I was thinking about

My Dentophobia

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First let me tell you a little about how my dentophobia came to life!

As a little kid, I remember that I had no problem going to the dentist. I had very healthy teeth, didn’t have any cavities and they were all standing fairly straight. Then at the age of maybe 10 or 11 my school dentist discovered that I had what looked like the start of a new cavity in one of my molar teeth. They recommended putting a sort of glaze on all of my molars, and that would prevent it from becoming a real cavity. I went in a bit nervous, not knowing exactly what they were going to do. Things are a little blurry after that, but I do remember panicking. I remember lying in that chair, having so much dental gear in my mouth and suddenly I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I got really scared and I started to cry.

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At that moment, the dentist thought that it would be a good idea to get angry at a scared child and then throw me out and into the waiting room. I remember she was so mad at me, and I couldn’t understand how a grownup could get so angry just because I was scared. I felt embarrassed.

Later on I’ve heard that my mom made a big deal about it and sent in quite the complaint. I didn’t see her there after that. If it was my case alone, or others too that did it, I have no idea.

A few more years went by, and I was more nervous about going to the dentist, but not proper phobic about it yet.

Then came the time when I got my first cavity, at the age of about 14 or 15, and that was the time when I first found out that I’m quite resistent to local anesthetics. Not only could I feel a lot of pain while they started to drill, but they didn’t believe me when I said I could. And there I was, panicking in a dentist chair once again. I was in a lot of pain, and when they finally believed me and stopped drilling, it took 4 doses of local anesthesia before I couldn’t feel any pain.

After that it would go 15 years of utter fear before I sat down in one of those chairs again.

My phobia got really bad over the years, to the point where I would break into sweat just at the mention of dentists or dental care. I would get so nervous just thinking about it that I thought I was going to either faint or throw up.

Then came December 2017, and one of my wisdom teeth got infected. The left side of my face swelled up, and I was in so much pain. I knew there were no escaping the visit that I’d dreaded for so many years.

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So I started asking around, and Googling a lot. Eventually my choice ended on       Torshov Tannlegesenter where they had a very good reputation for doing great work with people who struggle with dentophobia. Me and my swollen face went in there on a Saturday, and I felt like my heart was going to pound its way out of my body the whole subway and bus ride over there.

As I sat in the waiting room, I could hear them drilling someone’s teeth in the other room. I was sure that the dentist would find me unconscious and lying in my own vomit when he got out of there. Luckily I neither passed out or puked.

After a little while, it was my time to go in and sit in that dreaded chair. The dentist looked like he was about my age, kind looking and a good singing voice (I’ll get to that later), and he looked at me and said:

“You’re not really ready to be here, are you?”

In that moment I just started to cry and cry. The tears wouldn’t stop coming, no matter how much I tried to remind myself that I’m an adult and that my fear was totally irrational.

I was handed some paper towels and then the dentist and his assistant had a talk with me about my prior experiences and my options. Then he asked me if he could take a look at the tooth that was bothering me, and he could do a full check as well, but if I felt like I was going to panic or got more scared I would just raise my hand and he would stop.

I got out of that room all x-rayed, tartar removed, with a prescription for some antibiotics and another booked appointment just three days later to pull that troublesome wisdom tooth.

I was really nervous the next few days, but I came to find that my heart rate was much lower on my way in the second time than the first. I had to meet up half an hour before my appointment so that I could take a mild sedative drug to help me relax. That’s when I found out that my body is very resistent to sedatives as well. It did nothing. I was then asked if I wanted to go ahead or to rebook so I could either get a stronger sedative or they could put me under. I had built up so much courage to go there that day, that if I’d rebooked and had to go home, I’m not sure I would have managed to do it again. So I told them to go ahead.

They were really careful and made sure that they used enough local anaesthetics, and that it actually worked before they started. It was over and done with in about 15 minutes. My wonderful dentist explained everything he was doing and he had a radio playing in the background playing golden oldies that he sang along to while he did his magic.

I  got out of there, one tooth and one phobia less. I called my mom and I cried because I was so relieved that I’d finally done it. I was (and still is) very proud of myself, even though it took me way too long.

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I was in quite a lot of pain the next few days, but it got better. And a week after, I went in to remove the stitches AND to drill the three cavities that needed to be fixed. The best part; I wasn’t even nervous!

I know that the path to fighting phobias are very individual. In my case, it was a need to face the fear and to have someone that I trusted and made me feel safe. For others it might take several trips, or they have to do so with the help of a therapist. But no matter how big the fear is, it’s all about acknowledging it and taking the first steps.

