I finally conquered a paralyzing fear I’ve had for nearly 25 years

Yesterday was a bit more challenging than is usually the case. I was pretty much non-stop until the kids went to bed. I suppose it’s non-stop on most days until the kids go to bed but sometimes I can chillout for a little while in between whatever.

The big moment that took place yesterday was my return to dentist.

As I’ve already shared, I took a nearly 20-25 year break from the dentist. The reasons were solely related to fear that stemmed from a major trauma at the oral surgeon when I was little. You can read the back story here but maybe don’t if you are afraid of the dentist.

I finally returned earlier this month and yesterday marked my third visit in two weeks.



The first was a consult where I got x-rays and an exam. The second was my first cleaning and the third was the appointment where I have all the issues were resolved. That was yesterday.

After all this time, I only had two tiny cavities that needed fixed. As I learned yesterday, it was actually only really one cavity. The second was a broken filling that needed cleaned up and fixed.

I’m incredibly lucky and I’m absolutely aware of that. Genetics played a role but so did my diligence everyday. I was terrified of the dentist and in my head, the best way to avoid them was to take the best care of my teeth I possibly could.

This was a milestone moment for me because it was the first time that I had sat in a chair and had to trust someone working on my mouth since my experience at the oral surgeon all those years ago. I did go to the orthodontist as a teen and that was a contributing factor but this is specific to the dentist.

Read This  Picture of the Day 12/13/2013

I had to allow myself to be vulnerable yesterday and I was terrified. I’m 40 years old, used to manage major traumas and run into burning houses for a living, yet I was terrified to have very minor dental work done. I get how it sounds but trauma hits us all differently and this is how it hit me.

I’m good to go now and my fear has largely been conquered. All I have left to do is have some wisdom teeth removed and that’s it. That’s a mountain I’ll have to climb early next year and will likely be the one that causes me the most distress, simply because of where it is. Read the linked post above and it will make sense to you.

This has nothing to do with being afraid of pain. It’s fear of being in the same position I was in as a kid and I’m not entirely sure how that’s going to go.

I’m not losing sleep over it because I won’t be a powerless child, tied down and in pain. I have to trust that they will anesthetize properly and I won’t experience what I went through before.

Anyway, I do feel pretty good about all this now and I’m proud of myself. I wanted to lose weight and get back to the dentist before the end of the year and I accomplished that. ☺



  • BeckyW says:

    That’s great Rob! You’ve faced your fears which is hard for most people. I have some fears of things that don’t impact on my life much (unless you call me jumping up and killing a spider over my head a big impact!) but if they did, I would hope to have your courage.