It Is What It Is

It’s been a little while since my last blog and I’ve been going over a lot of things internally. This blog was almost a bunch of different things but I’ve struggled to put finger to keyboard without sounding defeatist or repetitive. Sounds silly, since this whole thing is supposed to be a cathartic, therapeutic exercise for me, and self imposed rules regarding what I can and can’t write about renders the whole thing a bit pointless. So here we go.

I’ve stopped seeing the psychiatrist. To cut a long story short, it was becoming too expensive and the cost didn’t match the results for me. He was also too insistent that I be medicated, which is something I’ve tried to avoid for years and after my recent failed experiment with Fluoxetine, isn’t something I’m keen to get back into any time soon. Having said that, I’ve started taking 5-HTP which is a natural serotonin enhancer that was recommended to me and that I picked up from Holland & Barrett. I haven’t noticed any marked difference but I’m no longer waking up feeling panicked every day so make of that what you will. The other reason I stopped seeing him is because we ran out of time to make an appointment and he said he’d call to schedule the next one. 5 weeks later and I’ve yet to hear from him so his lack of action pretty much solidified my decision to cease treatment.

I’ve finally made it up the waiting list for CBT so I have my first appointment for the new course on Wednesday. I’m hopeful it’ll help although I’m not seeing the same therapist as last time which isn’t ideal as it always takes a while to get them up to speed and to find my footing with someone new.

The biggest thing that’s happened is that I went on holiday. Yes, it was a ‘safe’ bet. Yes, I went with my partner and my parents. Yes. it was somewhere I’d been twice before and was familiar with. But still! I left the country and came back again and nothing bad happened. The week was filled with anxiety but nothing came to fruition and even though the chlorine from the pool ravaged my eczema and I still had pain in some teeth, I managed to have a pretty good time. Success!

Speaking of my teeth, I’m still very unsure of what’s going on. I’m in my 9th month of constant pain now and although I don’t feel any closer to lasting relief or to a proper diagnosis, after this length of time nothing has changed which is actually providing some small comfort. Nothing is necessarily better but I haven’t lost any more teeth and they don’t look any worse than they did so I can cope for now.

I have an appointment with my dentist tomorrow morning to pick up a new type of mouth guard which, he says, should eliminate the ability to clench my teeth overnight. The bad news is that it’s apparently quite bulky and hard to get accustomed to but I’ll try anything! I also have an appointment with an endodontist on Friday so I should finally get a definitive answer about whether I need re-treatment on one or both of my root canalled teeth. My next orthodontist appointment isn’t until August but I’m hoping something will give in the next couple of months that will allow me to pursue braces to fix my malocclusion at long last.

Suffice to say a lot is going on in my crowded brain, but I certainly don’t feel like anything has gotten any worse. I can get through most days without crying at the moment, and I’ve been a bit more productive when it comes to work so if I can maintain that then I think everything will be ok.

I’m still at a point where the appearance of my teeth is something that’s always at the back of my mind and I still don’t feel like there’ll ever be a point where I can smile in a photo that I don’t have creative control over, but I recognise that ending the pain is far more important than my aesthetic concerns so I’m trying to take things one at a time. Patience isn’t my strong suit so the fact that everything is up in the air, or keeps being delayed, is proving incredibly disheartening and frustrating but I’m using my favourite phrase a lot lately.

“It is what it is.” It barely even makes sense as a sentence but the essence is useful. Things are the way they are, and I need to recognise that I’m doing everything I can to change what I’m able to, and to relinquish control and go with the flow more with respect to the things I can’t change. I’m not a religious person but the Serenity Prayer is a pretty good tool for the moments when I feel like everything is spiralling downwards.

God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change; 
courage to change the things I can; 
and wisdom to know the difference.

It is what it is.