While I was using and drinking, my life was consumed by the getting and consuming of drugs and alcohol. These substances did not allow me to see myself clearly, and that took it’s toll on my physical health, hygiene and consequently my self-worth.
I would often bee too drunk or high and already in bed to brush my teeth. I would think about it really hard, gather the courage to go back upstairs and potentially have to interact with people before making it to the washroom and I wouldn’t move. There was some sort of paralysis that occurred when it came time to brush my teeth. I couldn’t be asked, felt terrible about it, but still couldn’t convince myself that I was worth keeping a good set of teeth.
This is quite contrary to my showering which was pretty much maniacal. I could take anywhere from 0 to 5 showers in a day depending on how distracted and dirty I felt. That in itself was not too great for my skin, but not as worrisome as my teeth. Especially as I was still smoking then.
While I wasn’t on the road to recovery I’d occasionally go to the doctors or the dentists just to see what they could do for me and make sure I didn’t have anything that could kill me. The drugs weren’t the problem of course. I would get a good bill of health, from what I recall, and would be on my way.
This one time I came back from a trip and my mother insisted on being in the room with me. I was well into “adulting” and was livid. Once the doctor told me I was fine I pretty much got into my mom’s face and loudly said “There! You see I’m fine!”. — My reaction still bothers me to this day.
No matter what the doctors, and specialists said, I would know about my hygiene and self care habits that I was flaking on or down right avoiding. I wouldn’t tell them because I was so embarrassed. I didn’t want people to know I wasn’t taking care of myself. I sometimes just couldn’t get myself to think I was worth cleaning. This all affected my mental health and got me thinking that I was a horrible person because I couldn’t bring myself to care enough about me to be presentable and not have my teeth go yellow.
Nowadays, I’m glad to say that I’m better at it all. I brush my teeth, go to the doctor, and take care of myself. It is still hard sometimes to go against the negative core beliefs that I set up for myself, but then again it isn’t hard to go from not taking care of myself to brushing my teeth once a day at least.
It is going to be hard to get right back into a fully self-loving and self-caring person on this journey to recovery. Sometimes I’ll face some setbacks, but if there is anything that I have learned so far is that my worst day clean and sober is way better than my best day using. Even if I only do manage to brush my teeth once a day.
Thank you and take care of yourself.
Originally posted 2015-03-15 02:03:56.