Not many people clap and gasp with glee when they are walking by their dentist’s office. But I did. Why? Because I had completely forgotten who my dentist was after leaving town 14 years ago. For the last five months since moving home I have wracked my brain trying to remember and had all but given up. Then there it was. The office door with her name on a big sign, right next to the little neighborhood pub where Sir Husband and I stopped in for a glass of wine last Saturday afternoon.
Stress-induced amnesia will do that – leave gaps in your memory that feel like lost pages in a storybook. My kids say, “Don’t you remember fill in the blank Mom?” all the time. <sigh> No. I wish. Clinicians have called it a gift – my lack of memory. Maybe. Finding my dentist did feel like a little miracle. I’ve had a lot of miracle moments since moving home actually – sometimes the Universe does provide, especially when we aren’t looking.
I called the dentist as soon as they opened on Monday morning and lo and behold – they had a cancellation for the next day. It was meant to be. Most days there are so many reasons to be grateful, to see-hear-feel the good, but oddly we usually don’t. How does that happen? It’s there – gratitude – it’s everywhere. Even unexpectedly at the dentist.
“So what happened?” my dentist said to me after giving me a hug and welcoming me back as I got comfortable in the reclining chair.
“Oh,..well…a lot…” I said. “It’s a long story.”
“No really, what happened?” She wheeled her rolling chair back a few inches, put down her arms and looked me square in the eye.
I was trapped. I had to tell her.
My past “story” the one that created the amnesia to begin with is not one I tell anymore. It’s over, and I have spent every, single day trying to heal. Repeating it just makes it come alive again – emotionally and physically – so why tell it? But I had to, she wouldn’t hear otherwise, and she seemed to genuinely care.
A few sentences in her face and eyes softened into compassion and concern. “I’m so sorry,” she said, wheeling herself back toward my head. “So sorry.”
Never in my life had I been so grateful to be lying there with my mouth open unable to say any more. And while she probed around my teeth, I felt something huge. Relief. At that moment – after I recounted the last horrific several years of my life – I realized I had healed. Okay yea, newly healed, freshly healed, like a delicate pink scar – but I recognized it. It was another miracle.
I had fought so hard for so long that I didn’t even realize that I was fighting my way through something. Truth Bomb guru Danielle LaPorte said this, “….When we’re hauling our psyche up to the next peak of clarity—isn’t healing always really f***ing messy? Do we not become unrecognizable while we are reassembling our identities?” It’s definitely a power moment when we realize chaos has morphed into comfort. “This is what healing looks like.”
That and my teeth apparently are“perfect.” All in all, not a bad day at the dentist.
PS ~ All new blog coming early next year! Change is good!