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Band Aid Mentality



I sat there in my comfy beige chair with my feet perched on the footstool, looking out to the patio through the opened French doors of my bedroom. I was kind of dumbfounded as I sat there confined to nothingness for the eighth day in a row. How did this happen? Why am I here? What the heck is going on? So many things were racing through my mind.

You see, eight days earlier, I went in for a dental surgery that was supposed to take two hours, which turned into five. Heavily sedated, my husband helped me to the car, probably wiping my drool and wondering if he could get a refund from my mom. Okay, so that’s a joke, so don’t come for me!

It had been all my fault, as a matter of fact, this was the first of only two life regrets. I admit it freely, I hadn’t really, okay not at all taken care of my teeth most of my life. I did all the normal hygiene things that one should do, but because of a traumatic experience with the dentist in my early 20’s, I just never went back.

So don’t judge me. I was scared!

In the back of my mind, the dentist sat on a throne right next to Satan. Not an exaggeration. I allowed my fear to control this entire situation for 26 years, and now my ticket has been called and it was time to pay the piper.

Not taking action because of fear causes bigger problems.

For so many years, I put a band aid on the problem. I would only go to the dentist when there was a problem. Root canal here, filling there. Whatever it took for me to be in and out. Whatever it took for me to have peace in my mouth even if it was temporary. It was okay because it, after all, was my reality.

I didn’t have a dentist I knew and trusted, so every time I needed a band aid, I would ask someone to recommend a dentist, their dentist.

It’s what we do in life when we need advice. We ask, and what we often get is what worked for them. Every time like clockwork, it was a miserable experience and pushed me further into the band aid mentality, until one day, my tooth cracked.

It suddenly became real for me, and I knew my front tooth would never stop cracking until it was gone. My band aid needed a permanent fix. I had to face it, although internally, I struggled. How will it be any different? It took me a few weeks to work through the pain I carried, but I decided to do it on my own finally.

I scoured the internet for a few days, and I found a dentist that I thought would work for me. You know what? I didn’t tell anyone (people will have you thinking you don’t know what is best for you). And wouldn’t you know it he had a free consultation offer. If he wasn’t for me, it wouldn’t matter, and it wouldn’t cost me a dime.

I had the consultation, and he made me feel so at home. He addressed all my concerns, calmed my fears, and promised to always listen to me. Such a bubbly man, and I’ll never forget that day.

If you want different results, you must look through your past, but don’t get stuck there.

I didn’t pass out when he went over all the work I needed. Surprisingly, my husband didn’t pass out at the cost. Let’s just say a small compact car in the United States.

So now you know how I’ve gotten to my eight days of nothingness. I’m not going to lie I’m such a realist optimist that this took me my absolute shock that I’ve been miserable for eight days.

Day one, I was too sedated even to care. Day two, I was angry, thinking what the heck have I done? By day three, I was annoyed thinking I’ve had babies without epidural, a c-section, my gallbladder bladder removed, and broken both arms, but here I was struggling to get a grip.

Day four, the day I should have been to work, I had to tell my team I was still down. There would be no lunches made, no drives to school, and I had to put my coaching clients on hold. Such a high level of disappointment overwhelmed me. How did I get here?

Day five, six, seven, and 15 pounds lost, I felt nothing but brokenness. The recovery consumed me in a matter of days spiritually, mentally, and physically. My whole world became pure misery. I missed my morning spiritual time, I missed being available for my kids, and I missed laughing at my husband’s corny jokes. And yes, I missed work.

My family, friends, and team justified, “Well, you lost 15 pounds,” but I wasn’t feeling it. I had lost control of my current condition.

Motivations and affirmations from others only work if you accept what they are saying is true.

I woke up on day eight, ate some scrambled eggs, and decided there has got to be a better way. As I sat looking outside, I reminded myself that I would never leave a client in this state without asking the right questions.

I asked myself several, but the three that impacted me to find peace were:
• What are you experiencing right now?
• What would you like to experience in this situation?
• What needs to shift to create that experience?

These three questions completely shifted my mindset around this experience and put me back in control. My misery is my choice, and it wasn’t one I was willing to hold on to. Am I still in pain, YES! I’ve defined how I want to experience the rest of this journey, and I’m up to the task.

It’s day nine and I’m laying in his chair staring into the ceiling. No sedation today, I began to gag. I started crying; he stopped what he was doing and prayed.

On every other occasion, each dentist would continue the work neglecting the personal shame I attached to gagging during dental procedures, caring more about the work being done than me.

Even after he had opened his doors to me on a Saturday, given me his cell phone number, his compassion far outweighed any pain or shame I had ever felt. He was MY CHOICE, and I was finally home. To sweeten the deal, even more, I would tease my husband and tell him I’ll go to Colombia and fix my teeth for a fraction of the cost and guess what his home country is Colombia.

My final thought is that this has been so freeing. For me it’s the dentist, but what is it for you? Who or what are you relinquishing your personal power to in avoiding making choices on your own? What fear is holding you back? For me, God aligned everything so perfectly.

I don’t know if it could have happened any other way. Whatever experiences you want to create in your life, look within and take a leap to create them. Don’t wait; you deserve to live abundantly in this life.

Telanna is a life and leadership coach and the founder of the Purpose Minded Woman a personal development company dedicated to seeing women achieve their biggest goals and change their life so they can fulfil their purpose. Find her on Facebook and Instagram @purposemindedwoman and on Twitter @PurposeMWoman.