Today I spit out a filling while brushing my teeth. Add a giant spider and a knife-wielding Polkaroo and all of my childhood nightmares will be a reality.

Why does the dentist produce so much anxiety? It’s completely irrational; I haven’t had a bad experience. The law of averages would say that I haven’t had enough experiences to have a bad one. I once went 12 years without a trip.

By some stroke of unearned luck, I’ve only had one filling in my life. Not bad for 38 years. To be fair, I think I have a new one that needs to be filled, but even-so: 2 in 38 years ain’t bad.

And that one fell out of my head today.

This week had the potential to be a rough one, with the dental encore. But I’m pleased to say that I’m not freaking out. I haven’t needed to compare the “new me” to the “old me” much lately, because I’m feeling so far removed from that former version, but today I compare.

In a twisted way, I used to welcome wrenches thrown into the works, because it gave me an excuse to pity and self-medicate. Today, 10 minutes after brushing my teeth, I was on my way to a meditative yoga class. There’s no use in trying to put a comparison into words. I’m a long ways from the person I want to be, but I’m even further removed from the person I never want to be again.

I can be proud of myself as I go to sleep tonight. (But if Polkaroo shows up, I swear I’m out. Fuck sobriety; the only thing that gets rid of that creepy, man-evading beast is vodka, and lots of it.)