I loathe going to the dentist its one of my biggest phobias. Having a dentist inspect my repulsive English teeth. The entire experience of the dentist is a onerous torturous ordeal that i am forced to endure several times a year. I force myself despite the acuteness of my social anxiety i am subjected to because i abide to social etiquette to preserve my teeth. My teeth are already horrible and crooked I don’t want gnarled grotesque fangs that protrude from my mouth ever time i smile.
Today a grim Monday morning i have to face the nightmare of visiting a dentist. Its not only going to the dentist that giving me such anxiety its going outside and interacting with the general public. I have since my earliest adolescence suffered from a stifling social anxiety disorder. A disorder which impedes my social life my nonexistent love life and causes me to be inflicted with sporadic panic attacks. My last panic attack was when i had a prolonged visit to the local salon to get my hair dyed jet black. I suffered a attack in the chair whilst my hair was being dyed and another attack afterwards as I walked home. I managed to conceal my panic attack in the salon by pretending to be suffering from a chest infection but the 2nd panic attack I collapsed on the park bench. I stayed for up to 10 minutes with my head in my hands hyperventilating visibly shacking i felt overcome with a impending sense of dread i felt like as if i was dying. I pray to god that today i wont be afflicted with another embarrassing harrowing panic attack.
For the past month that’s be leading up to my dentist appointment the disquietude has been incremental increased with each day. The past month was ruined as my neurotic head is consumed with anxiety with panic at seeing a dentist. Its not only being vulnerable in public having a dentist excoriating the state of my teeth its also been made to feel ugly to have my non existent self esteem lowered even further. For most people a routine visit to the dentist is mildly annoying and slightly stressful to me it’s like entering room 101 and being forced to confront my darkest nightmares. I have habitual nightmares where I’m in the dentist chair I’m having a traumatic panic attack and a sadistic evil dentist is ripping out my teeth without the use of anaesthesia. Then the villainous dentist shows my teeth in the mirror all of my teeth have been extracted from my mouth I scream in horror at the ghastly image of myself in the mirror. Then i awake with a cold sweat and the trauma of the nightmare prevents me from falling asleep for days afterwards. I had this recurring nightmare last night except this dream i was completely naked for some inexplicable reason and the dentist relentlessly derided my hideous physical appearance. He pulled out my teeth with his medieval medical implements my mouth was covered in blood i was seething in pain. Then he told me to get off the chair and smile in the big mirror next to the door I screamed in horror at the repugnant figure that appeared in the mirror. Then i awoke from another disturbing nightmare in which my darkest subconscious fears were so vividly depicted in my dreamworld.
Today i laid in bed for hours unable to fall asleep. I was angst ridden i was nervous about leaving the safety of my flat to a arduous trek to the dentist. I tried a multitude of activities to pacify my anxiety i mediated I took a long soothing warm bath I listened to Chopin for hours. All to no avail i was shacking with apprehension at the frightful thought of visiting my local dentist. It never gets easier facing one of my phobias there’s no abatement in the distress i face.
After hours of deep breathing of anxiousness i prepare my body and face for the long traversal to the dentist. I apply a thick layer of makeup to my hideous face in the hope of masking my glaring physical imperfections. I apply a seductive crimson lipstick to my lips I appear presentable but still ugly. I refrain from smiling in my tiny bathroom mirror the only mirror I possess in my shred accommodation. My body my bones are shacking my hands cannot stay still i can feel the anxiety permeate round my anxiety laden body. Before i leave for the 30 minute stroll to the dentist i fix a calming selection of mediative classical music in my Bluetooth headphones. Then i place my long black coat that keeps me warm that comforts me that protects me from the glaring castigating stares of strangers. I place my coat start playing my classical music playlist that soothes me that hopefully will mitigate the paranoia the overwhelming ferment of anxiety. I pray to Jesus one last time that on this journey in the outside world i wont be afflicted with the torment of a uncontrollable panic attack.
I start walking on the journey I’ve taken numerous times before. I try to calm myself with reassuring thoughts saying its only a routine cleaning of my teeth it will be a brief stay on the dentist chair. No filling not bridge work or harrowing root canal just a short cleaning or my teeth and gums. Still despite that i can feel my arms shake the thoughts are running around my body. About a year ago i had a panic attack in the chair it was a horrifying emotional scaring experience that left affected me for weeks afterwards. That experience was vividly been reminisced in my damaged mind. The dentist was bad enough but coming across strangers who looked at me with disgust was compounding the anxiety. I felt myself breathing heavier I could sense my heart racing at a more fervent pace. The horror of the dentist chair the needles the implements that would be inserted into my mouth. The idea of being that vulnerable to have a relative stranger probe into my face to have my ugliness exposed was pushing me close to the edge of a panic attack.
