Are You Using Your Recovery As An Excuse to Avoid?

image of a red hat covering the face of a figure in front of a background with a pink triangle around the figure, the rest of the wall is orange, for the article about using recovery as an excuse

When I learned I needed to get my wisdom teeth out, I was absolutely terrified. Then to hear I had all four scared me even more. I was told I didn’t have to get it done immediately. Which made me milk the process. I held off for years. I didn’t realize at the time that I was using my recovery as an excuse to avoid something scary.

Last year my dentist recommended it was time to have them out. He told me it was better to have it done sooner than later. And I wasn’t getting any younger. This came at the worst possible time. I was working really hard at my eating disorder recovery.

At this time, I was creating meal plans with some guidance from my friend. I was following these meal plans to a tee. Already stressing over following and committing to them each day, I didn’t plan on my wisdom teeth being removed. And frankly, I didn’t want to plan around it.

Prioritizing my recovery… or using it as an excuse?

So I told myself: I’m going to continue to work on my recovery. I want to prioritize this. Once I’m in a better place, I’ll get my wisdom teeth removed. In a sense, I knew I was using my eating disorder recovery to prolong the process of getting my wisdom teeth removed. But I still went along with it. 

I went about my recovery, doing fairly well for several months. But I won’t lie. I hit bumps every now and then. However, I managed to get back on track. After all, recovery is not linear. That December, I completely fell off the wagon. 

I worked extremely hard to get back on track. It took time and I didn’t fully get there. But I was still trying. Which does count for something! Then, I started experiencing pain in my mouth. This was the first discomfort I had ever felt from my wisdom teeth.

The fear

Once again, I tried holding off on getting them removed. I needed to focus on my eating disorder recovery. The pain wasn’t that bad. So it could wait. It didn’t need to be done immediately. Again, I was using my eating disorder recovery as an excuse to not do something that would help me in the long run. 

Another thing was, I feared how getting my wisdom teeth removed would affect my eating disorder recovery. When it comes to wisdom teeth removal, it requires eating soft foods for a certain amount of time. Also, everyone heals at different times. I feared that my healing would take too long and that my eating disorder would use this as an excuse to restrict.

Only, the pain became too much to handle. I couldn’t hold off any longer. No more excuses. This needed to be done. My wisdom teeth needed to come out whether I liked it or not. So I scheduled the appointment. Which wasn’t easy. I was terrified of how it would affect my eating disorder recovery. I didn’t want to fall into the trap of my eating disorder. However, I knew I needed to make this appointment.

Going forward despite the fear

I set a date and committed to it. I knew it was coming. Which allowed me time to mentally prepare for it. There were times I felt like canceling. Only, the pain was getting worse. Which meant there was no going back now. 

While still scared, the date of my appointment was actually at the perfect time. The week of my appointment, the pain from my wisdom teeth was at its worst. Come the day of the surgery, I found myself more grateful rather than scared that it was happening. And guess what?

Today, I got all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed. 

Not only that, but I’m still working hard at recovering from my eating disorder. No excuses. I can commit to recovery even with the pain of my wisdom teeth removal.

P.S. I actually wasn’t in too much pain! Which made the recovery of my wisdom teeth removal less stressful and also allowed for me to continue to work as hard as possible on my eating disorder recovery. It’s all about taking things day by day.

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