Don't Stop When Shit Gets Real

You can't give in just because things got hard.

Photo by Luke van Zyl on Unsplash

That's what I'm supposed to say, right? It's what I'm supposed to tell myself and anyone reading this, I think.

Well, damn. This past week saw some really low earnings for my work. Lower than what I'm used to. Upon that realization, I want to crawl under a rock and never write again.

Not really. But kinda.

See, that would almost feel good. To give up. To say, this is too hard.

And if I did that? If I gave up, then I would certainly earn even less since I wouldn't be trying at all.

All I really want to do is find my niche and succeed in my own way. Whatever that means. As long as I’m building some kind of better life for me and my daughter. And have some sanity.

But I won't lie--writing from home and being a single mom is hard as hell. And I'm just winging all of this as I go along. And I've always given up when things have gotten hard... so doesn't that mean I can't afford to quit now?

I can't afford to quit.

Today, I went to my first dentist appointment at the "poor people clinic." I was reminded that when you're poor and have bad teeth, dental professionals think you're also stupid. Because they had me watch this video about rudimentary teeth hygiene. As if I'm there because I don't brush and floss.

Where's the video that explains to health professionals that plenty of intelligent and clean people scrimp on dental care because it's too damn expensive?

Because some of us have been grinding our teeth at night since childhood and our parents never thought, hmmm, could our child be under too much stress? We've lost weight on raw food diets that hurt the enamel of our teeth. And we struggled with vitamin deficiencies and crumbling teeth since pregnancy and breastfeeding.

When I first registered at the dental clinic last month, I was told that they did root canals, crowns, root planing and scaling--so the dentist would give me an exam and create a treatment plan.

That sounded great. After being quoted nearly $18K at my last dentist, I thought things were finally looking up.

So I was a bit thrown today when everyone kept asking me what I wanted to do.

What? I wanted an exam and a treatment plan.

No, they said. What hurts, what is your main dental concern?

Still confused, I explained that my upper right teeth needed root canals and filings, and one of the molars had recently broke.

Again, I remembered that I was at a poor clinic when they offered to pull it. I'm talking, my face is burning hot, and I'm fighting back tears as I say I don't want to lose more teeth if I don't have to. Like who do I think I am, what kind of diva am I really?

The dentist explains that they only do root canals on front teeth there because it's so time consuming. He asks me again what I'm going to do.

I tell him I'm going to wait. I wasn't prepared to have a tooth pulled today.

But what are you going to do about that tooth?

I tell the dentist I don't know. He finally agrees to do an exam and create a treatment plan.

He's rattling off all of the carries, buckles, fractures and need for crowns to the hygienist when he begins to ask me more questions about the pain of my upper right broken molar. He thinks for a minute and says, "Maybe we can save that tooth after all."

He treats my two broken teeth with a special fluoride to halt decay, and I leave the office with a 6 appointment treatment plan that will only cost $300.

Poor person's treatment aside, I am happy and hopeful about the process. No one loves going to the dentist, but we all want healthy teeth.

I can't tell you how many dentist offices, schools, and sliding-fee clinics I've visited where they basically laughed at me for saying I don't want to pull my teeth. That's America for you. Dental emergencies easily cost thousands. If you can't afford to get it done, you get your teeth pulled. Oh well, that's just life for poor people.

Maybe I've always been poor. I haven't always thought of myself as poor, but I acknowledge there isn't always enough money to cover everything you need. So you get used to putting things off--especially healthcare.

I guess I'm feeling a bit emotional and overwhelmed. It would be nice to figure out my employment situation so I could relax and work reasonable hours. But for now I'm stuck on the fact that I have to simply get by.

And sure, This past week was a shitty week.

Giving up won't make the money issues any easier.

Which means I'm telling you too. Don't give up. I'm pretty sure that the way this whole success thing works... is that you don't give up when things get hard.