you. And Steve. You inspire me and are such a rock star. Also, we have the same dentist and HE IS THE MAN.

  • Sarah says:

    If I could hug you right now, I would.

  • Such an inspiring story! There has been people in my family that had to deal with disorders as well and I am so happy you shared your story! Stay positive and you are a beautiful person inside and out! I wish you all the best :)

  • Hearing a bit of your story at GBS was so touching! I know you’ve been through a long journey and you are so brave to share it here- and that makes us love you even more. <3 so beautiful inside & out!!

    xo

  • Alexandra says:

    Megan! Your smile made me feel so at ease at GBS. You’re beautiful and brave. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Stylish & Scatterbrained says:

      You don’t know how happy that makes me to hear that! It was wonderful meeting you and thank you so much for stopping by to read!

  • What an inspirational story and thank you for sharing! It’s amazing how supportive your husband was and is; what an amazing guy!

    • Stylish & Scatterbrained says:

      Thank you so much for reading Linda!! Yes, he is indeed an amazing person…not sure why he puts up with me some times!!

  • Cassidy says:

    You are gorgeous and inspiring. I struggled with anorexia (restricting and vomiting) for the last 15 years. Last year, it became clear to me to get help and have been trying to see the good in the struggles of recovery. Thank you for sharing your story and somewhat putting me at ease that someone will accept me like your family accepted you during your recovery. Good luck to you and thanks for all of the adorable outfit ideas :)

    • Stylish & Scatterbrained says:

      Thanks so much for reading Cassidy! I’m so happy to hear that you are on your road to recovery and wish you nothing but the best! Always feel free to shoot me an email if you’re ever looking for someone to talk to who’s been there<3

  • thekittchen says:

    So proud of you for sharing such a personal story!

  • I can’t get over how brave you are to share all of this. I am so proud of you for getting through it, and I’m so glad that other people struggling with disorders can look up to you. I can only imagine how many people you will help by sharing this!

  • Jana Meister says:

    You are so brave to share such a personal story. It is truly inspiring to read all of the bloggers open up so honestly. You are amazing for sharing this and you will definitely help others who may be going through something similar.

    Xo Jana
    Jana Style Blog
    http://www.janalmeister.blogspot.com

    • Stylish & Scatterbrained says:

      Thank you so much Jana! I know, I’ve really loved reading all of the posts, it’s been eye opening! Thank you for the read!

  • You are so brave and strong to share your story, Megan. You are inspiration to women everywhere who struggle with disorders of all sort. <3 So happy you found you happiness.. You are a wonderful person and beautiful inside and out!

  • Jyotsna says:

    Megan, hats off to you, your family and your husband for enduring those difficult times with bravery and strength. I am so happy that you found love and happiness! You totally deserve it. Hope you continue to live and thrive in lots of love and fluffy happiness.. xoxo
    Jyo
    http://www.cuppajyo.com

  • K says:

    You know I adore you no matter what!

    (Saw on Instagram that you were posting this and just wanted to pop by)

  • Ivy Boyd says:

    Brave AND beautiful! Wonderful post Megan!

  • shell chic'd says:

    You are so brave you beautiful girl! Thank you for sharing this, that could not have been easy. Keep smiling that darling smile of yours– you have so many reasons to! xxxxo

  • Your story is so honest – and you have such a great smile…can’t ever imagine you hiding it. Thanks for sharing and for being so brave.

  • Megan, I am so proud of you for sharing your story with such eloquence, insight, and honesty. So many young women see the beautiful photos of you and read the exciting things you do and think you are just lucky and lead a charmed life. This dose of reality helps them see we each have our own demons to fight and we can get past them if we are willing to fight for ourselves. As many positive comments as you’ve already received, I can assure you that your words will touch more lives than you can ever imagine. Wishing you continued success and good health.

  • Joanna says:

    You are so strong and brave! Thanks for telling us your story. Keep sharing that gorgeous smile with the world!

  • Ivy Boyd says:

    This post was one of the best girl. It takes so much courage and humility to put the less attractive parts of our life out there, but when you do it, you become even more beautiful! No one should have to sacrifice a smile and I’m so glad you’re happy with yours now and pain-free :) Thank you for sharing your story!

  • amy says:

    i thought i had commented on this before but i guess i hadn’t! you know how brave i think you are for sharing your story and helping others to overcome their battles :) and you looked so pretty on your wedding day!

  • Michaela says:

    you are so brave <3

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