No pain, no gain

I was in the dentist chair this morning going through a little torture. I had a routine cleaning last week, and they said I needed an additional "deep cleaning" as well. The fact that they need to split the deep cleaning into two appointments was a bad sign.

They explained that there was bacteria and plaque below the gum line, and it was like barnacles on a ship. It continually irritates the gums, they become infected, and unless the gunk was scraped out it could never properly heal. Though they swabbed on some numbing gel before digging in, it was still pretty painful.

When J said she wanted to go to counseling a year ago, I said yes. I found out later that if I had said no, that she was likely to have moved out/moved on. I often wonder what this past year would have been like if she had up and left that abruptly. I had walled myself off over the years, and I am sure I would have encircled myself in trenches and barbed wire again*. If I had thrown up the battlements, I may have landed on my feet much earlier, but I know I would have been worse off.

I look at this past year a little like the deep cleaning I went through today. Digging out all the issues that lay buried beneath the surface was quite painful, but a necessary step in order to heal. If I had ignored them and let them fester (like I had previously), the issues would continue to plague me, making me miserable and hampering any future relationship I might have.

I would have done several things differently in this past year. Things could always have been handled better. But even knowing in advance the pain I would go through in digging in to all of our mutual and separate issues, I would do it again. It was a necessary step in order to heal properly. And as painful as the dentist appointment was today, I am going back for more tomorrow.

* My apologies to Sting


matt said...

nice post

Post a Comment