I had terrible toothache for over a week which was waking me up every night in agony. One evening I had a listening partnership and I cried hard for 15 minutes about how painful the toothache was, how scared I am of dying and anyone else dying. Totally irrational I know, but I think intense pain always brings up immortality for me!
Anyway, as I was crying the pain began to release in my tooth and by the end I didn’t feel any pain at all. The next day it was also better but it was apparent I still needed to go to the dentist because the tooth needed attention.
I did some more crying in another listening partnership about how scared I am of the dentist. And I talked about all the difficult dentist visits I’d had in my past, like having a tooth pulled without aesthetic in a foreign country, breaking my teeth when I was a child and wearing braces. I cried about how much I didn’t want to go and see the dentist.
The next day I booked an appointment, I got to the surgery, and I was feeling calm and relaxed. The previous week I’d been and I wouldn’t let them inject my gums. This time I felt fairly calm about having an injection. I’d worked out in my listening time that lack of physical contact I had when I’m in the dentist chair affected me negatively so I asked the nurse to hold my hand when the needle went in and guess what? It didn’t hurt!
I can’t say it was the most pleasant experience being at the dentist but I was relaxed and even took some deep breaths at one point. I’ve been told I need to go back and either have a root canal or a tooth extraction. I can’t say I’m excited about the prospect, but I’m not scared or worried either. I know that I can get some more support from my listening partnerships before I go which will help a lot.
When I came out I felt like I’d grown up a few years! I’d found the courage to be OK with pain and face something I really didn’t want to face just a few days earlier.
Thank you listening partners for making a difference for me!