The Struggle Behind My Smile (Braces, Hardship, and Despair)

You see these white shiners and you think it’s all genetics; that I was born with such perfect teeth. Sorry, but that isn’t the case. As pretentious as this sounds, I actually sacrificed a lot for the sake of my now great teeth. And no, I have no regrets about it. I don’t feel vain or narcissistic in the slightest. For me, this is nothing short of a quality of life issue.

My Youth of Crooked Teeth

Even as a kid growing up in Virginia, amongst what the liberal elite would term ‘hicks’, we knew that straight teeth equaled good and crooked teeth equaled ugly and horrible. I could see the slight disappointment in my parents’ eyes every time I smiled at them. Even in the boondocks, social judgment based on evolutionary instincts is strong; or perhaps stronger.

I was a hyperactive kid. I was funny and outgoing. This didn’t last long because as soon as kids got old enough and mean enough to begin to start learning how to climb their local dominance hierarchy, the bullying started. And my crooked teeth were just the weak point they could exploit to knock me down a peg or two.

What happened next will shock even the most hardened clickbait writers. My redneck parents, seeing how much I was suffering, decided that they would send me to a nearby orthodontist. For this intention alone, I am forever grateful for them.

My First Visit to the Aesthetic Dentist

My parents, though not so wealthy, understood my pain and suffering. The dental professional, on examination, as I recall, informed my parents that yes, my teeth were indeed very fucked up. The issue could be solved, it would just take money, more money than my parents had. Hey, what could I say, we were minimum wage earning trailer trash after all. It was a huge blow to my spirit, and I became a depressed person in a depressed town. Verdict: total bummer.

But with time comes acceptance, and I finally accepted that until I was capable of earning income on my own, I would have to live with the state of my mandibles and the negative repercussions that came with it. It wasn’t pleasant, but it made me emotionally tough.

Quit? I Don’t Know the Meaning of the Word!

Years of insults taught me the stoic philosophy of Marcus Aurelius, the great Roman emperor. My skin became as thick as a rhinoceros’ hide. To put it shortly, I endured. And I saved money wherever I could. Money; the barrier which I perceived to be my ticket to a better life. So I never quit in my pursuit and I did what I could to hustle.

The Benefits Are Clear

As I built up savings, I started researching all the benefits that braces and orthodontic treatments would give me. And what I found was that braces were more than just cosmetic, but it came with tangible health benefits as well; both physical and mental.

For one it actually made more aware of my oral health. Because of all the food that got stuck between the braces, I had to be meticulous in brushing. Further, once they were off, food no longer got trapped between my crooked teeth, yet I still maintained my super detailed brushing habits. This made for really good dental health.

And once I got my braces from a qualified orthodontist in Sutton Coldfield, I discovered even more benefits. Here are the other benefits that I found:

It Gave Me Elevated Self-Esteem.

I was no longer the butt of people’s jokes and cruel insults. I did not have to do that stupid close-mouthed smile during photos, but could show off my teeth proudly and happily. It was liberating in a way that I could not have imagined as a child.

It Gave Me Stronger Teeth

I know this sounds weird but I think my teeth actually got physically stronger. Just the stress placed on them over the years of braces simply made them more physically resilient. That’s what I feel anyway, when I bite down on food, I have no worries at all.

Eating Was a More Enjoyable Experience

When you have crooked teeth, especially as crooked as mine were, eating is not a very enjoyable experience. Once I had nice straight teeth, I was surprised at how much more I enjoyed the actual process of eating.


For those who’ve asked me whether I regret getting braces; you must be crazy. Getting braces not only made me happier, but it also taught me discipline and goal setting. Because I so desperately wanted straight teeth and knew that it was only money that was holding me back, I became a maniac. I saved diligently and worked hard. And what I learned about myself during that process was ultimately invaluable.





West Virginia – The Most Miserable State In The Country?

Did you know that in addition to being the most obese state in the country, West Virginia is also the most miserable one? Clearly we’re winning awards for all the wrong reasons. But why is this so?

It all comes down to two things: stigma and awareness.

Mental Health – Breaking the Stigma

Modern psychology was born two centuries ago, but it looks like humanity is still struggling with its ideas and concepts. Among them, one of the biggest problems for so many individuals is the issue of asking for help when it comes to mental health.

It might sound incredible, but today, millions of individuals who are experiencing some sort of an emotional or mental problem decide against seeking out psychology services. This comes in spite of their clear sense that this issue is causing problems in their everyday lives, regardless whether or not it impacts their professional or private domains.

In fact, there is a dominant emotion for many of these individuals and it boils down to a sense of shame. This means that they think they are to blame for these problems and then asking for help would only validate this fear.

Overcoming Shame

In this type of mental state, where the original problem only interacts with these negative emotions, the state of mental health of the individual can only go further down. While they feel ridden by shame, people shy away from looking for help and only intensify their suffering. It is enough to look around and see people in this predicament regardless where they live or how much money they have. But, this sense of stigmatization is not necessary.

Firstly, there should be absolutely no sense of shame when it comes to asking for any kind of help, including that for mental issues. These problems are in no way the workings of the individual who experiences them. They did not cause them and they are not responsible for their appearance, in the same way as the person who gets any other kind of medical illness is.

Mental health problems, just like medical problems, simply occur and then it is the responsibility of a person to find adequate help to resolve them. If you had a bad cut that was bleeding profusely, you would seek medical help. The same is true if you experienced back pain for weeks and weeks. Mental health issues are the same in the sense that they are conquerable and people can get a handle on them.

