Today is a day chock full of "unfun" things to do but I've got a better grip on things than I expected to. My day began accompanying my husband to a long overdue dental appointment. I'm not one to talk, really, not having been to a dentist myself in about a decade, for many reasons, not the least of which is money (a lack thereof) and insurance (spotty, at best). But the dentist opens up an entirely unique Pandora's Box of misery for Brian. You see, Brian would be the first to admit, he has very bad teeth. It is something that makes life challenging for him and, to a far lesser extent, for me as I very rarely get to see my husband smile. This is not something I have ever discussed publicly and I wouldn't be doing so now without his explicit consent but my husband is a recovering drug addict. His past with drugs has never been a part of our life together. He was addicted to crystal meth but detoxed himself and quit cold turkey about three years before we met. In our twelve years together, I can count on one hand the number of times we've discussed this. That was due, primarily, to the fucked up way I was raised, to believe that matters such as this were NOT to be brought up, and to my fear that it would bring up bad memories for Brian. However, I discussed it with him yesterday, got some brand new insight into his experiences, and realized, once again, how much it truly pains him that his addiction led to what he openly refers to as his "fucked up teeth." He had to have three pulled today and is already missing quite a few others. Ideally, he would love to get them fixed, he has always wanted that, but it is absolutely not financially possible for us right now.
I am SO proud of my husband. He faced his fear today, on many levels. His last dental experience was pure hell, not only physically painful but, on a much deeper level, emotionally painful, as the "professional" staff and dentist made him feel utterly horrid about the state of his teeth. I wish I had realized this at the time so I could have drop-kicked the fuckers but alas, that's neither here nor there now. But today, my husband, the trouper, went into that office, expecting to have one tooth pulled and subsequently lost three. This time, he was treated with kindness, respect and compassion as he should have been the last time. He is in a lot of pain, again, both physical and emotional, but in a strange sick way, for the first time, I can look at his teeth as battle scars, symbols of a war that he fought, and won, with his addiction. Would I love for my husband to have a beautiful, healthy smile that he could show to the world with pride? Absolutely! Do I love him any less because he doesn't? What do you think? Once again, I am filled with awe and utter respect for anyone who has fought a battle with drugs and/or alcohol and won. Each and every day that passes where one doesn't use is a victory, one that should never be taken lightly. I never will, not ever again.