My shaky hands got worse, not better. I could not work. Would I ever be able to practice dentistry again? All that school/training/money. Even if my hands did stop shaking, my anxiety was so out of control that I could barely leave the house. I could barely interact with Lindsay and the kids, let alone another person.
I had struggled with occasional suicidal thoughts for years at this point. But now they were really regular. I never got serious about planning or attempting. But would have the idea pop in my mind. Then I’d beat myself up for even thinking it.
I would go into deep depressions, feeling helpless and out of control and like there was no way this could ever get better. If I felt good, I would sabotage myself thinking it would slip away at any minute....
The week after telling Linz about my problem with pornography, I had a full on panic attack. I saw a doctor to help with my anxiety. He gave me medication. I met with a therapist. I never knew that my emotional health was out of wack and could be affecting my life the way it was.
My hands had been getting progressively shakier for months (very intermittently, never during a dental procedure). I had been able to do my work as a dentist. But the way my hands were that day, I knew I couldn’t work. I immediately cancelled the rest of my appointments for the day and went home. This terrified me.
My sleep had been getting worse for years. I started trying to learn to connect with my emotions better. Turns out I was feeling some level of anxiety...
I am sure we have all had those thoughts pop into our head one time or another. Thoughts like, I should have figured this out by now. That I should already know how to do this like other people. That this really shouldn’t still be a problem for me.
I remember feeling terrible. These thoughts made it so hard to do anything useful in the moment, and it definitely didn't help me change my habits. They didn't promote growth, or happiness. They didn't help me be curious and present to my life and the world around me.
If anything, these thoughts were a hindrance. They slowed my learning and my progress. They lowered my self esteem, and they did not serve me.
So I decided to make a change for myself. I started trying to think new thoughts.
I thought, there’s no such thing as being “behind.” That I’m right where I’m meant to be in my progress.
I was kinder to myself, and my thoughts were kind to me.
And I felt better.
I felt more motivated and...