Maybe I’ve talked about this before, maybe I haven’t, but when I was a little girl, I had an enormous oral surgery. I must’ve been in elementary school, maybe 9 or 10 years old, and they had to do surgery because as it turned out, I had too many teeth in my head. The teeth that were supposed to be replacing my baby teeth couldn’t come in because I had too many baby teeth and they weren’t coming out, or something along those lines. Listen, I was knocked out for the surgery and I’m not a fuckin’ doctor so don’t ask me about specifics. I just remember it happening, alright.
Anyway, my point is, I have a hole in my tooth. It’s in the back side of my lower right jaw. It came from eating something, and while it doesn’t really hurt except once a month or so, I recognize I should get it looked at at some point, when I have money, so, in other words, never. It doesn’t really bother me, like I said, and I often run my tongue over the hole for fun. I think a good reason it happened was because I almost exclusively, throughout my life, had chewed with the right side of my jaw. I also used to chew a lot of ice when I was a teenager. I don’t have any explanation, okay. Sorry. Anyway, I believe the tooth was just eventually worn down and cracked.
So, why am I telling you this horribly weird factoid about my oral hygiene?
Because this hole in my tooth simply acts as yet another form of imperfection. It’s not even one people can see, but it’s something that I know is wrong with me, and my imperfections are keeping me alive because I’m working on fixing them. The way I see it, if I’m going to kill myself, I’m going to do it only once I’m perfect, thanks to being a perfectionist, but because perfection isn’t actually attainable, I’ll stay alive as long as I can trying to make myself as close to “perfect” as I can be. It keeps me going, because of my absolute need to be as perfect as possible. If I’m going to be a corpse at some point, I’m going to be the most goddamned beautiful corpse there is. Is this a healthy coping method? Of course not, but then again, has any of the shit I’ve told you here been?
A few nights ago, when I was feeling particularly bad, I got it into my head that I didn’t want my hands anymore. That I would actually function better if I no longer had hands. I would never do anything to myself like, oh, cut off my hands, but for some reason that became a thought I became attached to suddenly for an entire night. Why? Who the fuck knows. I just know that the following morning, I felt fine and thought it was ridiculous that I actually clung to that concept. I’ve read about Body Integrity Identity Disorder before, but this isn’t a thing I usually think about, so I definitely don’t have that by any means. I just know that for a little bit one evening, I thought I’d be better off without hands. Am I actively now looking for ways to make myself worse so I can find things to fix about myself?
Who knows. All I know is that sometimes my tooth hurts and I hate existing.
For a good while, I kept my teeth from that surgery in a small, plastic cup in a blue liquid that they gave me at the hospital. I probably still have it somewhere. Sometimes, for show and tell, I would bring it in and show it off, because that’s the kind of kid I was. Sometimes I’d even pretend they weren’t my teeth, and were just somebody else’s teeth that I’d found like this, because, again, that’s the kind of kid I was. I am obsessed with imperfection, because it’s my imperfections that keep me striving to better myself. How about that. The most unhealthy parts of me are forcing me to fix myself and be healthier.
Take from that what you want.
I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I make, like my depressing webcomic “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry”, the satirical online newspaper of “Nowhere, US”, my podcast “Coping With Tonal Shifts In Reality”, or my writing over at Medium. You can also donate to my PayPal or support my work at Patreon, where you’ll get access to patron only content and new content early, all for as cheap as a buck a month! Thanks for reading!