Let's talk about anxiety for a minute...
I've always talked very openly about my own struggles with anxiety, because I feel that this is an important piece of the puzzle of managing it. Being able to openly discuss it.
And for those of us built with anxiety, I honestly don't know that it ever fully goes away, never to return.
Sometimes it sneaks in so easily that we don't even realize it until we're standing there with it in our face.
Or sitting in the dentist chair, like I was today.
I have dental anxiety. I think I always have, and then it was made worse through three years of braces and an awful dentist many years ago in Kelowna.
Last year, I went through some real fuckery after a nerve was hit on my tooth during a filling, the tooth died, and then I had to get a root canal and a crown. I have avoided the dentist since that all happened because I needed a breather to collect myself.
Which logically, you'd think I'd go back to the dentist sooner for prevention, but anxiety and trauma are not logical.
I didn't realize the story my anxiety was creating about my teeth and the build up this was creating going into my appointment. I have sensitive teeth and some of my sensitivities have increased recently. So, in a nutshell, I was convinced that my teeth were going to need so much work that I'd probably just end up going to Mexico to get them fixed because it would be cheaper. This is the story that my anxiety created.
I was mentally preparing myself all day yesterday and this morning for the "news" I would get after my exam. I told the hygienist my story on arrival and that I was sure I had at least three teeth that needed to be fixed.
After she cleaned them and her and the dentist reviewed them, I could see that she almost wanted to laugh. She said, "You have really good, strong teeth," and proceeded to tell me the only work I needed was minor and would total $200. I did start to laugh and said, "Oh ya, I kind of have dental anxiety." She chuckled and said she guessed that based on what I told her when I came in vs. what she saw. And then proceeded to tell me, "You don't want to manifest that!"
Like oh my god, do I ever not want to manifest that! Thank you for the reminder.
I booked my appointment for the minor work I need and called my friend, laughing, telling her about the experience, and really seeing the bigger picture here.
Anxiety lies to us. We can't believe the stories that our minds create. Especially the ones that are serving us worst case scenarios. Learn to take it lightly. Laugh at yourself and find those people who you trust and love who can laugh with you. And who will support you and honestly reflect to you when your mind is being an anxious ahole.
Just like grief, anxiety is often something we can't just make disappear. But we can learn to live fully, healthily, and happily with it by developing tools to manage it, observe it, and not act or react from it.
Sending all the love to the anxious ones out there...I see you, hear you, feel you.