The Weight of Many Niggles

There’s always something slightly wrong, isn’t there?

Today I’m concerned about a tooth. For context, I have an extremely tough time at the dentist, but successfully completed 3 fillings and a root canal earlier this year and left with a clean slate after the last check-up in June. But I felt something weird earlier whilst eating crisps and noticed what looks like a possible cavity when looking in the mirror.

Small thing, right? May not even BE a thing if I give it a day or too. I hope.

If this was the first thing to crop up in a while, I’d probably be dealing with it a bit better. (Probably not dealing with it well anyway, given the stress and cost of a potential dentist visit). It isn’t though.

Last week I was at my GP to rule out vascular issues because I have something wrong in my ear that causes pulsatile noise. I’m in progress with a referral to physio and a referral to CBT (again). I also had a panic attack in the middle of the night and I’m incredibly constipated today. Sure that info isn’t all nice, but…it conveys my point.

These things weigh on a person.

Nobody wants to spend their time attempting to convince themselves not to worry about a concern that may or may not turn out to need attention. Nobody wants to spend their time being worried about the prospect of pain or other problems developing through inaction…or wasted time through unnecessary action. Nobody wants to spend their time on decision-paralysis over little niggles.

Rediscovering “Doing Nothing”

It’s taken a long time to regain some level of comfort in just being in a comfort zone – without a constant thought of having unspecified work to do, or having anxiety-provoking events hanging over me, or simply fear of failure. Some of these things are still present some of the time, but this weekend in particular allowed me to re-value the things that PhD-me might have regarded as “nothing”.

Sitting on the grass with my girlfriend and my borrowed dog, taking sweet pictures and lounging in the shade. Crafting a big dish of dessert. Watching TV concerts without simultaneously messing on my phone or emails or reading. Playing scrabble without keeping score.

The uniting thing here is that all of these things are made better when there is no time pressure. I wonder if the secret to starting to relax is starting to let go of constantly caring what time it is.