So you’re all probably wondering why the other articles on Bioshock: Infinite haven’t arrived yet. The short answer is that I have the rough drafts of two articles already written up and hopefully I’ll have them up by next week. The long answer is a bit more complicated. This is going to look a lot like a “poor pitiful me” post, but I’d ask for your patience because it’s actually a very positive article.
While I was writing the first article another one of my teeth began to bother me (you might recall that I had one of my wisdom teeth removed about six months ago). This tooth wasn’t nearly as bad as that one though, and as long as I avoid using that entire side of my mouth to eat I can live with it. Still I went to the dentist to see how much it would cost to get it taken out. Unlike last time, which was an emergency situation given the crippling pain I was in, the dentist decided to take a full-mouth X-ray to see what was up. And it turns out my sore tooth is the least of my problems.
My remaining lower wisdom tooth is packed so tightly against my molar that it’s impossible to floss and keep clean, so now I’ve got an infection that’s not only eating both teeth from the inside out but also eating away at my jawbone as well. This scared me because I don’t feel any pain in my jaw or those teeth, and learning that I have this horrific bacteria literally eating my face from the inside out was a bit of a shock too. Meanwhile, all of my other teeth have cavities, yes all of them. Right now they’re relatively small and harmless, but if I don’t have some serious dental surgery within the next couple of years to repair them I’ll either be toothless or in agony within five years. So how did my teeth get into this state?
Clinical Depression. As my long time readers will know I suffered from clinical depression for most of my life, I was diagnosed in Elementary school and it didn’t go into remission until I was 19. I didn’t have the energy to even get out of bed most of the time, or even shower on a regular basis, so you can imagine what my oral hygiene was like. So yes, the state of my mouth is the result of over ten years (give or take, I don’t remember when all my adult teeth appeared) of only brushing once or twice a year. In fact I’m surprised dental schools aren’t begging me for the right to poke at my teeth, surely teeth as disintegrated as mine would be a great teaching aid. I brush and floss almost obsessively now, but I can’t undo the damage that’s already there.
Given where I’m at right now professionally, it’s not likely I’ll be able to afford the surgery necessary to repair my teeth in time and so I’m facing the unpleasant prospect of having my dentures accidentally falling into a woman’s mouth when I kiss her. Still, that’s not the worst of fates, it’s not like I was diagnosed with cancer or ALS or something. I’ve also forgiven myself for having not taken care of myself when I was younger; I was a teenager with hormone issues and a neurochemical imbalance, just surviving that mess is enough for me. What made me withdraw into my room and play video games for the past two weeks though, is what that toothless future represents.
I’ll be 25 years old this week. I’m still living at home. After a year of job-searching I’m still unemployed, and every subsequent year I go without a stable job makes it more difficult to find one in the future. And the income from my freelance writing is so low that I can only afford to rip out my wisdom teeth one at a time. I haven’t made this public knowledge to many (until now I suppose), but I’ve also been looking into going back to college. With a highschool GPA of 1.1 though I get weeded out of university admissions process by the computer without my essays (the one thing in my favor) ever making it to a human being’s desk. And the 150-200k of student debt that I would be required to buy my way into a private university makes me feel queasy.
What my teeth did was make me look at my situation. What those lousy, rotten teeth did was trick me into believing I’m at a dead end in my life. That is what has made me so depressed these past few weeks that I haven’t wanted to go out and see friends, or go out for a walk or, most importantly, update my blog.
The fact that I have a steady readership here is proof enough that I’m a good writer, a young writer with plenty to learn for sure, but a good writer none-the-less. I lost faith there for a while because physically, I’m in the exact same place I was two years ago. Yet in those two years I’ve made leaps and bounds both emotionally and professionally. The fact that I’m in the same place physically shouldn’t bother me, especially since the average age for a child to move out is now close to thirty years old, so I’m still way ahead of the curve. Which brings me to my economic hardships which really…aren’t that hard. I still live at home and the money I make is enough to pay down my debts, and best of all I’m getting paid to write. How awesome is that? Sure it’s not a lot, but a couple years down the road who knows what might happen.
So really, my hopeless, dead-end situation isn’t as bad as I thought. It just took me a few weeks to realize it. Teeth can be be deceptive creatures.
My apologies to everyone for making you wait, but you can look forward to more articles on Bioshock: Infinite both this week and next, as well as the long awaited Prometheus review as requested by Szabi (sorry for the delay!).