If you’re ever in need of a good dentist in Oslo, then I can HIGHLY recommend Torshov Tannlegesenter!

I can now say that I’m cured of dentophobia and I’m so grateful for that!

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I Smiled and It Made Me Cry

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About a week before Christmas I had a very powerful and wonderful experience. I tried to write about it back then, but couldn’t seem to find the right words, so it ended up as an unfiltered mess in my journal instead. But now I’m giving it a second go.

I can’t remember exactly what I’d been doing that evening, but I was on my way home.

I remember lots of moonlight and my breath coming out in frosty clouds. With music in my ears I walked without really paying attention to where I was going, lost in thought. And then all of a sudden I stopped walking, looked up at the stars and noticed that I was smiling. No, not just smiling, I was grinning! And the best part was, I had no idea why!

This is not uncommon for me. I find joy in the smallest of things, and I’m obnoxiously positive (most of the time), but this was little over a month after my recent heartbreak. It had been a while since I’d felt like the regular me.

And the thing that hit me hard in that moment was that I realized just how long I’d gone without feeling that kind of joy over nothing but a nice night out, and being lost in my own headspace.  Upon that realization, I started to cry. So I walked the rest of the way home, looking like a grinning, crying lunatic, and I didn’t even care.

The tears came from the overwhelming sensation of knowing that I was finally on my way back to my usual self! They were tears of relief!

When I got home, the first thing I did was that I sent a text to the group chat I have with some of my closest girlfriends. I wanted to share my special moment, and the soulmates I have that I needed to tell it to was them! And not just because I wanted to share what had happened, but also because I know that the road would’ve been a lot longer to walk without meaningless grins if it weren’t for all of their love and support.

I had to tell them, because much of that moment was thanks to them. And most importantly, I had to tell them just how much I love them for being the wonderful people that they are!

Now I won’t try to say that every day since then has been all smiles and sunshine, but I’m happy to report that I find myself grinning for no reason more and more often!

It feels so good! In a way, it feels like coming home ❤️

When was the last time you grinned by yourself for no reason? If it’s been a while, I hope you get there soon! And while you heal, I’m here, if you need me…

 

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Dear 2017

Looking back on the year that I just left behind, I would be lying if I said that it wasn’t a rough one. 

I had to say goodbye to some wonderful people that I would’ve loved to have closer by for much longer. And even though the internet makes it so much easier to stay in touch with the people that you miss, it still can’t compare to deep conversations face to face, or a real hug!

I said goodbye to a few that it was time to let go of. No matter how much of a right choice it is, sometimes it’s really hard to do so.

We said goodbye to Snute (the last of our pet rats) when he’d gotten old and his body decided that it was time to leave. He left us with a lot of wonderful memories.

I got firsthand experience with how chaotic it can get when an airline’s (British Airways) IT system crashes, and you’re not in your home country.

I struggled with insomnia for quite a while.

And I got my heart broken, just in time for my 30th birthday.

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But even so, 2017 had so many more truly wonderful moments! 

I traveled to London (twice), Texas, Copenhagen, Kiel and Madrid!

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Had my first (and second) experience with staying at a hostel while traveling, and I loved it!

I met a lot of new, wonderful and interesting people!

I went to the Oslo Opera House for the first (and second) time, and saw some out of this world performances!

I got to see Jason Mraz live once again! And I got to see Rag’n’Bone Man live for the first time! Both concerts moved me to tears!

Leander found a love for dancing, and it’s such a joy to watch him get better and better.

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I got to follow Cecilia Samartin and do a behind the scenes video when she did press here in Oslo.

I got two new tattoos, a new camera and a new job!

Some of my closest friends came to celebrate my 30th birthday with me, surrounding me with love, smiles and wine, even though I sort of cancelled the party. I’m so glad they came!

I spent the actual day I turned 30 with my very best friend in the whole world, and it was perfect! Vegan sushi, Prosecco and a slumber party!

I faced my fear (which I will write more about in a post soon) and got over my extreme fear of going to the dentist!

And my plans to spend New Years alone, just snuggling up with a good book, turned into spending it with another of my best friends, going to a party, having an epic snowball fight with strangers and then dancing our way far into 2018!

And one of the most wonderful things I experienced in 2017 was that I’m still capable of falling head over heels in love. And even though it didn’t go as I’d hoped, it’s a relief to know that my heart still has the ability to fall completely for someone new. I thought I’d lost it.

