THE ADVANTAGES OF BEING A HYPOCHONDRIAC


If you can change the worry around hypochondria to an anticipation and acceptance of the worst, you are cruising. An example: after a lifetime of  having no dental problems — except the usually ones of cavities, root canals, crowns etc — my mouth is suddenly blooming with pain. My dentist says I need one possible implant on the upper right, but at least three teeth on the lower side are inflamed enough to destroy my peace and turn me to pain killers. When this first started about a week ago, I was distraught. Having teeth extracted has always been a sign for me that old age is finally here. All during youth (I want to say ‘so called’ youth because I am uncertain, given the convoluted nature of time and the uncertainty about what it means and where it begins and ends) my nightmares revolved around losing teeth. Perhaps one way to define youth is by the illusion that teeth, at least, are permanent.

Lying in bed this morning my hypochondria made me go from losing one tooth to four to having cancer of the jaw (as our friend AK had and ended up losing a quarter of his face), losing my face then dying a horrible death. One can take only so much of torturing oneself with visions of the future before snapping, and I snapped into wisdom and acceptance. SO BE IT. I am not foolhardy enough to say COME, WORST, for fear of inviting it, but I want to be open to the worst in the same spirit of ‘cavalry charge,’ ‘girding up my loins’ and ‘meeting it head on’ that I talked about in my post yesterday. We all must perish and better to go meet this perishing bravely than whimper under the sheets.
 
One does not have to struggle to be wise, for time makes us so if we are open to replacing distraughtness with courage, which is one definition of wisdom.  

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