To understand that you have to first know a little of the background to my dental reservations. In short, 45 years ago, I was run over by a car and I landed on my face smashing many of my teeth and my jaw. Much rebuilding followed including a bridge across the top of my mouth. Twenty years later I was at a dentist for a general check-up and the dentist managed to break the bridge when probing around. I didn’t realise this until infection set in and I had to have emergency surgery to relieve agonising pains in my head, it felt like someone hammering a large nail into the centre of my brain. It was then I decided never to trust a dentist again and I only went the once since and that was to have my teeth cleaned 17 years ago.
In the intervening years, I have had the occasional bouts of toothache, the odd tooth fall out and my teeth have become ‘ghastly’ as my wife describes them, but that has never bothered me and never tempted me to go and see a specialist. But this time when I had toothache it was different.
I had the same nagging doubts playing out in my mind about what might happen if I saw a dentist and the same voice in the head saying ‘just leave it, the pain will eventually go way’, which it since has. But I also had a deep feeling within that this time I would go to the dentist and I would get my mouth sorted out once and for all. That feeling was powerful enough to make me find the effort and will to locate a dentist (I obviously had lost touch with the last one I saw and we have moved home many times since then) and to phone and book an appointment. So, was that powerful feeling a TUG from deep within me?
I now recognise that deep feeling as my subconscious mind telling me in its’s own way, that being nearly sixty years of age this for me is a turning point. I have sorted my body out physically by quitting alcohol and recovering from all the issues I had as a consequence (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, gout etc.), I have become extremely fit and healthy in the process, and I am now able to achieve far more in life because of all of that improvement. But a failing I still have is my teeth, and if for example I decided to up sticks and travel round the world with my wife for the next ten years those crappy teeth would be a potential handicap and a liability. So something inside me said that now is the time to sort them out too.
Well, as it happened I did go to the dentist. I explained to him my concerns before I sat in the chair, and everything went well and far better than expected. I didn’t feel stressed, I felt no pain during the examination, and I have quite happily booked myself in for a tooth extraction and two sessions with the hygienist. I have even decided to have an annual check-up from now on.
So what was all the fuss about? Just like when I was a drinker, I didn’t want to give up drinking despite the health and other issues it was causing, and I certainly couldn’t imagine life without booze, but I quit despite that, I had had a TUG from within that drove that change and the result was fantastic. This time I didn’t want to go to a dentist, I thought I could get away with never going again, but I did go, and it was fine and it will improve my life as a consequence.
So, was this really another TUG from within that made me go? It was certainly a subconscious feeling driving me rather my conscious thoughts deciding what I should do. So yes, I would certainly put that down to something deep inside me focusing my mind on that 60th year as the driver to make what is for me, a significant change. Something within me shut the voice in my head up with all its doubts and concerns and gave me a solid reason to make a change in my life. I would say I had another TUG.
You can find out more about the TUG and how it can help you quit alcohol by watching the video on my website