I’m an Adult Woman with Braces

Streamlined. That’s the word. It started last year when I was getting my money life in order with DA (Debtor’s Anonymous). I had done so many rounds of the Steps, I did not expect to be so inspired or surprised by what I got out of the Steps with DA. That is a story for another time, in its entirety. That process really pushed out some of the last dregs of my “struggle story” and my deprivation addiction, as they call it. I realized I was taking great pride in a) how bad my eyesight was and b) how long and painful my journey was with TMJ. How bad you ask? Oh my god, so bad. I was the best at being the worst. I still want to tell that story. It was a part of my identity.

About six months into my financial recovery, I got a few windfalls. As Rebecca would call it, and what I now call it.Translation: I gotta bunch of money that I didn’t expect. Like, $32,000, I think? A major part of the recovery is going from vague to clear in all things money. So no money just lying around, unclaimed. Unaccounted for. I decided to fix my eyes and my teeth/jaw. I had this real sense that I would be so much more streamlined the day an apocalypse came. There’s no time for a bite guard or glasses or contacts when an apocalypse comes, I’ve read the books. The guy with the wheelchair decides to kill himself because there’s no way he can get around in the new Wild West world. And he doesn’t what to drag down his brother! You know what I’m saying, right? I think that one was Station Eleven. Man, I loved that book. So, I was ready to drop that badge of honor: look how hard I have it.

The first phase was a splint. Some of you were lucky enough to see this in person. That was to stabilize my jaw and get it out of distress (i.e. grinding the shit out of my teeth). The second stage was braces. This was to make my teeth fit together, which they don’t. Cause, you know, teeth need to do that. And once I knew we were setting off on the Big Adventure, I knew it needed to be taken care of quickly and now if I was going to do it. Well, I went through a lot making the decision. Like: ‘well, you got this windfall. You never expected that. You will NEVER get any money again. So don’t squander it. We have to stretch it for the rest of our lives’. That’s the kind of shit my old money thinking sounds like. There’s never enough. Never.  Oh and to spend some of the last of it on braces?? ‘Emily, your teeth are straight. Why would you get braces? Are you making this up? Do you really need this? Are you just trying to create a struggle for yourself? Are you just trying to find a way to get rid of your money (because that’s some of the old behavior)’. There were two conversations with a trusted friend and my energy doctor, that gave me permission. And as I sit here writing this I’m thinking, ‘god, it doesn’t fucking matter. Whatever you do, its fine’.

I had them put on last week. WHEW!  I can’t believe we have kids do this! I was completely overwhelmed with sensation and emotion maybe even a trauma memory that came up. Holy shit. 3.5 hours long. And the level of pain wasn’t that bad during but discomfort. All the way up to my edge and past. A couple moments when I had a vision of making a scene. You know, like EVERYBODY GET THE FUCK OFF ME! TAKE THIS SHIT OUTTA MY MOUTH! And tables and instruments going everywhere, everyone looking at me, silence. Like they do in the movies. We never really get to make scenes like that. Its kind of a bummer. It took about 5 days to recover. Get the calluses in my mouth and just adjust. Whew, that was painful. And it effects your eating, I got baby food to eat! And was happy!

One of the main effects was I felt like I regressed with my mindbody/TMS stuff. Just the day that I’m writing about how successful I feel and am with conquering my pain mentality, I do this. I was privately really devastated. Didn’t want to say it out loud for fear of shame and ridicule, disbelief. But most of all: I didn’t want my mind getting the upper-hand again. I realized through this braces process a lot about TMS and my mind. Before I read Dr Sarno’s book, Healing Back Pain, I was my mind’s bitch. I was at the mercy of this pain body thing. I had heard most of my life about people triumphing over their mind, deconstructing it, whatever. But I thought that was for ascended masters. That regular people don’t achieve it. But I read that book and I fucking got it. I was on fire with it. I was towering over this thing that had been my Master for a very long time. Don’t get me wrong, this was not in all aspects of my life. But with this one particular, and very important part, I was in control. It was amazing. As I’ve shared with you guys. I could see and feel myself out on top of it. And I wasn’t afraid.

When I got the braces, it changed. I realize now, a few days later, that I didn’t lose all of it. I feel kinder to myself about it and understand what I went through. But I was so overwhelmed with pain, discomfort, and stimulation that I wasn’t maintaining control of it. I was distracted. It was so sad to get small again, and scared. And not lose control in a control-freak way but rather, like, true power. Like, Oh this is what we’re capable of?? Awesome!

Having the splint last year (which looks like a dentist-grade bite-guard) really helped clear out any humiliation for wearing braces. I was lisp-ing for christ’s sake. I don’t lisp with braces! Full tongue and teeth connection! I paid extra for clear brackets. That’s the most goddamn innovation we’ve come up with in 30 years. “They’re kind of clear?! Yay!” I’ve been gaining a lot of compassion for kids with braces and adults with braces. I thought they hid their smile because they’re embarrassed. We hide our smile because our fucking lips don’t go over our teeth anymore! You almost have to manually move your lips over your teeth and braces. Toothless smile is just easier. What a revelation! And those kids who eat so sloppy? Its almost impossible to chew with your mouth closed.

I told the people at the office that I want this done before I leave for the Adventure. My friend Jocelyn told me to tell them, “I’m not regular. I’m doing this at an accelerated rate”. They did not balk. We shall see.

One thought on “I’m an Adult Woman with Braces

  1. “There’s no time for a bite guard or glasses or contacts when an apocalypse comes, I’ve read the books.” Cracking up over here. I think the guy in Station Eleven just stopped eating and starved to death. What a way to go.

    But seriously, thank you for your honesty. Especially about the sensation of backsliding around an area you thought you’d conquered. I get it. Keep ’em coming!!! Love you.

    Oh, and you are not regular. I heavy every faith in your accelerated dental correction.


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