Living with Anxiety

The last few months have thrown my progress in handling my anxiety down a flight of stairs.  I’m not sure what the trigger was, perhaps the breakdown of a long term relationship, or increased pressure at work, or something else entirely.  But I write this after crying in the middle of Terminal 4 at Heathrow, on my way to Rome for a series of meetings for work.  As I write this, I have spent the last 2 hours panicking that I haven’t checked in correctly, despite 1) having printed out my boarding pass, and 2) gotten through security!

I have managed to convince myself that I have done this all incorrectly, and will not be allowed onto my flight.  I have in the last 2 hours – rang the airline to check (they say it is all fine!), asked the information people at the airport (they say it is all fine), found the airline information desk (they say it is all fine, and that I have picked a nice seat!) – and yet, here I am, sat waiting for the gate to be announced, panicking that they are all wrong, and I will not be allowed onto the flight.  I have been panicking to the point that I haven’t been able to stop myself from crying, my heart feels like it may stop at any moment, and I have the overwhelming urge to vomit.  I mean – I have now become *THAT* person at the airport!

I am not normally an anxious flier.  I have flown countless times, and on my own a number of time, with no problems what-so-ever.  But today has been different.  I’m not anxious about flying – I’m anxious about EVERYTHING, and this had been a catalyst.  I have noticed a huge spike in my feeling of anxiety in the last 3 months.  Sleeping is difficult, work is difficult – everything is difficult. Writing helps. Anxiety is a difficult thing to live with. But this too shall pass.

Advertisements

Peace begins with a smile

When I was around 13 I fell off of my bike (or perhaps more accurately, catapulted off my bike) and went face first into the curb.  I came off worst!  I’d fractured the roots of one of my front teeth, and done a fair bit of damage to a few others.  After many agonising trips to the dentist to have my teeth cemented back together and effectively glued back into my mouth, I felt lucky not to have lost any of my teeth.  One of the side effects of the fractured roots was that my front tooth became unbearably sensitive to temperature. Even walking outside caused a sharp stab of pain all the way up to the top of my head. So back to the dentists I went to have a root canal to remove the nerves and stop the pain.

I would not say that I was a vain person, but I do take pride in my appearance.  About 10 years after this incident, the damage I’d done was beginning to have a visible effect.  My front tooth was becoming much darker, and was clearly dead..   I started to smile exclusively with my mouth closed and cover my mouth when talking so to hide my now very notable black tooth.

They say that one of the first things that people notice about someone is their smile – and mine was making me incredibly self conscious.  I’m not really one to go in for cosmetic treatments (I haven’t the money, nor really the inclination), but after crying my eyes out after looking in the mirror one day, I realised that I needed to do something – and so off I went to the dentist to see what could be done.

I have a fantastic dentists surgery and they talked me through the options (removal of the root canal and then internal bleaching of the tooth, crowns, dental implants etc.) and recommended the best thing.  This was to be a crown.  I was scared!  Having a metal rod drilled into my tooth, then the exterior of the tooth drilled down to nothing then something glued on top!? Eek. But you know what?  It’s the best decision I’ve made in years.  The 2 appointments to get it done were a breeze – I can tell you honestly that I didn’t feel a thing!  They just drilled my tooth down, added in the metal rod, took some rather sexy photos (n.b: worst photos ever) and fitted me with a temporary crown whilst the real one was being specially made and colour matched! I must be honest in that I did request a few other cheeky changes so to improve my smile further.. 2 birds 1 stone and that..

2 weeks passed and the final crown arrived – I’m thrilled with the results.  It’s made a huge difference to my self esteem and confidence.  I now don’t think about how I should smile or if I should cover my mouth and I can now bite into foods and not worry about my tooth crumbling away or breaking.  What I’ve learnt is that if something like this is beginning to have the effect on your day to day life, and its easy enough to change – you should go for it. You will not regret it.

Was it expensive?  Yes

Was it worth it?  Immeasurably.