But, the idea of being too ashamed to ask for help can greatly impact the person in their ability to reach to somebody for help. This is why the emotions of guilt and shame should be put aside and instead, a person who is having these difficulties should reach out for aid.

The Option of Hypnotherapy

In this regard, one of the most effective methods of finding help comes in the form of hypnotherapy. As a distinctive form of mental health therapy, this approach uses the well-known method of hypnosis to help its clients. With it, the main advantage comes from its ability to use hypnosis to avoid the regular conscious defensive mechanism of an individual that often make regular therapy difficult.

Instead, a hypnotherapist employs a process of gradually turning out the endless stream of thoughts and putting their clients in a hypnotic state. Once there, the same defensive walls go down and the person, along with the hypnotherapist, can finally access the problematic area. In this domain, the true healing and overcoming can begin. As the hypnotherapist analyses and assesses the issue, he or she slowly begins to develop ways how this problem can be resolved.

At the same time, the process of hypnosis and hypnotherapy allows for providing the client with new tools that they can use in their everyday life. This is one of the key reasons why problems like addictions, toxic relationships, and many other clear mental health difficulties can be resolved effectively using hypnotherapy.

Before they reach for help, people usually are fully aware where the issue lies, but they cannot fix it alone. But once they take up hypnotherapy, they are able to attain not just a new perspective, but also means of approaching this problem and slowly getting over it.

A Clear Solution

With all of these advantages of this method of mental health therapy, it is clear that many individuals would greatly benefit from it. When this fact is combined with the notion that no one should feel ashamed to ask for help, a great option for resolving mental health issues reveals itself. That is why anyone who is experiencing these types of problems should find a hypnotherapist and allow them to help them in a way that can transform their lives for the better.

Obesity: A Serious Problem for West Virginia

This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. Growing up overweight and eventually becoming obese, I know the societal stigma and shame that comes with it. It is my hopes that people can read this and hopefully take some measures; prevention is always better than cure.

About thirty five percent of adults and nineteen percent of youth in America are obese. The obesity epidemic continues to plague the country as a whole and they will be no escape unless some drastic measures are taken to change people’s perceptions on health and fitness and how important it is.

The growth of obesity has continued to rise steadily since the year 1999 especially in adults. Though obesity rates in the youth have been more stable as per statistics from the CDC, it is still very difficult to tell what direction it will take. The CDC will need to collect more data for a few more years to come.

Unfortunately, West Virginia leads the pack. It is the state with the highest obesity rate in the nation. Truly sad to see what my beloved home state has come to.

Foods to Eat to fight Obesity

It is important that you choose foods that have undergone little or no processing some of these include oats, whole wheat, quinoa and brown rice. Ensure that you also take lots of green leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and beans which are all a great source of protein. When cooking, incorporate plant oils in your meals. It is a good idea to keep your body hydrated with water and drinks that are free from calories.

Some of the foods and drinks that you should reduce to fight obesity include the following:

  • Drinks that are sweetened with lots of sugar namely; fruit drinks, sodas and energy drinks.
  • Grains that have been refined namely white bread, white pasta and white rice.
  • Meat that has been processed such as ham, salami, sausages and bacon and red meat
  • Processed foods such as junk food.

Importance of Protein in fighting Obesity

Protein keeps one more satisfied for longer as it takes a longer period to digest. Due to this, when you take foods that are richer in proteins, you will eat less as they are feeling and stay in the tummy for a longer period. Personally, I like to consume quality whey protein supplements whenever I feel hungry instead of snacking.

Reduces Blood Sugar Spikes

Protein consumption will invariably reduce your intake of carbohydrates that are refined and this will ensure that your blood sugar is even this is due to the fact that proteins slows down the rate at which digestion takes place.

How Much to Eat

The indicators of how much food you need to eat lies in the amount of physical activity you undertake, body size, age, gender and body size. With approximately two out of three US adults being obese, this is a clear sign that people need to consume less calories. For best results that will ensure that you consume the right amount of calories for your body is to do away with habits that will encourage you to overeat.

Ways in which you can avoid over eating:

1.  Take breakfast

It may seem like missing a meal is a simple way to reduce your calorie intake but this may work against you especially when the hunger pangs strike in the mid- afternoon and force you to overeat.

2. Portion Control is key

At meal time, choose small portions and do not rush through your meals instead eat slowly and take the tame to savour all the tastes in the food. This is bound to make meal time more enjoyable. When you eat slowly, it reduces your chances of over indulging in more servings. Turn off all the devices such as phones and television so that your full attention is on your food.

3. Cook your own food

By cooking your own food at home, you will be able to choose what exactly goes in it and this will make it healthier. You will also be able to decide the potion you want to consume as opposed to restaurants where the decision is not in your hands.

4. Be Mindful

Before sitting down to have a meal, it is important to ask yourself the reason for eating. This will help you to do away with eating just for the sake of it and in turn reduce your calorie intake. If you are not truly hungry, you can take part in other activities that will keep your mind off food. Instead of taking an entire meal, you can choose to have a healthy snack.


Apart from consuming a healthy diet, there is nothing more effective to fighting obesity and staying healthy than taking part in exercise. To keep your body moving, you can partake in activities that you enjoy. People of all ages should limit the amount of time spent watching television and sitting down.