Credit: JUST Restaurant Photo: Deena Nicole at "A Night of New Jersey Charities" Event at Just Restaurant in New Jersey, November 15, 2012

Given how cool, calm and collected she is these days, it’s hard to believe that Deena Nicole – who strutted her stuff on the runway at a benefit for the South Jersey Breast Cancer Benefit at JUST Restaurant on Wednesday night, then worked the phones at MTV’s Restore the Shore telethon the evening after – is the same girl who has, so far, been drinking and sobbing her way through Season 6 of Jersey Shore.

Clearly, things have changed with Deena since the episodes filmed. And we’re happy to report, she’s in a much better place. She opened up to Wetpaint Entertainment about what it’s like reliving those tough moments while watching herself onscreen…and what the future holds for her and boyfriend Chris Buckner now that the show is over.

Wetpaint Entertainment: How was the telethon?

Deena Nicole: It was such a cool thing to be part of — we had so many calls coming in. I think people understand that we’re serious about helping Seaside get back on its feet. It makes us feel good to do our part.

You’ve had a tough season so far on the show. Is it difficult to watch?

It’s hard for me because I was going through such a rough time back then — I missed my boyfriend and I was having terrible panic attacks. Watching it now gives me anxiety. And everyone’s saying to me, ‘Oh you cry so much.’ But it’s been edited to look that way. Yes, I had some bad moments, but I was down there almost two months and there were plenty of good times, too.

Will we have the chance to see you turn things around before the season ends?

Yes. The breakdown you just saw is my last. Everything goes uphill from here.

We recently heard Snooki and JWOWW might have a double wedding on season three of their spinoff. What are your thoughts on that?

If they do it, I’ll totally support them. I’d definitely be a part of it.

How are things with you and Chris? Are you getting wedding fever?

We’re great. We definitely talk about getting married but we want to wait until the time is right. We’re not in a rush. I would say Ron and Sam will get married before we will. But we talk about it, we do.

Jersey Shore airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.

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