Have you ever tried chewing when there’s a wound the size of a cashew on the inside of your bottom lip? Right where the canines are?
It’s pretty much impossible. I can vouch for this.
Last week was a tough week, and I’m one of these people who chews their lip when they’re nervous or stressed. I never knew this about myself until, you know, there suddenly was a gaping hole on the inside of my mouth. That hurts like a motherfucker. Because the thing about wounds in moist (don’t you just haaaaate that word?!?!?!) and often used places? They swell and annoy and make you constantly aware of their presence. And they STING. AND BURN. AND NAG. Horrible.
Have you ever tried consciously NOT running your tongue past something that isn’t supposed to be there in your mouth? Not. Frigging. Doable. It’s like when you get a popcorn kernel stuck between your teeth but you can’t get it out. You just keep poking at it, poking at it, poking at it. Or get braces (not that I ever had those, but I’ve seen what they do to tongues).
Well. Same goes for sore spots. Apparently. Which doesn’t help in them not remaining swollen and becoming unchewable. You just can’t help it. You’re doing this without any sort of control over it. You’ll just be sitting there, trying to be a grown-up about the pain in your mouth, not touching it and BAM pokepokepoke.
And of course this was the week that I have an undeniable need for the foods that are not smart to eat. High in salts. Chips with pointy edges. Lots of chewing gum. And every damn time – when it’s almost gone – I chew on it with a vengeance again. And the pain flares right back up. And the wound area becomes a very biteable ridge again. And it. Just. Never. Stops.
Right now – I can’t imagine my mouth ever returning to normal again. I’ve adopted a weird lopsided chew where I only use the left side of my jaw in a brave attempt to miss the painful part of my mouth. I pick a lot more fluidy food options like soups and noodles. I try to keep my tongue in check and I’ve banned fizzy drinks from my repertoire. But it still hurts like a mofo. It’s constantly there, that pain that just won’t seem to want to heal with my own body betraying me in keeping the wound open. It sucks.
And it provides an easy bridge to more thoughts about healing.
Because no matter how much I DON’T believe it right now – this spot will heal. Eventually.
I mean, I can’t count the times that I said goodbye to ever breathing through my nose again, after getting stuck with a cold so severe that it never seemed to end. Where you give up sleeping on your good side just so you can…you know…breathe through that one nostril that still lets in some air. Those periods of obstructed breathing seem to drag on for ages too, but then there’s always this sudden realization, days later, that you’re breathing normally again and hadn’t even registered the change. You’re magically healed and there wasn’t even a PING moment on the exact return to normal. It just happened. Even though you promised yourself to be gloriously thankful for normal breathing powers once they returned. It’s strange how we take something like that for granted until we lose it, right? But still. Colds pass. Nasal cavities clear out. Breathing patterns heal. Until the next cold.
And much in that same way – I can not imagine now that I will ever heal from the occurrences in the past two months. Heartbreak, in that way, is treating me like a deadly cold or ginormous hole in the side of my cheek. Painfully. And feeling like it’ll never heal. I feel like a different person. No longer like the things that I liked before. Changed my behavior to suit this new state of heartbroken-ness and gave up on the thought that I might ever return to normal.
But at the same time, however much it doesn’t feel like it now (much like this GAWDDAMN AWFUL PAINFUL SPOT IN MY MOUTH) I KNOW it will heal. It always does. For everyone. And sure, it might take a damn long time. And sure, it might seem to be getting better until I chew the spots where it hurts a again, a couple of times, only to have the pain flare straight back up again – but at some point this chewable ridge on my heart is going to disappear too. And I’ll be back to taking its mended state for granted, not realizing and appreciating how powerful it is to be able to breathe normally….Eh…..Love. It’ll heal. And I probably won’t even notice it until I fall back in love again. I think. I hope. I wish.