Caring for yourself, looking after your physical health, just isn’t a priority for someone who constantly wants to die. It wasn’t like I was in pain, my teeth were usually in pretty good shape, but I wasn’t flossing or rinsing or brushing three times a day either. In fact, it’s a little difficult to afford Fluoride Rinse and Mouthwash when you’ve only got $120 in available cash at the beginning of the month, and Food Banks don’t give out mouth-care products.
“…The Little Things Get Neglected”; Something I wrote last Spring
“Lithium mouth”, or Lithium as a cause of rotting teeth, is an Urban Legend… probably started by the Followers of X3nu. Lithium can have an effect on the amount of saliva generated in your mouth. Which, in layman’s terms, means “having a dry mouth.” This is probably due to its being a salt… but I’m not a scientist. So if you’re taking Lithium drink some water.
…Something that was explained to me by very smart people.
I started feeling down… bad, depressed, blah, grey, whatever, just after Christmas. Actually it was a month before Christmas, but the days before and after Christmas were pretty good. Wait… no, it was earlier, maybe August.
Yeah, there were a few days in September where I was doing okay but August and October sucked… then most of December. So I guess I started feeling… ‘grey’ back in August. No… wait a minute… there was last Spring and early Summer which sucked pretty bad leading up to a couple of not so bad days in July just before those goodish couple of days in September. There was a month in the early Spring, I think it was March, which went pretty well… I think it was March. I know January of 2007 I was recovering from some pretty traumatic shit from the Summer and Fall of 2006. How far back, exactly, do I have to reach into my memory to find… something?
We need to be able to find small victories, little moments we can lose ourselves in so we can fight against the voice in our head telling us what a huge fucking failure we’ve become because we couldn’t stop failing over the years and decades which make up our lives. Sometimes we stop seeing those victories… or the space between the last one and now just gets too long to remember. If I was an addict and in a program like AA or NA, this would be the time when I should call my sponsor.
I was sitting in my mom’s car, driving back from the Dentist about a month ago. And I was trying to find the right word to describe how I felt. But I couldn’t. The Dentist had just told me there was no hope for one of my teeth, and very little hope for another. And if I wanted to save the second tooth I’d have to work at it… brush multiple times per day, floss deep, use baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, gargle with salt water. If I wanted to save the tooth.
So I bought the baking soda and the hydrogen peroxide… if I wanted to save the tooth all I had to do was try. And I didn’t try. On Friday of last week I got an infection on the first tooth. On Saturday the second tooth came out. On Wednesday of next week the infected tooth will be extracted. On the way back, with gauze in my mouth soaking up the blood from the new hole in my face, I figured out the word I was looking for… defeated. I was feeling… I have been feeling defeated.
I’m not sure… maybe, maybe I’ve felt like this before. But my memory sucks large right now so it’s basically impossible to find any historical context. I think I’ve felt like this before but lacked the word. But it’s not the feeling which is bothering me… there’s something more. It’s giving up. I feel like I’ve given up on some things. By next week I may or may not have lost two teeth, but I didn’t even try to save them. I looked at the tools for a couple of months and I knew the risks and what was at stake…
And it wasn’t like I was doing Behaviour B knowing I was supposed to be doing Behaviour A, it was me not doing anything. It’s not the pills or the treatment, I’m not suggesting I’m in immediate danger of stopping either… and I still see a future but I think it may be the type or quality of that future which is pushing me deeper into Grey.
I have to eat cold mushy food for the next few days, then again for a week after the next tooth comes out. My mouth is in a lot of pain right now… no it’s not, only when I chew. Or drink. Or yawn. Then there are two more teeth the dentist says might have to come out… those two would make six since last Spring. It just feels like I can get through the depressing depression shit, but then people I care about are fucking off, or I’m damaging my foot, or my printer won’t work, or I erase two-years of edits for my book, or the leg on my chair is missing its rubber stopper so now I have to write while on a slant, or a bunch of photos come out blurred, or my teeth are falling out…
I don’t Know what’s going on… I have assumptions of course, and little theories why I feel like this. I think a lot of it has to do with the teeth, of course. But also because I’m still not sure about the whole Living Thing. I still Have a future, I’m pretty sure of that… but just because I’m not suicidal anymore doesn’t mean I think my future is worth living through. Considering the effects longterm depression, tooth loss and inflammation through infections have on heart disease said future is getting a lot shorter. So maybe I’m not taking care of myself as a kind of slow, semi-methodical quasi-suicide. Or, maybe I’m not taking care of myself because I haven’t learnt how. But if it’s the latter the time to learn this shit is rapidly running out.
How the Fuck does a thirty-seven year old dude Not know how to take care of his teeth? How can I, knowing the consequences, not do everything I can to save what I’ve got left?
Holy fuck… as much as I feel Grey, like I’m fading, as much as I feel some clarity from the Disease, I also feel like I’m breaking down.