(N.B. I know I did a post about my tooth earlier today, and yesterday I wrote one about my history. I am comparing the two here.)
I was thinking last night about that temporary crown that held tightly to my tooth for those ten years. I got it when I was a very, very different person from the one I am now. In 2002, I was an administrative assistant in a realty office which no longer exists. I was about to be fired, for using all of my sick days for doctor appointments. Yes, those were paid sick days; no, my boss had absolutely no right to fire me for using them, especially as I had told him that was what I would do at the time he hired me; yes, I could do my job, and did; no, I didn’t leave the office in the lurch, when I had appointments, because there was another administrative assistant who could carry the office for the couple of hours I’d be gone; and no, I didn’t take him to court, or the board of labor, or whoever. I was in too much shock.
So, I was out of work, with only a short bit of health insurance, which I could not afford to keep; an unemployment check which was about half what I had been making at the realty. I was lucky, in that my mom had already given me a room in her house to stay in until I made other arrangements. We had gone to the animal shelter and found a sweet little kitten, named Cassie, who hadn’t nursed long enough with her mom; she loved to sit on my shoulder and suck on my right earlobe. Mom and I had a reasonable peace going on. So this was when I decided to stop looking for work and apply for disability.
With Mom’s help, and that of one of her friends, I finished the application, finally, and mailed it in. Yes, it was all on paper, so snail mail. But I got one of the quickest responses my mom’s friend had ever seen — and a positive answer, at that. And it was about that time that I was accepted for an apartment in the building where I now live.
After I came to this building and this apartment, I spent a year just sitting here, and then a year and some of severe chest pain, and anxiety attacks. In and out of ambulances, back and forth to the Emergency Room; it was during this time that I learned of, and then participated in, an experimental procedure called angiogenesis, which had me growing new arteries to replace the ones which were so blocked. By June of the next year, I was well enough to go back to work part-time.
I am skipping a lot here, but the basic thread of the next four years or so was depression bad enough to put me in the psych ward, and then counseling with the psychologist, then more depression, to the point where even a long-planned vacation in Mexico wasn’t enough to shake me out of it. In fact, it wasn’t until 2010 when I took my first step toward the life I’m living now — I decided to work at being an optimist, rather than a pessimist. Glass Half Full. And it worked, some.
And this ridiculous crown was still clinging to my tooth. In fact, when I think about it now, that crown was a good representation of me, as well as being a part of my teeth. Hanging on, holding tight, even though the inside was weak and the crown had a hole, and some of the actual tooth looked to be close to breaking. If you substitute the word Judith in that sentence for crown, you almost have a perfect match to me.
I have written much about my miraculous (to me, anyway,) turnaround, so I can end this story by saying that, like that poor little temporary crown held on until it was time to replace it, ten years later, I held on just long enough to reach this new level, this peace of mind and spirit. And I am so grateful that I could, and I did.