2017, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m very grateful for all that happened, and at the same time I’m very glad that it was time to split so I could start my new journey with 2018. So far I have to say that 2018 has been extremely good to me, and I can’t wait to see what’s to come. 

On January 1st 2018, I started a new tradition. I wrote a letter to my future self, about the wishes I have for myself and the upcoming year. I’ve sealed it and so it will remain until January 1st 2019, when it’s time to do a recap of the year, and to write a new letter.

I have a good feeling about 2018 you guys! Let’s make it a special one!

Happy New Year!

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Friendship isn’t a big thing…

One thing that always overwhelm me whenever I’m having a hard time (and am willing to admit it) is how much love I have in my life. I wouldn’t say that I have a lot of friends, but I do have a few and the ones that are closest to me are so warmhearted and they give so much of themselves.

I’m so lucky to be surrounded by people with so much love to give. Friends that will cry together with me, as well as roll around on the floor laughing till we almost pee our pants. And I will do the same for them. This is something I wish for everyone to have in their life. And it’s not important to collect many of these friends, but to hold on to and nourish those friendships that are true. I know it isn’t always easy. I’ve done the mistake of forgetting to take care of my friendships several times, and so have they. At times it’s easy to get wrapped up in everything that’s going on in your own life, and hard to move outside of ones own bubble. It’s just the way it is. But we always end up with a reminder. Something that bursts the bubble and shows us how important all of the things outside of it really is.

And if there’s one thing the last week has been a reminder of for me, it’s how much love I have in my life. How much I love those dorky and wonderful friends of mine. And above all; how grateful I am for them loving me back.

Thank you for the warm thoughts and wishes, for the shoulders to cry on, the bad jokes, the late nights, the phone calls and the warm hugs. You guys are the best and I love you more than words can say!

Friendship isn’t a big thing – It’s a million little things ❤️

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Walk It Off!

Whenever my mind feels a bit too full and in need of a break, there’s always one thing that helps it to calm down and get things sorted a little. That one thing is going for a walk.

Lately (as you guys know) my mind has been a bit all over the place, and at times it felt like it was just spread as thin as it could possibly get. I knew it was time to do something about that. Needed to get back into the good routines that I used to have. Or maybe it was just time for some new ones.

Then I had a thought. The place where I’m working now is one that I always take public transportation to and from. First I take the subway, and then I change over to a bus. It takes me about 30 minutes from the moment I walk out the door, depending on the traffic. But how long would it take me to walk?

So I sat down and started looking at different routes recommended by Google Maps, and found that it didn’t look so bad. I hadn’t really decided that I was going to actually do this until the morning on my birthday (two days ago) when I got up at 5 am and started my day off with 20 minutes of meditation. Just to get such a good start to the day made me highly motivated to try to make more out of the day, and I decided to take the walk.

The 8 km walk (5 miles) took me about an hour and a half, and it felt so good! My mind felt so much calmer and clearer by the time I got to work, and I held a steady pace for the whole walk, so it counts as a bit of good exercise as well! My best friend Kirsti picked me up after work for our Birthday Pyjama Date, so I didn’t walk home that day. Wednesday I had a day off work, but today however I thought it was time to do the walk both to and from, and I did!

Now I’m not saying that walking fixes everything. My brain is constantly filled with way too much that goes on at the same time, but the walking helps me to sort it. To be able to be on the move, and at one with my thoughts, it just makes it so much easier to see the difference between the important thoughts and the unnecessary ones. To differ between voices and noise.

I don’t think that I will be walking to and from work every day, but from now on, I will definitely do it more often.

There’s something so very therapeutic about going for a walk, and I sure as hell needed it! Most of us could, from time to time.

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The Word is GROWTH!

After a lot of pondering and thinking about how I want the upcoming year to be, and what I want to focus on, it became quite clear that there was one thing that was very present in all of them, and that is personal growth.

I have a lot of ambitions and things that I want to accomplish in the near future. And I think that all of our experiences while on the road to our goals are paths of growth. Some happen unintentionally and some we search for. I know I’ve done my fair share of intentional personal growth over the last year and a half, and I’ve learned so much. Now I want to take it even further.

I want to dive deeper, focus harder and step out of the comfort zone even more often.

I turned 30 yesterday, and a couple of days ago I wrote about how I set a word for the year that I was 29. That word was EXPERIENCES. The word for 30 will be GROWTH.

Yesterday I started making a list of the things that I want to learn and do, and the places I would like to go. It is not done yet, but it’s getting there. It’s one that I will put up somewhere in my apartment where I will see it often, so that I won’t lose my focus.

