68/365 - Weekly Photo Challenge: Change

One of the biggest changes in my life comes from the work on my teeth.

I have found that when you have work done on your teeth, its the hardest thing to hide. You feel extremely self conscious. Its one of the first things people look at when you meet them. It can be warm and inviting or deter people away.

I love rugby. It will always have a place in my life. It is one of the most outstanding memories when I was in high school. I have grown so much as a person through it.

It has also caused the most stress and pain in my life.

I will never forget the day. July 15th, 2009. I was playing a game of rugby with my local rugby club. It was a penalty and I had the ball going in. I can’t remember much after but all I know is that I went down over the try line. Next thing I know, there is blood dripping from my mouth guard. I pull it out and feel the most strange sensation with my teeth – they weren’t in the right place. Next thing I know I’m screaming my head off and in pain.

I wore braces at the time of the accident. If I weren’t wearing them, I would have lost my 4 front teeth.

To this day, I have had many surgeries, procedures and extended my time with my braces from 3 to 6 years.

These are my most recent photos. In May, I will be getting a fake tooth implanted such as the photo with the mold demonstrates. The retainer shows my first experience with a full set of “teeth” for the first time in years. And in my last photo, I was a toothless boxer for halloween. I realized I should have been Stu from the Hangover….

The experience with this is the power of self esteem. The two weeks following the accident, I have never felt so depressed. I was so hard on myself blaming myself for the accident and angry with the damage that my favorite sport has caused me. Since then, I have had a really hard time being ok with how I appear to people. I am getting better with it but I still get extremely anxious about it. As well, I have made peace with myself and have been moving on. I am really excited to move beyond this experience and yet it has a big impact of who I am today.

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