For day 19, I woke up with a tooth ache. So, for the challenge, I decided not to complain about it.
I have a partially impacted wisdom tooth. This is the second time it got infected. I think it gets infected when it tries to grow in more.
Normally, when someone asks me the obligatory “How are you?” I would complain about this infection. Instead I said, “I’m fine.” I didn’t bring up my tooth ache once to anyone.
Later, I went to visit a close friend at the hospital who’s dealing with an unexpected, potentially terminal, and extremely painful illness. They’ve experienced a “marathon of horribleness”, as they put it. One that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.
In contrast to my friend, I’m lucky.
My tooth ache is local and temporary. It’s not life threatening for me.
Last time the infection cleared on its own, with just some garlic (garlic contains an antibiotic compound called allicin).
If it does get more serious, there are simple and effective medical interventions. There are antibiotics I can take. And I can have the tooth removed to prevent future occurrences.
I’m extremely lucky. The tooth ache is just a tiny blip in my great life.
Avoiding Inner Complaints
Keeping quiet won’t shift your perspective if your thoughts are still full of complaints.
So, not only did I withhold complaints from others, but I didn’t dwell on complaints in my head. I tried to feel the pain without judging it. I tried to feel it a as a sensation instead of as pain.
What I Learned
Shifting my focus away from self pity and thoughts of pain helped me get through the day. If not kept in check, our thoughts can exaggerate the reality of our experience. By not talking about or overthinking about the infection, I had a better day than I normally would have.
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