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At this very moment, I’d like to keep the list to myself. This is one that I’ve made just for me, but I will tell you more about it at a later time.

Even though I’m not sharing the details of this list quite yet, I can still promise you that I’m going to bring you guys along for the ride of this year. And this right here; my very own spot online is a very big part of it all.

Let’s go on some new adventures together! I have a feeling that this year is going to be a very important and interesting one ☺️

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Don’t bite our heads off, please…

Over the years I’ve worked in quite a few different places within retail. Most days I love being around people. They give me so much food for thought. Even though I’ve had the pleasure to work with electronics (I love me some gadgets) and books (well you know how I feel about those), I have to say that working with glasses has so far been the one that I’ve enjoyed the most. I think the biggest reason for that is that my job is to actually help people that needs it. It’s not about selling a lot of things that people don’t need, It’s about helping them to actually see! I love it!

But this post was not supposed to be a gush of my love for the optical industry. It’s a plea to a few of you customers out there.

For the customer that yells at us when we ask when you’re born. For the ones who fumes and curses when they have to wait a few minutes to get help. For those who slam their fists on the counter when their product didn’t arrive on time. Those who curse and scream and threatens.

I get it! You have certain expectations, so do I. But sometimes it feels like the expectations that are set for serviceminded people in retail can be beyond ridiculous. Want to know a secret? We’re only humans, just like you.

We have our off days. We try our best to not let it show, but sometimes our best just doesn’t do the trick. Sometimes we falter in the areas that we normally succeed in. It’s life after all.

We get sick. So when you have to stand in line because there’s only one person working in the store, don’t forget that the person standing there could’ve already been working hours overtime trying to do the work usually done by two or more.

We are here to help you. Yes, that much I’m guessing you already knew. That however, does not mean that you can bully and boss us around. We genuinely want to help, and to give you the best experience possible, but we also expect to be treated like an equal. We put a lot of work and training into what we do, even though it is “just retail”.

The customer isn’t always right. I’m sorry to burst that bubble, but someone had to.

I’ve had customers screaming in my face when I tried (calmly) to tell them the rules of warranties and tax refunds. Rules that I could point out and show them, and still they yelled at me and told me I needed to learn to do my job better, just because I couldn’t give them the answer they wanted. I’ve had customers that said such cruel things to me (completely unprovoked) that I ended up crying afterwards. I’ve also had customers that felt it was okay to stare at my body instead of making eye contact while I was talking to them. I’ve gotten sexist jokes thrown my way more times than I can count.

Working in retail and with people can be overwhelming at times. And constantly being surrounded by strangers that demand your full attention can be hard.

So when you feel frustrated; Talk to us. Ask us your questions. Listen to the answers you’ll receive. Don’t bully, and don’t be rude.

Please, do not bite our heads off. Most likely, we are just trying to help.

To end this post on a more positive note; I want to mention how grateful I am to have received so many smiles, kind words, baked goods, flowers and hugs from customers over the years. Those are the moments that I choose to hold on to. I’ve learned so much about business, psychology, human behaviour, kindness, gratitude, and heard so many amazing stories from wonderful people. People I probably wouldn’t have crossed paths with if it weren’t for my years being out on the floor in the business of retail.

It’s been a very interesting journey, and one that I’m still enjoying very much!

Be nice to one another. I guess that’s the message I’m trying to get through here.

Lots of love,

Christina ❤️

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He cried and I was so proud!

About a week ago, I was working on editing a video for YouTube while my nine year old son was watching videos on his laptop. After a little while I noticed that he was watching something that apparently had his undivided attention, and I got curious. I asked him what he was watching. He told me he was watching a documentary on NRK Super (a web/tv channel for kids) about a boy that was bullied.

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Some minutes passed and I could hear the story that this boy told in the background while I was working. It was heartbreaking to hear the cruelty that was done to him by his classmates. They had locked him inside of a classroom, and they’d beaten him up pretty bad. He was talking about how it all happened, how it felt afterwards, and how they eventually had to move and start a new life somewhere else because the bullying wouldn’t stop.

Being a victim of bullying as a teenager myself, I always find it hard to listen to stories like this. The cruelty of kids that don’t think their actions through makes my heart ache. I turned to Leander and saw that he was crying, and it warmed my aching heart.

How lucky am I to have a child that feels such empathy. To be able to watch someone else bare their struggles and pain, and through what he saw, he could feel it all. He could feel it so much that he couldn’t hold it in. It was beautiful to see an emotion so pure, brought forth by information that he himself had gone searching for.

