I've been posting more than usual lately, and not only about jaw surgery.
A part of me feels like this blog is my life escape right now.
I can't express how grateful I am that I have a place to go, talk about all the things I feel and all these issues, and not be judged, or criticized.
So many of us know that in our day to day lives people can't understand what it's like to go through this process. We haven't all had anyone to confide in about our fears, our disconnection with ourselves, and our adjustment to all the changes. A lot of us have dealt with family, friends, and loved ones who do not understand, and have if anything ended up feeling more alone because of that.
I want to say that to anyone who is frustrated with your appearance, with your jaw, with how if effects your speech, and the pain both physical and mental that goes along with it, you are not alone.
I have to say more so than the TMJ pain, and the braces, the headaches and the neck pain, sometimes the worst pain is the pain you feel inside. I felt like after years of learning to love myself the way I was, and learning to ignore my speech impediment, and my convex profile, my open bite, the lisp, I really felt like I learned to accept that all. After that struggle, being faced with jaw surgery is a whole struggle in itself, and to some of us it becomes an undoing of all the accepting we've had to do to be content in our own skin.
I started this process nervous but excited at the prospects of having a functional jaw, and an ideal profile. I was so excited to see all the before and after pictures, and to see how happy people become once it's all over. the excitement lasted a while, but then it started to change. It started to turn into fear and anxiety. Was I doing the right thing? My face started to change with the braces. It became hollow at the centre, and I felt like I didn't recognize myself anymore.
I went through a very dark time. Around this time last year I had been in the braces for a couple months, and I started to really lose any connection to myself. I started to feel insecure, and I obsessed with the braces, with every feature on my face, with the changing of my bite. I felt like no one could love me like this.
It sort of feels like being haunted by yourself. You feel isolated because the people around you don't understand what you are going through. At least the people around me didn't understand. You count the days, hours, minutes. You want the time to go by faster and faster because you are waiting for your life to come back, your life before jaw surgery, and checking the blogs and the forums and youtube, and facebook. The searching for information, and similar cases, and surgeons.
It becomes madness.
I'm sure not everyone has had it like this. I'm sure some people have had the supportive family, or friends, the supportive boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, or husband. Be grateful for those people.
I remember the days when I didn't know the extent of my jaw issues, before I knew I had TMJ issues, and that orthognathic surgery would correct my speech impediment, before I knew that there was so much more to it than just my teeth closing. When my profile would look better, and before I knew it would give me a chin. Those were the days. I remember looking into rhinoplasty to correct the convexity of my nose. I wish that was really the only issue because it would have been so easy to get a nose job and go on with my life.
14 months in braces, 8 teeth pulled, and still waiting for double jaw surgery, genioplasty, and gum grafting surgery. Thats not to mention braces back in high school to compensate for my bite. Could any process be longer? Really? Is it possible to have to wait any longer for a surgery?
Could this post get any worse? any more depressing.
Well no, it won't, and I'll tell you why.
Out of all this depression and confusion I learned a lot. I learned that I became really mean to myself. That I told myself I was ugly, and that my hollow face, my lisp, and all the pain I feel was all my fault.
I needed to give myself a time out!
Today I realize this. No matter how my face turns out, I am doing the most I can because I love myself. And remember, you are doing everything you can because you love yourself too!
when you wonder if you're making the right decision look at it this way, you deserve to be happy, you deserve every opportunity to increase your quality of life, you deserve this surgery.
I mean that in a good way.
I've met so many people in this jaw surgery community, and I have yet to meet even one person you wasn't an amazing, sweet, and wonderful person. You are all so amazing. Each and every person I have talked to, who has commented, or talked to me on facebook, or on youtube, or through email, you are all so wonderful and you deserve to have an amazing outcome from all of this.
Instead of detaching from myself, I'm detaching from the artificial hopes of becoming someone perfect after this surgery. I just want to be a better version of me. I want to be Terra without the braces, and without the lisp, I want to be Terra with the beautiful smile. That is it.
Thank you blogger, youtube, facebook, archwired, jawsurgeryblog.com, and every other means that I have been in communication with this wonderful community. I can't wait for the day when the braces come off and I can go back to being me, but I really couldn't have even gotten this far without all the amazing support out there. We are so lucky to live in an age with all of this. Don't be scared to share your story, because someone out there with a story similar to yours is looking for someone to relate to.