I have only walked 10 minutes of my route to true dentist and it’s beginning the full horror of has begun I’m in a horror movie I’m having a panic attack. I can’t feel my feet i am numb with fear I’m afraid if the fear that’s pulsating round my body at a frenetic pace. I look around as my heart races faster and faster pounding on my chest I look forlornly for a secluded toilet i can suffer a panic attack without the prying eyes of strangers. Fortuitously there’s a local pubic lavatory where i can conceal myself. I run panic stricken despite the numbness in my head the hyperventilating i run like the wind. I arrive in the lavatory go inside the cubicle and collapse on the floor. I am unable to catch my breathe the hyperventilating hysterical breathing gets worse and worse. A million suicidal thoughts reverberate round my mind i feel as if I’m dying. The dread the terror of a long panic attack is torturing my fragile body. I am descending down a dark opaque tunnel that’s devoid of light. I’m falling into the abyss into the hell of a anxiety attack. My social anxiety pernicious has shown its face I want to die to end the pain the hyperventilating.
Laying on the cubicle floor with my head in my hands i start to cry i try to keep quiet to not alert any passerby of my distraught condition. I want to be alone longing to be safe and secure inside the sanctuary of my private kingdom. There’s no abatement nothing that will assuage be form the horror of this panic attack. No medication on me no claiming serene voice of a friend I’m all alone inside a cubicle unable to untether myself from a panic attack nightmare. I lay down on the floor in a fetal position crying breathing deliriously. The relaxing music has no affect on me. I hear strangers in the cubicle I want to remain silent to not alert them of my dire situation.
Eventually after a hour of profuse crying of heavy breathing my body returns to a state of relative normality. I can feel my feet the numb sensation has evaporated from my body. Still though I’m in a traumatised state I try to get up and feel my legs after an hour of laying their paralysed with fear on the germ infested floor of a public bathroom. I get up wearily and walk out my eyes are fixed on the ground i avert my gaze from the cold glare of strangers. By now after being afflicted with a panic attack its unfathomable that i can go to the dentist. My anxiety ravaged mind is too scarred by the ordeal to politely inform the dentist that i will be unable to adhere to the agreed upon appointment. The next day when i can comfortable participate in a telephone conversation I will offer my apologies and make up some excuse to as why i failed to turn up to my appointment.
I walk run at a lethargic pace i am still breathing irregularly i am still suffering under the nightmare of a panic attack. This feeling of disquietude will linger with me for days possibly weeks. Its like getting flu but the initial worst detrimental symptoms have passed. Now i need a warm bed and complete social isolation to recover from being tortured with uncontrollable sporadic panic attack which is a vicious symptom of a social anxiety disorder. I walk for the short journey home but after the trauma of a severe panic it feels like a forbidding expedition through treacherous land. The cars appear scary to me strangers are monsters wanting to humiliate to denigrate me. Again my heart pulsates at a accelerated pace please god i say to myself repeatedly in my fractured mind not another harrowing panic attack.
After what seems like hours of weary walking i arrive at home i with my hands shacking hold the keys in my hand. I open the door rush up stairs to my room lock my bedroom door and collapse on the floor. I am overcome with relief that flows in my veins finally some respite some solace. Then with my coat still on i lay catatonic on the floor crying for hours. Nobody knocks my housemates are under the assumption I’m suffering from a stomach bug or a cold. I lay there shivering crying with my bones aching with anxiety. I have suffered a traumatising panic attack I don’t know if I will ever be able to attend a dentist again. To rearrange another appointment with the ominous threat of another psychologically wounding panic attack.
After a day of laying on the floor in a forlorn state i get up take off my clothes put on my red jimjmas. Get under my warm duvet and there’s a moment of solace after the unexpressed horror that transpired over the day. I put on Netflix on my tv and watch a selection of Qi episodes. The warm jovial calming voice of Stephen fry with his assortment of comedic comrades gives me a much needed escape it imbues me with a serene tranquil feeling. Finally the nightmare is over and hopefully tomorrow i wont be too traumatised to face the world to venture outside the tiny enclave of my room. Hopefully in the coming weeks i can face my fears and successfully go to the dentist without a mortifying panic attack.