It’s easy as a parent to focus on all of the things that we feel like we have done wrong, or could have done differently. But watching him have this kind of reaction, and talking about bullying with him afterwards, hearing his thoughts, that was a moment where I truly felt that I had done something right. Somewhere along the road, growing up to be the little man that he is, he’s learned to care for others. To love them for who they are and the life they choose live, even though he might not agree with all of it. He’s learned to respect others and to try not to judge them.

I will not take complete credit for this, but the amount of time we’ve used to talk about life, people and choices, I know that’s played an important part in this.

I’m so grateful that my son already is a seeker of knowledge, and I’ll keep on encouraging him. To try to give him as many tools as possible for him to be able to make the choices that will be right for him.

And maybe most importantly, it’s important for me that he knows that crying is not a sign of weakness. To be comfortable enough to show your emotions is a strength that should not be taken for granted. It’s a superpower!

 

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It’s Changing!

Our lives are constantly changing, even though it may not seem like it all of the time. It might seem like everything is just the same, day after day. But even though you feel like you’re going through the motion in the same ship everyday, there’s so much going on underneath the surface that you’re not paying attention to. 

All those little things that just passes by as unimportant could easily add up to end up as some of the most important events of your life. 

Some changes are bigger though, and impossible to miss! I’m going through one of those changes right now. 

I’ve been working for Brilleland for little over a year now, and a while back I was approached by another chain of stores and they wanted to set up a meeting with me. The meeting happened and in a time where people struggle to get jobs I was lucky enough to be offered a new one. I’m very grateful! After thinking it over and going a bit back and forth I decided to take the offer. 

So yesterday I had my last day at Brilleland and on Monday I’m moving on to a new chain, new store and new colleagues. It’s very exciting and also a bit scary. I’ve had my share of jobs over the years and the butterflies in the stomach feeling always shows up whenever I’m on the brink of starting something new. 

It’s a feeling I welcome! It’s another way of pushing myself and getting out of my comfort zone. A wonderful way of learning and growing. 

So this weekend I’m going to take it easy, meditate on what was and get ready for what’s coming! 

Wish me luck!

And I wish you all a wonderful weekend! 

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If Only We Could Replace Your Face

When I was about 14 years old, I had a crush on a guy that was my friend. We had som pretty long conversations over the phone, and I could always count on him being honest with me. I don’t remember much from all of the late night conversations we had, but there’s one conversation in particular that I will never forget. It’s the one who broke down my already battered self esteem.

I don’t remember how we got into the subject, but for some reason he told me that he’d overheard some of the guys talk about me. I asked him what they said, and at first he was reluctant to tell me. He did eventually tell me though, and in hindsight I wish he never had.

“The guys think you have a really good looking body, they just wish that they could replace your face.”

My whole life crumbled at that moment. The little self esteem a bullied 14 year old me had vanished. I remember crying in my room after my mom and the rest of the family went to bed. Sobbing as quietly as I could.

For years I only saw myself as “a body”. When I looked in the mirror I could appreciate my shape, but there were so many things I wanted to change when it came to my face. I got into modelling when I turned 18, and that made it even worse after a while. After seeing the photographers photoshop my nose smaller again and again, the complex I already had for my nose grew into a giant monster that was constantly sitting on my shoulders, whispering about how wrong my face was and how I should probably think about doing something about it.

It got to the point where I actually had booked a consultation with a plastic surgeon, but when the day came I just couldn’t bring myself to go.

I was determined to fix it one day though. For years it felt like something I really needed to do sooner or later.

Kids can be so cruel, but often they don’t know the impact their cruelty can have. And I really want to believe that they don’t know that their bullying can change peoples lives for years. The media business is a whole other story for another day.

I feel lucky that I’ve grown to love myself and the way I look. That I’ve learned to appreciate the things that makes me look different. Knowing that I wouldn’t want to live in a world where everyone looked exactly the same.

Do I still have moments where I don’t like what I see? Yes, that monster sometimes returns at weak moments and whispers things when I’m having a bad day.

Do I still want to do something about my nose? No, I have no plans of going through with rhinoplasty. This is the nose that my parents gave me, and this is who I’m supposed to be.

Self love is something that’s very important to me, and something that I’ve written and talked about several times. It’s something we all need to practice more and help each other out with. Self love can be a tough exercise, but we all need to do it and do it more often!

I’m currently taking notes for a few self love videos that I’m hoping to make this fall. I’m excited to be working on something that’s so important to me, and I look forward to sharing it with you guys!

Love yourself and share your love!

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