Death of a Smile

Housekeeping first:

By next week, my domain names will expire, because I haven’t enough cash for the webhosting bills. So it will be back to wordpress.com/hamneggs716 and wordpress.com/brigidhannon for a bit, until finances are situated. Thing is, we are very strapped and have to move apartments during a rent spike, so this is not the month for this bill. If you would like to help out, I would direct you to the tip jar link on this page, where you can make a donation that will go directly towards writing expenses, like this damn domain bill. Also, CashApp for Ham ‘N Eggs is: $hamneggs716. (Just throwing it out there.) But in the meantime, I will have to scale it back a bit.

Anyhoo…here’s a blog:

In middle school., we learned about eating disorders.

I myself was an overeater-I discovered the why and what of it all and was able to heal from the trauma that caused it, and find healthier ways of eating.  This took years, but I came to have a good relationship with food.  But this isn’t about having an eating disorder, it’s about what that health class in 6th grade stuck up inside my brain, one little fact that fixed with me for some reason: bulimia teeth. 

I learned that when you were bulimic, sometimes, your teeth rotted and chipped due to the profuse vomiting.  I don’t know why this stuck in my head…probably because the universe is an author, and we love to foreshadow. 

I was rewatching one of my TikTok’s when I noticed it.  My teeth were…not right.  Now, you have to know two things going in: 1, I have always had perfect teeth.  “Movie star teeth,” my dentist called them.  2, I have more body and appearance confidence than I have any right to have considering I spent my adolescence as a fat, four-eyed, balding weirdo.  Since about 8th grade, I have eschewed beauty culture for body positivity, embracing the “you be you” side of the lens. 

Well, folks: my teeth are screwed up from vomiting due to gastroparesis and I’m super insecure about it.

They have eroded a little.  There are cavities.  There are a couple of chips in the back.  They are weak, and discolored, and I am self-conscious for the first time in a long while.  I have found that it is super easy to love the skin you’re in…until you don’t.  Until you look in the mirror and don’t recognize the face staring back.

I want my glasses back, too.  I like not wearing them, especially when watching a movie at night, but I hate having to put on specs to read, and I wish I could just wear a pair all the time.  I can, actually, I just haven’t gotten the prescription yet.  I was on the fence; now I think I’m over it. 

Because since not having my glasses, I have noticed my teeth. So maybe they are connected.  Probably.

E tells me I have a beautiful smile every time she sees me, and the flaws are hardly noticeable, because she knows I am insecure regarding it, and she wants to reinforce that I am beautiful to her no matter what…I know I am.  I love her for her efforts.  Still, I see my once perfect smile eroded, and I only think the worst.

I have to call a dentist, but I’m scared.  Scared it will hurt, scared it will take time and money, scared I won’t like the result.  But I don’t like what I have right now, and it will only get worse, so I have to human-up and do it.

In the meantime, I will be smiling with my mouth closed, because I am self-conscious, and battling with insecurities I haven’t felt in years.  I am damn near 40, and yet, I feel like I am 12 again when I look at my smile, and feel that old familiar pull of frustration and shame that comes with not seeing yourself the way you want to.  Someday, I hope I look in the mirror again and smile…maybe with fixed teeth, maybe without. 

Either way, I will work on trying to accept myself, because even when you are 40, body image is a bitch.