Is it time to update your story?

I just had a root canal.

It was my second root canal. The first time I had to have the procedure done, I got a little dramatic. It wasn’t the most pleasant event, of course. I felt panicked and was sure that I was going to suffocate. I went home and told my husband Jerry that I was never having another root canal. I was too afraid to do it again.

But a crack in a tooth with an old filling made me change my mind. When I expressed my dread to my kind dentist, he suggested that I tell the endodontist that I needed oral sedation in addition to the usual numbing of the mouth.

That seemed like a good solution until I inquired at the endodontist office and learned that oral sedation would add $300 to my bill.

“Good ahead,” Jerry told me. “If you need oral sedation, it’s worth $300.”

No, I decided. I can do it! I am brave. I have survived childbirth twice and I have done a number of other difficult things.  I am not going to spend $300 just because I’m scared of being uncomfortable for an hour.  I am a strong Resolute Woman.

I changed my story and survived another root canal. I realized that was what I had done when I went directly from the endodontist’s office to Walgreens to get my prescriptions for an antibiotic and a painkiller filled. While I was waiting in line, I read an article in the summer issue of a Walgreens publication called Diabetes & You.

“Update Your Story” tells about Frank, who needed to change his eating habits, but kept telling himself: “I can’t stick to anything. I’m hopeless. I don’t exercise. I don’t follow my diet.”

Janis Roszler, the registered dietician who wrote the article, helped Frank make a list of the things that he does regularly. He goes to work every day. He goes to church every Sunday. He checks on this mother every few days.

Roszler helped Frank change his story. Now he tells himself that he is someone who can follow a healthy diet.

Sometimes Roszler suggests we need to ask: “What kind of story do you tell yourself each day? Is it a correct one? Does it help you or does it hinder you from meeting your goals?”

–Joy

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