Over the past year or so I have been consciously facing and fighting things that previously I might have avoided. DBT has really helped equip with strategies for doing this and I am so grateful for having been introduced to the therapy and enabled to attend it by others.
My sessions and the pace of change is dictated by me. I do have a tendency to try and run before I can walk- so sometimes Penelope has had to slow me down- but on the whole I have tried to address issues at the right time.
I have been considers trying to get on top of my fear of going on the London Underground. When I lived in London thankfully I was fine, but for the last 13 years I have not. Most times to be honest I just drive… But recently I have been thinking that to have the option of the tube would be great. I am planning a trip to Moscow in October- by train. The only thing I feel overwhelmed is- is getting the tube to St. prancras! Like other things I have conquered- I know the way forward is to de-sensitise myself, plan distraction skills, use encouraging statements and have a plan of action in case it goes wrong. It was on my imminent radar.
But on Saturday- something awful happened. I broke a tooth. My back bottom molar. Eating a roll, and it crumbled. I haven’t been to the dentist for 20 years. 20 years 5 months actually. The reasons are not necessary to share… Suffice to say, for me, it has been a conscious decision not to put myself in that position. And though no fear is justifiable- there are reasons i am like i am. And almost unbelievably I have not had any toothache. I do not think for one moment my teeth and gums are ok- obviously they are not- but as long as I wasn’t in acute pain I had absolutely no intention of going any way near a dentist chair.
I am feeling a bit of a weakling confessing my fears of the tube and dentist- but I’m just being honest. Other things that others are fearful of, I am not, these two just happen to be biggy’s for me.
Mercifully, I am not in pain with my broken tooth- how ever, I do know that unless I get it looked at I run the risk of getting into some trouble with it.
The previous dental visit 20 years ago was actually to have a tooth removed under general anaesthetic. The hospital had tried sedating me but apparently I hit the dentist, so they did it under full anaesthetic. Wonderful.
But since that time I have had quite of lot of surgery and anaesthetics and after my most recent surgery I realise that my mood and body really struggle to recover from being put to sleep and I am loathe to have to have another anaesthetic for dental treatment.
Yesterday I made an appointment. Even speaking to the receptionist (I had to ring more than 1, as some surgeries were not taking new NHS patients). I was sweating, my heart was pounding and I could feel the tears welling up. I will go to the appointment. I have agreed to sit in the chair, open my mouth and let them look- that is as far as I can go at the moment.
But I want to change. And i will change. I want to be able to have clean white teeth, checked regularly and looked after to the best of my ability. I do not want my behaviour dictated by fear. It looks like the dentist will take precedence over the tube- needs must… I just hope beyond hope the dentist is kind.
Challenges… Challenges.. Challenges!!!
Thanks for listening.