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Baby steps in my journey toward a better me.

L

Lex

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2018
Messages
28
Location
Oregon
I could fill this page with history and maybe I will... If this mood continues. I feel like my childhood reads like a long excuse but I am trying not to treat it like that. As long as I can remember my mom has been sick. Really sick. Kidney failure, brittle bones, tracheostomy, infection after infection. I think I was 10 when it got really bad for her. I spent the rest of my childhood and most of my adulthood thus far in hospitals, doctors, care centers... For her. I don't recall a time that I went for myself as we spent so much time focused on keeping her healthy. I worried so much. I self medicated. I threw up a lot. My anxiety started strangling me when I was a young child and never really let go. I kept it together on the outside. Presented well to others. I got married. My mom is still sick. She won't get better but 18 years later she is still here. I'm really thankful for that.

I just got into therapy. I had a breakdown almost 3 months ago. My cat died the day that we moved into a new place and it was literally the final straw. I functioned enough to work but I cried all the time and I stopped eating. I became convinced that I was dying. I became convinced that I was a burden to everyone around me. My husband had a hard time understanding how I could be so normal in public and collapse into despair the moment I was in private. My therapist helped pull me out. During our first appointment she told me that I was my toughest critic. That my self criticism was stealing my joy and bolstering my anxiety. She told me that it was okay to worry about myself and that it was even more okay to take care of myself. She asked that I offer the same love, forgiveness and empathy I would offer someone that I love. It hit me. Just like that is freaking hit me. I realized that if someone I loved was doing things as I was, I would freak out. I would want them to get help. I would do everything in my power to make life better for them as that was no way to live. I don't know why it took me so long to realize that I mattered and that I needed to give myself grace so I could get better.

I'm not better yet. I'm eating again. I lost 20 pounds on what my best friend calls an anxiety diet. I'm still a nervous wreck. I got to therapy. I talk openly with my friends and spouse about my anxiety and the depression that has creeper up because of it.

My first step in getting my confidence back and conquering my fear was to visit the dentist. My teeth are fairly terrible. I have an unerupted wisdom tooth that is causing pain, one that came in crooked, multiple broken molars from clenching and grinding, at least a few cavities and cracks. I'm a mess.

One more things though. I made an appointment today. I cried through the entire phone call with the receptionist. She was so sweet and kind. I have to wait a week to go and that's almost more than I can bear but I am going to do it. I am going to do it for me.

I will keep updating.
 
Dg6300

Dg6300

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2017
Messages
637
Location
US
A fine first step. You did well.

Keep us posted.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
2,768
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Lex,

You have been through alot... and you are resiliant.. you have made a great step for yourself doing this , you are worth it,, taking care of yourself is so important.! I know as a past victim of severe physical and emotional abuse. my self critic, and other critics.. were telling me I wasn't worth it... you are strong to go through all this and now taking good steps!! Sounds like you have a sweet place, I hope the dentist will be just as kind as the receptionist and really be compassionate towards you.. 18 years ago I took that first step and call to go to my first kind dentist that helped me get back on the right tract . It was literally life changing.. she showed me alot of compassion.. I really wish the sam for you!
 
L

Lex

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2018
Messages
28
Location
Oregon
Thanks for the encouragement everyone. I am seriously stressing. I had stress dreams last night and woke up early. I've been thinking about it all day. I am not excited to have to wait another week. It's going to be the longest week ever. I told my husband and my best friend about the phobia. Admitting it felt like a huge accomplishment. I am trying to be patient with myself and remind myself that I have to go through this to get better. My therapist is out of town and by the time she is back, I will have gone a month without a session. I feel like I am doing okay all things considered.
 
Dg6300

Dg6300

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2017
Messages
637
Location
US
You’re doing everything right.

Keep reaching out to people who want to see you succeed, including this forum. We’ve all been there.
 
L

Lex

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2018
Messages
28
Location
Oregon
My appointment is getting closer and it's all I can think about. I feel like I am obsessing. It's taking everything I have to not cancel. I feel sick to my stomach. The fear of the dentists judgement and then finding out just how bad it is, is terrifying.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
2,768
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Lex,

I so get that fear of judgement, I have been so ashamed of my teeth and afraid of what they would find or say at previous places.. Thankfully there ARE really kind amazing dentists out there who are compassionate and want to help and as hard as it is to step in to that chair and go through , it will empower you to have someone help you in a kind way! I used to be afraid my dentist would want to "fire me' because my teeth were so bad, he woudln't want me as a patient. He's been very reasuring telling me "I'm my own worst judge" and really helping in such a kind way... I really wish this for you.. !! hoping this dentist is very caring and non judgmental and empowering ! You are doing amazing so far and can make it through even when its hard!
 
L

Lex

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2018
Messages
28
Location
Oregon
Tomorrow is my first appointment and I am shaking like a leaf. 3 nights in a row of nightmares. I both want to get the appointment over with and for it to never come. My medical phobia is making me miserable. It's really the reason I am where I am with my teeth. I guess I can't fix the past though... Just try to move forward and do better. Fingers crossed that I survive til tomorrow and make it through my appointment.
 
L

Lex

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2018
Messages
28
Location
Oregon
Two hours until my appointment. I'm trying to stay calm. Keep reading success stories for inspiration and mentally rehearsing what I am going to say to the dentist today. Hoping I don't cry but I'm guessing I will.
 
Dg6300

Dg6300

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2017
Messages
637
Location
US
Good luck! You’ll do great.

You are already a success since you have come this far.

And feel free to cry. You are human and crying is a human experience.

I am looking forward to hearing your update.
 
L

Lex

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2018
Messages
28
Location
Oregon
Good luck! You’ll do great.

You are already a success since you have come this far.

And feel free to cry. You are human and crying is a human experience.

I am looking forward to hearing your update.
Thank you for the reminder. 45 minutes to my appointment and my boss is running late to relieve me so I can leave. Hopeful I make the appointment on time. I will update when I am finished.
 
L

Lex

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2018
Messages
28
Location
Oregon
I did it!! First session down. The dentist (and especially the hygienist) were very kind. The news was as expected. I need to have 5 molars removed and all four of my wisdom teeth taken out. Apparently I have a very small mouth (they had a hard time getting x-rays). I have a follow up in two weeks to make a plan. Feeling better albeit still upset. I didn't cry through my appointment somehow. Thanks for all of the support in getting me there!
 
S

SolitudeIsBliss

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 14, 2017
Messages
112
Location
Australia
Well done, Lex!!!! I knew you could do it!

At least now you know what needs fixing and that you are on the journey to getting it fixed.
 
L

Lex

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2018
Messages
28
Location
Oregon
Thanks for the love, guys. I wish I would have found this forum sooner. I could have avoided a lot of this misery. Can't look back though. Just march forward.
 
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