Yesterday morning I woke up with the hope that all of my symptoms would be magically gone. But of course, the burning, tingling, head pressure, nerve, bone and muscle pain kicked in pretty quickly after opening my eyes. Even the burning tongue was back. Of course the ringing ears never lets up, but my hunch is that is going to be a permanent reminder of this dark journey. I was wallowing in disappointment that this wave is powerful. And then, another tooth snapped! That makes three to date.

I have porcelain veneers. They have not weathered this journey very well. I assume I am clenching my teeth at night. I used to wake up with the insides of my cheeks looking like raw, bloody hamburger. I chewed them up pretty bad. I wondered if I was having seizures at night. That of course is behind me, but mouth issues still remain. Clearly.

It’s hard enough being sick for a long time, let alone having the embarrassment of looking ridiculous when you smile.  I have one tooth covered with a temporary, the other two are not, and they look odd. The old veneer left chunks of porcelain stuck to the tooth and the teeth are a nasty yellow from the bonding agent I assume.

I don’t have the funds to do any dental work at the moment, so I will suck up the embarrassment and smile anyway. Just like when I couldn’t walk on my own, I sucked up my pride and bought a walker. I refuse to let withdrawal take everything from me. And it sure as shit isn’t going to take away my smile.

I have to be honest and say that the hope I hold onto is sometimes very thin. Yesterday I had so many symptoms kicking in it was hard to walk the two blocks to my favorite restaurant. My apartment is filthy, and I asked four women if they had some time one day to help. None did. I feel so overwhelmed with coping with my symptoms and living alone day after day when I am deep in these waves. I have lived with BW for so long, that it is hard to imagine any other life. Yesterday I had a long talk with myself and told myself I have to accept that this just might be what I have to face for a very long time more.

On a brighter note: My search for a great dog continues. I can’t wait to have my Forever Dog by my side. We will garden together and take walks. I am sure that will help me walk even on the days I am so weak and woozy.

We need advocates while we go through this. I sure wish I had a human being who could help me organize my house, remind me to pay bills, help with paperwork, help do the little things that need to be done like getting the oil changed in the car. I do my best to keep up with the demands of life, but it is still a challenge. My brain still has a long way to go before I feel it is healed. I hope I don’t lose any more teeth while I wait for it to heal.

I will say this: I may have given up most everything in withdrawal…money, friends, health, work, my looks, etc. but the one thing I will never lose is my fierce determination to love myself and others with a full heart. I may feel sorry for myself sometimes, but all in all, I remain loyal to my core being. Withdrawal can’t touch that. Even the men who abused me as a young girl and helped put the string of events in place that got me put on Klonopin, were unable to sully sweet, precious inner Jennifer. So I guess losing another veneer doesn’t really matter in the big scheme of things.  So what that I have a hillbilly smile. I have a huge heart.

So it’s Monday. The start of another week.  Onward.