Sunday, June 10, 2012

Thing Number Twenty-One | Think

I asked Jon once if there was ever a time when his mind was completely quiet. Not reading, not watching tv, not thinking. Just quiet. He said, “Yeah, sure,” and looked at me as if I were crazy.

Am I the weird one? Are most people able to turn off their brain? Because I can’t do it. Something is always going on up there and sometimes it drives me a little bonkers.

In fact, so much is going on up there that there are physical sequelae:  I grit or grind my teeth like crazy. And I already have TMJ (temporomandibular joint) dysfunction, so gritting or grinding my teeth is really, really bad. My mandible, already prone to popping partially out at the TMJ, is even more prone to do so when I’m gritting and grinding my teeth a lot, which I guess I do when I’m thinking a lot and stressed. Popping out of the TMJ is no big deal; it’s the popping back in that hurts like a you-know-what. And then I wonder if the cartilage in the TMJ is eventually going to break down from all this popping in and out and then what? Will I need surgery? And then I notice that all this worrying about my TMJ dysfunction is causing me to clench my jaw and grit my teeth which is exacerbating the whole thing and, yeah, it’s a vicious cycle.

Odd, too, because I am not a typical worrier or stresser. I am a glass-half-full, assume everything will be ok, look on the bright side kind of girl. It’s pretty rare that I find myself actively worrying or feeling super-stressed. Must be all subconscious, though, and apparently it’s all coming out at the jaw joint.

Sometimes, though, I need to just let all that thinking go and focus on something totally different. Like a #3 meal from In-N-Out with no onions on the burger (so Jon is willing to kiss me) and a diet Coke. Sure, I’m watching my weight but let’s not over-think it. I’ve ordered a burger with no cheese and a diet soft drink (yes, I know that’s bad in a different way) and, dang it, I’m eating those fries!

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