Monday, November 3, 2008


I recently wrote about my bridge in my mouth coming out after eating Nips. Earlier in the week, I went to see my dentist and had the bridge glued back into my mouth. Putting the bridge back in was not as easy as it would seem, because my teeth had apparently shifted in 36 hours. Who knew that your teeth can move in as little as 24 hours? My dentist was able to grind the bridge down to the appropriate fit, however, the bad news is that there is a hole and a piece of porcelain is missing. I knew about the porcelain, but since it was not visible, I didn't worry about it.

This essentially means that I need to get a new bridge for this side of my upper mouth, so I was a good girl and set up an appointment for this week. Well, after thinking about it some more, I called the office and canceled the appointment. My main rationale was the expense. Even after my insurance covered a measly part of the cost, I would still owe over $2,300. I just paid off the left side bridge earlier in the year which wound up having to be removed anyway. Therefore, I really didn't want to have another expense, especially with the busy month I had and the holidays coming up.

I did not say this to the receptionist, but she was not too happy with the cancellation. Actually, I felt quite peeved at her tone of judgment. She ended with the words, "good luck, I hope the temporary stays." In my head, I thought, "well, I'm taking that risk."

Later, I spoke briefly with my mom about the bridge. She felt I should go ahead and get it done, because it needed to be done. I reiterated my thoughts about the financial issue at hand and ended the conversation again with the words that I was taking the risk.

So with that last thought, it reminded me about the concept of risk taking. You think about it, everything in life is a risk. Each action we do is some form of a risk. Some risks seem minimal while others are dangerous and cause us harm.

It's ironic, because throughout my eating disorder years, I was willing to risk my health in a variety of ways--restricting, purging, overexercising, depriving myself of sleep, overworking, overdosing on caffeine, etc., but yet, a risk such as moving, changing jobs, applying to school, taking a test, etc. felt like such a higher risk And these latter risks all had the potential to be positive whereas all the ED risks turned out negative.

I know I'm certainly not the only one in the same boat. I've seen people who fight tooth and nail for a job, an award, a research grant proposal, a coveted internship, etc., but yet, when it came to their health and well being, it took a back seat--that risk wasn't seen as important. Or I should say it was not given as high a priority.

I think at some point or another, many of us have fallen into this trap. It's not an easy one to come out of either. How do we decide what and when to risk? Why is risking so hard, albeit whether its a positive or negative thing?


Gaining Back My Life said...

Risk has been always been a challenge for me, especialy when it involves onlookers. I am terrified of making a mistake - not that I'm a perfectionist - there's a difference.

Slowly learning to take risks is tiring work, but worth it. It's very freeing once you learned you are not tied down by your own constraints.

Tiptoe said...

GBML, I'm with you in fear of making a mistake as well. I always wished I was the type that simply didn't care what people might think, that there weren't those constant nagging voices on whether this was right or wrong, etc. You're right that learning to take risks is worthwhile. I guess it's all a part of the recovery process.